Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 14:57 GMT

MONUC Monthly Human Rights Assessment: November 2007

Publisher UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC)
Publication Date 21 January 2008
Cite as UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), MONUC Monthly Human Rights Assessment: November 2007, 21 January 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4795aafc2.html [accessed 28 August 2014]

Monthly Human Rights Assessment: November 2007

Human Rights Division / MONUC

Summary: The UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the DRC began an eight-day working visit to the country; Preliminary investigations by the UNHRO established that on the night of 9-10 November 2007, six civilians were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, in the locality of Lushebere, North Kivu, allegedly by CNDP elements (pro-Nkunda).1

Moreover, CNDP, FARDC and PNC elements were responsible for a large number of cases of arbitrary executions, rape and torture; the Gédéon trial continued before the Kipushi Military Tribunal in Katanga Province; As part of activities to mark the 16 days of Activism against sexual violence, local authorities across the country, including law enforcement personnel and provincial deputies signed Acts of Engagement to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against the impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence; In Ituri, 38 inmates escaped from the Mahagi Central Prison during the month of November 2007.


Main developments

1. On 28 November 2007, Mr. Titinga Frédéric Pacere, the UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the DRC started an eight-day working visit to the country during which he was scheduled to hold talks with the highest State officials, Members of Government, MONUC, representatives of the UN Country Team, the Diplomatic Corps, and members of the Synergy against sexual violence as well as civil society, including representatives of human rights organizations. He planned to place special emphasis on the following human rights issues: children associated with armed groups, the fight against impunity, sexual violence, Internally Displaced Persons, economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.

2. From 28-29 November 2007, Mr. Pacéré met with MONUC, the Diplomatic Corps, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and the outgoing Minister of Human Rights. He also met the Minister of Gender, Family and Children within the framework of the fight against sexual violence initiative as well as human rights NGOs and representatives of civil society. He visited Bukavu, South-Kivu, from 30 November to 2 December 2007.

He met with top local officials, including the Governor of the South-Kivu Province, the leadership of the Provincial Assembly, the Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, the Presiding Judge of the Military Court, the Auditeur Supérieur, Heads of MONUC substantive Sections, as well as representatives of the local human rights NGOs and civil society organizations.

He called upon local government officials to commit themselves to preventing and combating sexual violence and impunity. Mr. PACERE, a native of Burkina Faso, was appointed Independent Expert in July 2004 by the UN Commission on Human Rights, through its Resolution 2004/84 adopted on 21 April 2004. His mandate is to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on the human rights situation in the DRC. Mr. Pacéré visited the DRC in 2004 and 2005.

3. During the reporting period, several hearings into the Gédéon trial were held before the Kipushi Military Tribunal in Katanga Province. The highlights of these hearings included comments made by the different parties on 6 November 2007 on a video shown on 30 October 2007 which depicted the mass displacement of the populations of Manono and Pweto towards Dubie as a result of attacks carried out by Mayi Mayi elements under Gédéon?s command.

The defence completely rejected the video claiming that it was of purely humanitarian interest and had no legal bearing on the case. Other important moments were the identification of 11 new accused persons who had appeared before the Tribunal on 6 November 2007, including Gédéon?s wife, two of his children, bodyguards and elder brother; the confrontation of Gédéon with the statements of four other Mayi Mayi combatants, including his elder brother, the testimonies of the wife and daughter of a traditional chief who was allegedly beheaded by Mayi Mayi combatants in Kisele.

On 13 November 2007, the Tribunal attempted to interrogate Gédéon?s wife but her lawyer objected, arguing that she was not prepared to answer questions because her 6-month-old baby was still very sick. On 20 November 2007, the Tribunal authorized Gédéon?s wife to take the baby2 to the hospital and requested the Prosecution to assure that the child received medical care.

On 27 November 2007, the Tribunal questioned Gédéon?s wife and bodyguards on the organisation of the Mayi Mayi movement and the leadership role allegedly played by the defendant. The trial was adjourned to 4 December 2007.

