WALTER JAMES

Walter James (SOS Femme en Danger – SOSFED): Walter graduated in 2006 from the University of Minnesota. Following college, he worked on international development in Haiti and Senegal, and studied human rights and international development in Senegal, Costa Rica, and Morocco. Walter first visited Eastern Congo as a 2009 Peace Fellow for The Advocacy Project, where he documented the work of civil society organizations such as SOS Femmes en Danger, Arche d’Alliance, and Tunza Mazingira. The following year, he graduated from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy with a Master’s degree in Public Policy.



Good News

05 Mar

Good news:
Colonel Kibibi Mutware, the ex-CNDP Amani Leo commander who led his troops on a rape and pillaging spree in Fizi town on New Years Day, has been found guilty by a military court of crimes against humanity, and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
According to the BBC, this is the first time a commanding officer of a FARDC unit has been convicted of rape. This hopefully sets a precedent that will hold commanding officers accountable, and will therefore be reflected in the actions of their subordinates. This by no means signals the end to mercenary-like behavior on the part of the Congolese military, but perhaps the higher-ups in the military are starting to pay attention due to increased scrutiny. This will be especially interesting due to the number of rebel “armies” that are currently being incorporated into the FARDC; creating a trained, well-behaved military out of so many different factions will be quite the feat. Here’s hoping for the best.
The military court in Baraka also convicted 8 more soldiers under Col. Kibibi’s command, including 3 officers, and gave them sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. However, the heavier sentences went to the officers, possibly again signaling to FARDC commanders that they need to be responsible for the behavior of their units.
An unusual aspect of the trial was the willingness of many of the survivors to testify against their attackers; forty-nine women stepped forward to give testimony in court.

Posted By WALTER JAMES

Posted Mar 5th, 2011

1 Comment

  • Ned

    March 8, 2011

     

    Walter,

    These blogs are great. I just had a chance to catch up and feel like I’m there again, but then my feet get hit by a draft ad I realize I’m still in freezing Wisconsin.

    Sounds like you all are pushing on and doing well.

    Ned

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