The conviction of the former warlord, Ntabo Ntaberi alias “Sheka” by a military court in Goma is a first step towards reparation for the many victims of the conflict.
The court has sentenced “Sheka” to life imprisonment after found guilty of murder, rape, sexual slavery, enlistment of children under 15 among others.
The trial lasted for two years.
Ntabo Ntaberi alias “Sheka” led the militia known as the Ndumu Defense of Congo, NDC under the cover of a fight against the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
That was between 2010 and 2017
The NDC still exist today but in chaos and the new leader has promised to lay down weapons.
The decision from the Government of the DRC has met with positive reactions.
The legal adviser for the Great Lakes Region for Trial International, Elsa Taquet said;
“The East of the DRC has never before known a trial of this magnitude, in any case we have just lived through a historic moment and it is a huge step forward for justice”.
The spokesperson for the collective of victims, Maitre Kahindo Fatuma told reporters that;
“We are satisfied with this verdict, it is a strong signal for the other warlords, the victims will be a little relieved now”.
The conviction of “Sheka” marks an important turning point in the fight against impunity of warlords.
Many other groups still exist in the DRC but the Government is determined to fight for the respect of fundamental Human Rights of citizens.