4. On 14 November 2007, the final hearing into the Lifumba Waka trial took place before the Mbandaka Military Tribunal in Equateur Province. Two police officers were on trial, one for his alleged participation in mass rape and other serious human rights violations ( torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest, looting) perpetrated between 17 and 19 March 2006 in different localities of Lifumba Groupement, and the other for cruel and inhumane treatment inflicted upon a civilian.

(Another policeman who was arrested for his alleged participation in the serious violations mentioned above escaped from the Mbandaka military holding cell on the night of 30 June-1st July 2007). The day?s hearing was devoted to the closing statements by the lawyers for the different parties. The lawyers for the victims requested the Tribunal to condemn the defendants and order them to pay, in solidum with the State, compensation ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 Euros to the 106 victims.

The defence lawyers requested the acquittal of their clients while the Prosecutor requested the Tribunal to condemn one of the defendants to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity (in accordance with Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) and the other to two years in prison. The Tribunal has not yet pronounced its verdict.

5. On 12 November 2007, the Bunia Military Tribunal confirmed the sentence of life imprisonment that had been delivered in absentia against Angenonga Ufoyuru alias Kwisha, a former FNI militiaman, by the Bunia Military Court on 19 February 2007, for his participation in the murder of two MONUC Military Observers in Mongbwalu in May 2003. Kwisha escaped from the Bunia Prison on 13 January 2007.

He was recaptured on 6 October 2007 and was officially notified of his sentence by the Office of the Military Prosecutor on 10 October 2007. His lawyer filed a motion requesting a new trial which began on 23 October. Seven persons were tried for the killing of the two Milobs, four of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment, one to 20 years, another to 10 years while another was acquitted. The Court applied the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Court during the trial.

6. In North-Kivu, following allegations of mass killing perpetrated by CNDP elements in the locality of Lushebere, territory of Masisi, on 9 November 2007, the UNHRO conducted preliminary investigations in situ on 15-16 November 2007 and was able to establish the identity and number of victims in Lushebere but was unable to establish with certainty the motive for the attack or the identity of the persons who carried it out.

The investigations carried out confirmed that on the night of 9-10 November 2007, six civilians were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, and at least four civilians injured, including a 12- year-old girl, by a group of armed men in military camouflage, speaking Kinyarwanda, in the village of Lushebere. According to eyewitnesses, the shooting started around midnight in the market area.

7. During the month in review, there were several allegations of human rights violations committed by pro-Nkunda (CNDP) elements in the territory of Rutshuru, North Kivu. According to reliable sources, 12 women from the villages of Kirambi and Kitagoma in Busanza Groupement were raped by CNDP elements that attacked the area in early November 2007. The same source indicated that the victims were unable to receive treatment because Kirambi Hosptial had been looted during the attack.

Another report indicated that on 19 November 2007, some 50 IDPs from Kabaya (close to Rumangabo) who were returning to their fields located in the villages of Bukima and Kanombe, (areas currently occupied by pro-Nkunda elements) were arrested and subsequently abducted by CNDP soldiers.

8. Reliable sources indicated that on 29 November 2007, the President of the civil society in Punia- 240 km northeast of Kindu, Maniema Province- and a human rights activist were arbitrarily arrested, detained and also subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, allegedly on the orders of the local authorities. Their arrest was allegedly linked to a memorandum that the civil society had addressed to the Minister of the Interior which was signed by hundreds of local residents.

The memorandum reportedly denounced many cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention, incitation to ethnic hatred as well as cases of murder that the administrative officials of the territory have allegedly committed. Following the intervention of MONUC and the Provincial President of civil society with the Governor, the men were released. A delegation comprised of the Provincial Assembly and MONUC visited Punia and was able to calm the situation.

