DR Congo War Crime Trial: DR Congo Trials Warlord Home for the First Time, UN Urges for Justice / Africa News

Congo Rebel

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has said that it has started a historic trial of one of the most notorious war lords in the country who is alleged to have committed atrocities after the end of the civil war.

Prosecutors alleged that Lt Col Bedi Mobuli Egangela has committed crimes including murder, rape and torture. It is believe he committed these crimes between 2005 and 2006 in eastern DR Congo with his rebel faction who was fighting to overthrow the government. The trial is expected to take three weeks.

About 1000 victims are said to have suffered from his brutalities and prosecutors say majority of them will testify against him in the subsequent days to come in the trial.

The DR Congo has been in turmoil after the end of the country’s civil war in 2002 as numerous armed groups compete for control of the rich mineral resources in the eastern part of the country.

But the United Mission in the country has combined effectively with the Congolese forces to disarm rebels in the then restive eastern part of the country. Some of these rebels are facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC0 in The Hague.

It is unclear why the Congolese government decided to trial Mr. Egangela home as the crimes leveled against him are of international concern.

Col Egangela was said to be a militia leader who was enlisted into the Congolese army as part of a peace deal by the government to unite the various rebel groups in the eastern part of the country but he deserted from the army in 2007 and went back to lead a rebel group he formed called the Resistance Patriots of Mai Mai.

He is also allegedly to have recruited child soldiers and ordered attacks on several villages in the South Kivu province in the eastern part of the country.

The United Nations Mission in the country has said that the UN is following the trial with keen interest and only expects that justice should prevail.

“The UN Security Council and different special representatives of the [UN] secretary general have been very focused on this case as a bit of a test case to see if military justice can deliver justice for very serious crimes – and committed by a senior officer within the Congolese army”, a senior official of the UN’s mission was quoted as saying by reporters.

With a population of 75.5 million, the Democratic Republic of Congo covers 2,344,858 square km of land in the centre of Africa, making it the 12th largest country in the world.

The Country has abundant mineral wealth. It has more than 70% of the world’s coltan which is used to make vital components of mobile phones, 30% of the planet’s diamond reserves and vast deposits of cobalt, copper and bauxite.

But the country has been in turmoil since nationalist leader; Patrice Lumumba led the country to gain independence from the Belgium in 1960. Patrice Lumumba was subsequently assassinated with the help of Belgian and the United States of America intelligence officers for control of the natural resources in the country.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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