BARAKA, Congo — A Congolese court sentenced a colonel to 20 years in the highest-profile rape case ever held in the massive Central African nation where sexual violence is endemic.
Forty-nine women testified in the mobile court in the lakeside village of Baraka in eastern Congo. The women — from a newlywed to a white-haired grandmother — relayed horrifying tales of being gang-raped and beaten by Congolese soldiers.
Lt. Col. Mutuare Daniel Kibibi denied all charges before Monday's sentencing.
The court of military judges was paid for by US legal aid agencies and the UN mission to Congo.
Rape has become a military strategy by the various groups of fighters to intimidate, punish and control the population in eastern Congo.