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Militia members in DR Congo get life terms for child rapes

A military court in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has sentenced a dozen militia members, including a politician, to life in prison for the rapes of more than 46 children as young as 11 months old.

Human rights organisations have called the trial groundbreaking in a country where sexual violence is rampant and perpetrators often go unpunished.

Dozens of armed groups are active in the mineral-rich nation.

The court in Bukavu on Wednesday also convicted provincial deputy Frederic Batumike for organising the militia violence and for crimes against humanity that took place for years in Kavumu starting in 2013.

The village is 15 miles north of Bukavu.

The court awarded 5,000 US dollars to each victim of sexual violence and 15,000 dollars to the families of those killed.


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