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UN mission hails conviction of killer of two UN observers in DR Congo

UN mission hails conviction of killer of two UN observers in DR Congo

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today welcomed the conviction and sentencing of a former rebel militia member over the murder of two UN observers in the northeast of the country in 2003.

Agenonga Ufoyuru, alias Kwisha, was sentenced to life in jail by a military tribunal in the eastern city of Bunia, according to a statement issued by the mission, known as MONUC.

Mr. Ufoyuru, who was a member of the Nationalist Integrationalist Front (FNI) militia in the Ituri region, was charged over the killings of Swafat Oran of Jordan and Davis Banda of Malawi, two military observers who were killed on 12 May 2003 at Mongwalu.

MONUC said it “noted with satisfaction” the conviction and sentencing of Mr. Ufoyuru and four others over the killings.

“These verdicts constitute a real advance in the fight against impunity,” the mission said, stressing that a lot more still needs to be done to be combat the problem in the DRC, where many serious war crimes and violations of human rights remain unpunished.

Mr. Ufoyuru was first arrested and detained in November last year, but he escaped from prison in February, before his trial could be completed. He was convicted and sentenced in absentia.

On 6 October Mr. Ufoyuru was arrested again by Congolese national police, with the help of MONUC civil police from Bunia, and brought before the military tribunal.