KINSHASA, November 9 – The Democratic Republic of Congo has opened a trial following the death of some children from sexual violence by armed groups in the troubled Central African country.
Some 18 defendants, including a provincial deputy, are facing trial for crimes against humanity by rape and kidnapping, murder and participation in the insurgency that left18 people dead in the South Kivu Province
between 2013 and 2016.
At least 51 children were abducted and sexually assaulted by unknown persons suspected of being militiamen in Kavumu in Kabare territory.
At least two children died as a result of these violations.
The trial, which the Bukavu Military Court is holding are expected to last until 26 November.
The United Nations Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has followed the case closely and provided technical, logistical and financial support throughout the investigation.
It has documented the violations, protected victims and witnesses as well as organizing joint investigation missions alongside Congolese justice.
Some 46 victims and 20 witnesses will testify.
MONUSCO has put in place a protection plan to ensure victims and witnesses are not in danger.
“In addition, the mission will attend this trial,” a spokesperson said.
The sexual violations against children in South Kivu are among a series of lawless acts in the Central African country torn apart by militancy.