Conviction of Lieutenant-Colonel Bedi Engangela alias « Colonel 106 » is a strong message to perpetrators of human rights abuses, says MONUSCO
Kinshasa, 16 December 2014 - MONUSCO welcomes the conviction and sentencing to life imprisonment of Lieutenant-Colonel Bedi Engangela (aka “Colonel 106”) on 15 December 2014 by the South Kivu Military Court, for crimes against humanity including rape, sexual slavery, and murder, committed in South Kivu between 2005 and 2007.
“I applaud the Congolese authorities for their efforts in bringing Lt. Colonel Engangela to justice, and for sending a strong message to perpetrators of grave violations of human rights that their crimes will not go unpunished” declared Mr Abdoul Aziz Thioye, the acting Director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC.
conviction marks the culmination of seven years of efforts by the Congolese
justice authorities with support from MONUSCO, UNDP, as well as national and
international NGOs working to fight impunity. It also follows the recent
conviction and sentencing, on 7 November 2014, of another senior FARDC officer,
General Jérôme Kakwavu, to 10 years of imprisonment for war crimes.
Colonel Bedi Engangela was tried before the South Kivu Military Court for
multiple counts of crimes against humanity. Hearings in the case took
place in Kalehe and Bukavu, South Kivu, from 11 August to 7 October 2014. The
crimes for which he was prosecuted were committed while he commanded an FARDC
unit in South Kivu. He is one of the five FARDC officers who a U.N.
Security Council delegation in 2009 encouraged the DRC authorities to bring to
justice in connection with allegations of sexual violence.
following entities supported this judicial process: MONUSCO (Force, Joint Human
Rights Office, Justice and Corrections Section/Prosecution Support Cells, Child
Protection Section), UNDP, ASF (Avocats sans Frontières), and several