Eleven DR Congo soldiers facing ‘Mobile Gender Court’ on mass rape

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BY GLV Correspondent.

Baraka-Eleven government soldiers accused of raping more than 60 women have gone on trial in the most high-profile case yet heard by the DR Congo’s pioneering  “mobile gender court” in Baraka.

The men in court are allegedly accused of mass rape that took place in Fizi-South Kivu during New Years Eve, where sexual violence is rife following the clashes of FARDC, local and foreign militias.

Among the accused is the commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Mutware Kibibi – having been charged with crimes against humanity, including rape and imprisonment.

The case, expected to last up to 10 days, is being heard in a mobile gender court set up in the nearby town of Baraka.

The court exists within the structure of the DRC’s justice system and travels to remote communities that have little access to conventional courts.

Operating since October 2009, the court conducts about 10 trials a month and has so far recorded 94 rape convictions. It has also trained 150 judicial police officers, 80 lawyers and 30 magistrates.

The mobile court is co-ordinated by the American Bar Association (ABA) and funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa) along with the Open Society Justice Initiative.

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