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Congo warlord sentenced to life for war crimes

By Fiston Mahamba

Congo: A military court handed a life sentence on Monday to militia commander Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka for war crimes including murder, sexual slavery and child soldier recruitment in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The two-year trial involving more than 300 victims is a landmark for Congolese justice, rights groups and the United Nations said.

Authorities first issued a warrant for Sheka’s arrest in January 2011 but he remained at large until 2017, when he surrendered to U.N. peacekeepers.

Sheka and Séraphin Zitonda, a commander from another militia, received life sentences at the trial in the city of Goma for crimes committed in Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu between 2010 and 2014.

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