9. During the reporting period, the UNHRO participated in activities organized to observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which also marked the beginning of the 16 days of activism against sexual violence across the country. In Bukavu, provincial authorities and members of the Provincial Assembly signed Acts of Engagement on 23 November 2007 to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against the impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence.

On 24 November 2007, the activities were also focused on the fight against impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence and graced with the presence of the First Lady and of a high-level delegation from Kinshasa. The commitments made by all authorities of South-Kivu were symbolically presented to the President of the National Assembly and to the Ministers present at this occasion.

The President of the National Assembly expressed his support for this initiative and indicated that he would encourage members of the National Assembly to undertake a similar commitment. In Mbuji Mayi, Kasaï Oriental, similar acts were signed on 29 November 2007 by the President of the Provincial Assembly and the PNC Provincial Inspector. The latter promised to ensure that the message was strictly adhered to by the men and women under his command.

FARDC soldiers and CNDP elements were responsible for a steadily increasing number of cases of arbitrary execution as well as other human rights violations, particularly violations of the rights to physical integrity, liberty and security of persons

10. In North-Kivu, on the night of 31 October-1 November 2007, eight IDPs were allegedly arbitrarily executed by pro-Nkunda soldiers in the locality of Nyakajanga, territory of Masisi. The victims had reportedly returned to their farms to collect food.

11. On 11 November 2007, a civilian was allegedly shot dead in Lokuni-400 km north of Bandundu town- in the territory of kiri, Bandundu Province, by a group of armed men in FARDC uniform. The man reportedly resisted the soldiers? efforts to arrest his father. The alleged perpetrators are at large.

12. On 10 November 2007 a civilian was allegedly shot dead by a soldier from the 7th Integrated Brigade in Kabaya, territory of Rutshuru. The soldier, who was reportedly drunk, was involved in a dispute with the victim. The perpetrator has reportedly been arrested but has not yet been transferred to the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Goma.

13. In Equateur, on 25 November 2007, seven FARDC soldiers broke into a home in the Mbandaka 1 neighbourhood, threatened two brothers with death, extorted them and then shot them at point blank range, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

14. On 25 October 2007, a civilian detainee died at the entrance of the Uvira Central Prison, allegedly as a result of torture inflicted on him by FARDC elements. The victim was arrested on 25 September 2007 together with a FARDC soldier in connection with the killing of a Lieutenant of the 109th Integrated Brigade four days earlier. They were detained in a holding cell at the 109 Brigade until 21 October 2007 and then transferred to the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Uvira on 21 October 2007.

The two suspects were allegedly subjected to torture and ill-treatment by elements of the Office of the Military Prosecutor. On 25 October 2007, allegedly due to his critical condition, the victim was transferred to the Uvira Central Prison together with a group of detainees, including the other suspect. He passed away just a few feet from the entrance of the prison.

15. In South-Kivu, on 24 September 2007, two women were allegedly raped by three FARDC soldiers of the 6th Integrated Brigade in Maga village. Still in South-Kivu, on the night of 11-12 November 2007, a woman was raped by a FARDC soldier attached to the 1st Battalion of the 12th Integrated Brigade in the locality of Tubuke/Kanani. The alleged perpetrator, who was arrested and subsequently detained at the 121st FARDC Battalion holding cell, confessed to the crime.

16. In North-Kivu, on 23 October 2007 a woman was allegedly raped by five armed CNDP elements while working in her field in Bunyole and on 24 October 2007, four armed men from the same group allegedly raped another woman in the village of Nymirazo.

17. In North-Katanga, on 17 October 2007, a minor was allegedly raped by a FARDC Lieutenant of the Naval Force in Kanyuki-about 65 km south of Manono. The alleged perpetrator is still at large.

18. In Ituri, on 1 November 2007, the wife of a FARDC soldier was allegedly extorted and gang raped by FARDC soldiers of the 4th Integrated Brigade in Songambili- 54 km northeast of Tchomia.

