A military court in Katanga province (bottom right on the map over there) handed down a death sentence for Mai-Mai militia leader Kyungu “Commander Gedeon” Mutanga for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his troops between 2003 and 2006. As Human Rights Watch points out, this is cool because it “has shown the important role that Congolese courts play in giving victims a voice and in making clear that attacks on civilians will have serious consequences.” But it’s also not cool, because they imposed the death penalty, and that’s not very human rightsy.
The court also held that the families of Mutanga’s victims were entitled to $17 million from the Congolese government for its role in supporting the Mai-Mai. (I’m thinking they’re probably not going to pay up.)
And the news you’ve all been waiting for: Laurent Nkunda is… still unaccounted for.
But that may change. A court in Kigali is considering papers filed by Nkunda’s wife (yeah, we’re all surprised to learn there’s someone other than Bettie the goat in his life) alleging that the authorities have violated the Rwandan constitution by holding Nkunda incommunicado with no access to counsel. Nkunda’s supporters are worried he will be extradited to the Congo, and are attempting to use the aforementioned existence of the death penalty there as a reason to keep him in Rwanda (where capital punishment was suspended in 2007). Perhaps it’s time to start placing bets on where he’ll turn up?