Five DR Congo colonels jailed for embezzlement

Saturday October 16 2021
jail prison

Two other army colonels received 12-month terms.

By AFP

Five army and police colonels received ten-year jail terms Friday in DR Congo for embezzlement in the country's northeast.

A military court in the northeastern Ituri region handed down the sentences to four army colonels and a policeman of the same rank.

Two other army colonels received 12-month terms and the tribunal acquitted a further two following a trial which began on September 17 after their arrest in late July.

Those convicted were found to have siphoned off funds allocated to purchase rations for troops on active duty in Ituri. 

The provinces of Ituri and North-Kivu have been under a state of siege since May 6, with troops fighting armed groups which have been terrorising local communities.

President Felix Tshisekedi has replaced civil administrations in the affected regions with military and police officers.

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Ituri has been beset by violence since late 2017 blamed on the Codeco militia coalition which claims to stand up for the marginalised ethnic Lendu community.

A previous inter-community conflict between competing militia left thousands dead between 1999 and 2003, presaging the intervention of a French-led European force.