19. On 25 November 2007, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two men in FARDC uniform in Makiso Commune, Kisangani, Orientale Province. Still in Orientale, in Alibha ? 35 km South of Aru in Ituri ? a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped on 12 November 2007 by a FARDC soldier based in Odipaku ? 4 km South of Alibha. The alleged perpetrator was arrested.

In Kananga, Kasai Occidental, a five-year-old girl was raped by a FARDC soldier of the 5th Integrated Brigade on 19 November 2007 in Camp Bobozo. The mother caught the perpetrator in flagrante delicto. The perpetrator has been arrested. In Equateur, on the night of 23 November 2007, a woman was allegedly gang raped by five FARDC soldiers in the locality of Bongondjo (8 km of Mbandaka). The victim was intercepted near the local Catholic Parish, taken to an isolated area and subsequently gang raped.

20. In Kinshasa, on 22 November 2007, a woman was allegedly subjected to ill-treatment and raped by two armed men, including one in FARDC uniform, in the commune of Selembao. The two assailants broke into her private residence, threatened the occupants with death, extorted them and subsequently raped the victim.

21. In North-Kivu, on 18 November 2007, a woman was allegedly tied up, beaten and subsequently gang raped by three FARDC soldiers accompanied by two civilians in the village of Liuzi, territory of Masisi. The two civilians were arrested on 20 November 2007.

22. In Katanga, five women (the wives of FARDC soldiers) and a soldier, accused of practising witchcraft, were illegally detained for a period of 36 days at the FARDC holding cell in Kamina. The victims were accused of killing a three-year-old baby. The women were detained in the same holding cell as the men. On 20 November 2007, the five women were evicted from the military camp where they lived.

23. In Equateur, on 23 November 2007, a woman was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by three FARDC soldiers of the 101st Battalion in Gbadolite -350 km northeast of Mbandaka. The victim was undressed in public (at the local market square) on the grounds that she was wearing a skirt which looked like a military uniform.

24. On 23 November 2007, the Kalemie Public Prosecutor and his Deputy were threatened with death and subjected to ill-treatment by two FARDC officers and their two bodyguards, all attached to the 6th Military Region in Kalemie. The incident was triggered by the fact that the perpetrators had broken into the PNC holding cell to free a woman who was detained for forcible entry into a neighbour?s house and malicious destruction.

The two Magistrates have lodged a formal complaint with the Office of the Military Prosecutor. The two bodyguards were subsequently arrested. The two FARDC officers and the woman who was released are still at large.

25. On 11 November 2007, an artisanal miner was allegedly subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment upon arrest by five FARDC soldiers of the 115th Brigade in Misisi, South Kivu Province. The victim has lodged a formal complaint with the Office of the Military Prosecutor. Still in South-Kivu, from 13-17 November 2007, during a field visit to Misisi, the UNHRO observed that FARDC soldiers of the 115th Battalion were involved in the illegal exploitation of gold. Several minors were also observed working in the gold mines.

26. In Ituri, 70 civilians were allegedly subjected to forced labour by FARDC soldiers near Kondoni, Collectivity of Walendu Djatsi, on 7 November 2007. The victims were forced to work on the FARDC soldiers? farm.

27. Still in Ituri, on 20 November 2007, a local trader was allegedly beaten up and extorted by a FARDC Lieutenant in Kalingwa - 9 km from Apala, Collectivity of Mokambo, Mahagi Territory. The victim was admitted to a local health centre.

PNC elements were implicated in serious human rights violations during the month in review, in particular, violations of the rights to life and physical integrity, including torture and rape

28. In Kasaï Oriental, a detainee succumbed to injuries sustained while he was allegedly tortured by elements of the GMI (Groupe Mobile d?Intervention) at the Bakwa Bowa police station located in Nsangu sector, in Katanda territory on the night of 1-2 November 2007. According to an eyewitness testimony, a detachment of GMI police arrested the victim and six other men at their homes in the early hours of 1 November 2007 and subsequently detained them at the Bakwa Bowa police station under heavy guard.

