Osio’s Prison on Path to Becoming a Model of Self-Sustainability
Kisangani, 16 March 2011 - The Rule of Law section of the regional office for the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) and a delegation from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry visited the detention center in the locality of Osio, near Kisangani on March 15.
The group had gone to look into the detention conditions of this high security prison that houses 191 inmates, including 30 sentenced to capital punishment, 18 to life, and 143 to prison terms ranging from three to 20 years.
Sylvain Dikango Bituki, Secretary-General for Justice, who was part of the ministerial delegation, said he was impressed with the smooth running of the prison, especially its degree of self-sustainability.
However, as he spoke to prisoners, they told him about their difficulties, which, they said, include poor sanitation, lack of medicines and food, and slow processing of appeal cases.
For his part, the head of Osio detention center expressed his hope for continued government subsidies to help bring to fruition the prison's inmate self-subsistence project. Such subsidies would ensure self-generated activities such as running a mill to process cassava and corn, managing a pig farm and expanding inmate-cultivated vegetable plantations.
André Kitenge / Radio Okapi / MONUSCO