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DR Congo warlord faces life in prison over mass rape

Monday October 28 2019

Defilement

Hanging dolls symbolising the agony of sexual assault victims. South Kivu in the DRC has been wracked by sexual violence during decades of conflict between armed groups. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AFP
By AFP
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BUKAVU,

DR Congo military prosecutors on Monday requested life imprisonment for a warlord accused of leading the mass rape of hundreds of people, including children, in the central African country's volatile east.

Frederic Masudi Alimasi, known as Kokodikoko, and two other men "committed crimes against humanity including rape, torture, murder, imprisonment and sexual slavery," said military prosecutor Major Apollinaire Yoma Mukoko.

Kokodikoko, the leader of the Raia Mutomboki militia, and members Mwilo Katindi and Samitamba Makese Raphael have been on trial since mid-September in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Charges against two other militia members have been dropped for lack of evidence, the prosecution said.

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The Raia Mutomboki militia "perpetrated abuses against more than 300 victims, including children," in several villages in the Mwenga and Shabunda territories in South Kivu last year, the prosecution said.

Led by Kokodikoko, the militia is accused of raiding the village of Kabikokole during the night of February 8, 2018.

"They took more than 100 women hostage... to rape them one after another," said the Panzi Foundation of surgeon Denis Mukwege, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for helping women recover from rape.

The Raia Mutomboki militia was accused of similar crimes in six other villages during April 2018, the prosecution said.

South Kivu has been wracked by sexual violence during decades of conflict between armed groups.