They were later informed that they had been arrested for illegal possession of weapons and for being suicidaires3. They were allegedly beaten with the leg of a broken table and a chain from a motorbike until 2 November 2007 in order for them to provide the names of suicidaires from their village as they claimed to be innocent. At around 8:00 a.m., the victim succumbed to his injuries.

29. In Bandundu, on 3 November 2007, a civilian was allegedly shot in the knee by a PNC officer attached to the Kahungula PNC sub-station -800 km southeast of Kikwit-, on the grounds that he had facilitated the illegal immigration of Congolese citizens to the Republic of Angola.

30. In Province Orientale, on 14 September 2007, eight women, including three minors and a pregnant woman were allegedly raped by PNC officers deployed in Yanonge. The men allegedly acted on the orders of their commander.

31. In Equateur, on the night of 9-10 November 2007, a woman was allegedly gang raped by two PNC officers in the locality of Karawa -75 km east of Gemena. The assailants broke into the victim?s residence and threatened to kill her. They then took her to an isolated place and raped her.

32. On 29 October 2007, a woman was allegedly raped by a police officer on guard at the Nioki Prison- 200 km north of Bandundu Ville, when she went to visit her brother. The police officer allegedly threatened and intimidated the victim with his weapon. The office of the Public Prosecutor conducted investigations into the case.

33. A woman, accused of practicing witchcraft, was arbitrarily arrested on 24 October 2007 and illegally detained for 18 days by the PNC in Manjakela-158 km northeast of Kindu. During her detention, she was allegedly taken out of her cell and raped on several occasions by a police officer. In another rape case, on 2 November 2007, a PNC Commander allegedly raped a woman in Lubile- 146 km northeast of Kindu. The victim, who is reportedly mentally-challenged, was intercepted by the officer one night, taken to the police station and raped. The Office of the Military Prosecutor is conducting investigations.

34. On the night of 7 November 2007, a woman was allegedly raped in her house by three armed men including one in PNC uniform, in the Commune of Selembao, Kinshasa. The assailants allegedly forced the victim and her three daughters to undress and also set fire to the leg of one of the daughters but later put it out. The perpetrators also fired three shots in the air before making their escape. The police officer implicated in the rape was arrested some days later.

35. A police officer allegedly raped a young woman on the night of 7 November 2007 in the Dibindi Commune in Mbuji Mayi, Kasaï Oriental Province. The victim had gone to visit a male relative when the alleged perpetrator, who is a bodyguard of a public official, offered to take her to where the relative was. He took the young woman to a nearby house, repeatedly raped her and released her the following morning. The victim sustained injuries to her left eye as a result of blows inflicted upon her when she attempted to resist. The alleged perpetrator was arrested on 11 November 2007.

36. In northern Katanga, in the village of Kataki, Groupement of Miketo-40 km northeast of Kalemie- on 24 November 2007, a Pygmy was allegedly subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by three PNC officers allegedly acting on the orders of the local Clerk of Court. The victim was allegedly arrested, tied up, blindfolded and repeatedly beaten up for unknown reasons. The victim has lodged a formal compliant with the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

37. On 11 November 2007, a police officer was arrested by the Provincial Inspectorate of the PNC in Bandundu for allegedly shooting a civilian in Malebe- 240 km east of Bandundu Ville, in the territory of Oshwé, on the night of 27-28 September 2007. The incident reportedly occurred after the victim refused to obey the police officer?s orders to follow him. The victim was later admitted to a local clinic for treatment.

38. On the night of 7-8 November 2007, four armed men, including two wearing police uniforms, broke into a house located in Kasa-Vubu neighbourhood of Dibindi commune in Mbuji Mayi, threatened to kill the owner and extorted chairs, cloth and a sum of money. The two police officers and a civilian were subsequently arrested.

