Democratic Republic of Congo former militia leader, Ntabo Ntaberi has been sentenced to life in prison after multiple crime charges against humanity, including mass rape.
Ntabo Ntaberi was sentenced by a military court on Monday after being convicted of murder, rape, sexual slavery and enlisting children under the age of 15. The ruling comes after 178 victims testified in a trial that lasted for two years.
In a statement released by The United Nations, the ruling was described as ‘inevitable’.
“This verdict is a source of immense hope for the many victims of the conflicts in the DRC: their suffering has been heard and recognised,” said Leila Zerrougui, head of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in DR Congo.
The Ex-Militia Leader also presided over a militia group called Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), which had it’s operation in North Kivu’s eastern province.
Authorities first issued a warrant for Ntaberi’s arrest in January 2011 after allegedly organising raids on villages within the region a year earlier. Research also suggests that Eastern DR Congo has been conflict-ravaged due to increased political divisions and the region’s abundant mineral resources.
Reports also claim that NDC members and two other unidentified militia groups organized a raid which resulted to about 400 rape cases including a mass murder.
Following the sentence passed in Goma on Monday, Thomas Fessy, a researcher on the Country’s Human Rights Watch said, “The victims will be a little bit relieved.”