DRC mutineers sentenced to prison

May 31, 2012 at 10:45 AM
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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 31 (UPI) -- Congolese soldiers sentenced to jail confessed to planning a mutiny with a rebel general suspected of war crimes in the country, a judge said.

An unnamed judge in a military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo told the BBC that soldiers confessed in court to meeting with rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda in March to plan a rebellion.

A court sentenced eight officers to life in prison and three others with prison terms ranging from 2-20 years for their role in a rebellion that began in April. Two soldiers were sentenced to death in absentia. Charges ranged from insurrection to desertion, the BBC said.

Ntaganda told the BBC in an interview this week that he rebelled because authorities in Kinshasa reneged on a peace deal brokered in 2009. His forces were integrated into the Congolese military under the terms of the deal.

He's been wanted the International Criminal Court since 2006. He claims the charges against him were fabricated as the international courts are biased against Africans.

At least 30,000 Congolese people have fled the country because of fighting attributed to Ntaganda's forces, the United Nations estimates.

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