Implication of other security services in Human Rights violations

39. From 23-24 November 2007, the UNHRO documented four cases of arbitrary arrests and illegal detention by the ANR in Goma. The victims were all arrested on the grounds that they had collaborated with Laurent Nkunda?s CNDP. They were not allowed to receive visits from their lawyers and family members during their detention.

The ANR agents were not cooperative and refused to answer most questions of the UNHRO regarding the situation of the detainees. They stated that the ongoing security situation in the province justified these arrests, refused to allow the UNHRO to talk to the detainees, and refused to provide any information on their location.

40. On 3 November 2007, a female Radio Okapi Journalist was briefly arrested and subjected to ill-treatment by a group of Republican Guard soldiers in Kinshasa, reportedly acting under the influence of drugs. The RG soldiers ordered her to lie on the ground and one of them held her by her hair, kicked her and also verbally abused her. The victim was intercepted outside the Palais du Peuple (the Parliament building) at the end of the ceremony that was organized to mark the beginning of the new judicial year.

41. In Bandundu, on 23 November 2007, a woman was allegedly victim of attempted murder perpetrated by an ANR agent in the locality of Tembo (1000 km south of Kikwit). The alleged perpetrator was neutralized by a PNC officer. He was subsequently arrested and transferred to the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Kikwit.

Administration of Justice and Fight against Impunity

42. On 21 November 2007, in Ituri, the Bunia Military Tribunal conducting on-site trials in Aru, sentenced three members of the FARDC to 20, 15 and 10 years in prison respectively for rape. A total of 13 FARDC soldiers, two policemen, a demobilized FAPC soldier and five civilians were tried for different crimes, including murder, rape and armed robbery.

On 19 November 2007, the Luebo High Court, which was conducting on-site hearings in Tshikapa, Kasaï Occidental Province, sentenced a police officer to only 10 months in prison for rape. A civilian charged with rape was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by the same Court.

43. In Bas-Congo, on 2 November 2007, the Matadi Military Tribunal sentenced a FARDC soldier accused of raping a woman on 27 July 2007, to 10 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay $5,000 US in damages to the victim. Still in Bas-Congo, on 8 November 2007, a FARDC soldier accused of raping a minor on 20 August 2007, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay US$500,00 in damages by the Boma Military Tribunal.

44. On 29 November 2007, in Ituri, the Bunia Military Tribunal concluded its on-site trials in Mahagi. A total of eight men in uniform, including five PNC agents and three FARDC soldiers were sentenced. In two separate rape cases, two FARDC soldiers, accused of raping two minors were sentenced to 20 years in prison respectively and ordered to pay 25.000 FC each as court charges. One was ordered to pay the amount of 5.000 USD in damages to the victim. Both were dismissed from the FARDC on the spot.

In another case, a FARDC soldier charged with aggravated involuntary assault was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and payment of 25.000 FC as court fees. He was also ordered to assume the cost of the medical treatment for the victim and to pay the sum of 50 USD in damages to the victim. Three PNC elements, accused of aiding and abetting a massive prison escape in October 2007, were sentenced to five, two and one years in prison respectively. They were also ordered to pay 5.000 FC, 4.000 FC and 3.000 FC respectively as court fees.

45. In Bandundu Province, on 26 November 2007, the Bandundu Court of Appeal confirmed its verdict in the case of two PNC officers charged with arbitrary arrest and torture respectively.

One was sentenced to two years in prison whereas another responsible for torture, was sentenced to life imprisonment and dismissed from the PNC. In Equateur, on 29 November 2007, two FARDC soldiers, accused of aiding and abetting prison escape, were sentenced to six months imprisonment by the Mbandaka Military Court.

Prisons and other Detention Centres

46. In Katanga, on 1 November 2007, an elderly man charged with witchcraft and who had been detained for eleven days at the traditional chief?s private holding cell, died in Kaponda -15 km southwest of Lubumbashi-. The circumstances of the incident remain unknown. The Office of the Public Prosecutor has opened an investigation into the case.

