Kinshasa — THE global community has welcomed the imposition of life sentences against a legislator and his accomplices for the rape of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
DRC Parliamentarian Frederic Batumike and 11 members of the so-called Army of Jesus militia committed the crimes on some 40 children aged between eight months and 12 years old in 2013-2016 in a town in South Kivu Province.
Pramila Patten and Virginia Gamba, Special Representatives of the United Nations Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict and for Children in Armed Conflict, respectively, commended the Military Justice for the historic decision.
"The trial and the life imprisonment by the military justice thus pass a crucial stage to put an end to the impunity of the perpetrators of the sexual violence in the DRC," Patten said.
Gamba urged the international community to work with the Congolese government of President Joseph Kabila to ensure that resources were available for the payment of reparations to survivors and other victims of the rape and other atrocities in Kavamu.
"These reparations judgments that can change the lives of child victims of sexual violence must be paid in full and the perpetrators of these abuses must be executed for justice to be fully realized," Gamba said.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence against children are widespread in the conflict-torn DRC.