47. On the night of 8-9 November 2007, twenty inmates escaped from the Mahagi Prison in Ituri during a prison riot staged to protest against the lack of food and health care as well as prolonged pre-trial detention periods. According to local sources, the escapees attacked the police officers on guard and broke down the prison door. Two of them were later captured by the police.

During the prison riot, the inmates reportedly destroyed parts of the prison walls. Reliable sources have indicated that on 6 November 2007 the inmates had sent a letter to the Public Prosecutor in Bunia to protest against their prolonged pre-trial detention situation and gave him a 48-hour ultimatum to address the issue.

48. On 6 November 2007, inmates at the Tshikapa Central Prison, Kasaï Occidental Province, burned all the prison records following violent clashes between military and civilian inmates and an attempted mass escape. The situation was brought under control following the intervention of the Mayor and other members of the local Security Committee.

It?s important to note that on 2 August 2006, the Tshikapa Palais de Justice was burnt down resulting in the loss of all legal records. Up to the time of the 6 November fire, the prison files were the only remaining source of information on the legal status of the inmates at the Tshikapa Prison.

49. On the night of 21-22 November 2007, there was another attempted mass breakout from the Kalemie Central Prison in Katanga Province. A civilian inmate serving time for theft was caught trying to force open the gate of his block where approximately 40 other prisoners were detained. The prison guards confiscated the iron bars the prisoner was using to force his way out.

It?s worth recalling that on the night of 2-3 November 2007, 31 inmates of the same prison had attempted another mass escape, allegedly with the complicity of five prison guards. Their attempt was thwarted by the timely intervention of another guard who had reportedly not been informed of the plan.

50. On 5 November 2007, an inmate charged with rape escaped from the Bunia Central prison. The prison guard had allegedly abandoned his post.

51. In Kasaï Occidental, on the night of 20 November 2007, five detainees (three civilians, a soldier and a police officer), escaped from a FARDC holding cell in Tshikapa. The five were accused of having been the instigators of the 6 November 2007 revolt at the Tshikapa Prison and were transferred to the holding cell of the FARDC Battalion on the order of the local Security Committee.

The Tshikapa Military Tribunal has sentenced the two soldiers who were on guard duty to 10 years in prison and the chef de poste to 6 months in connection with the escape.

52. In Ituri, between 18 and 22 November 2007, eighteen inmates escaped from the Mahagi Central Prison due to the prolonged pre-trial detention periods and the lack of food at the prison.

53. In Equateur, on the night of 2 November 2007, a notorious criminal escaped from the Mbandaka central Prison. Still in Equateur, on 18 November 2007, on the eve of his trial, an inmate escaped from the Office of the Military Prosecutor holding cell in Gbadolité, in complicity with the two prison guards on duty.

The guards were arrested and accused of aiding and abetting an escape. Still in Equateur, on 24 November 2007, six convicted soldiers, notorious criminals, all sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, were transferred from the Mbandaka Central prison to the CPRK in Kinshasa on security grounds.

54. Still in Equateur Province, on the night of 28 November 2007, three suspects, accused of illegal possession of ammunitions, including two FARDC soldiers, escaped from the Office of the Military Prosecutor holding cell in Mbandaka. It can be recalled that in June and October 2007, several military suspects had escaped from the same holding cell.

55. In Province Orientale, on the night of 27-28 November 2007, three inmates escaped from the Kisangani Central Prison.

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Endnotes:

1) Some of the incidents under investigation took place in October 2007.

2) The baby?s death was officially announced by the Military Prosecutor on 28 November 2007.

3) The suicidaires are current or former members of the armed forces and the police who have negotiated ?protection deals? with illegal miners operating within the MIBA Polygone (concession) in Mbuji Mayi. The suicidaires? activities are also illegal. They have been responsible for the death of and injuries to an alarmingly high number of miners. In addition, over the past six months, the suicidaires have been implicated in several cases of armed robberies in the homes of diamond dealers resulting in serious injury to and also the death of victims.

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