DRC Troops on Trial for Selling Weapons to Rebels

A military court in Ituri arraigned Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers over charges of selling weapons to rebels.

A total of 14 suspects, including nine soldiers and six others, were charged on Monday with illicit sale of guns, war crimes, participation in an insurgency, and association with criminals. A lieutenant colonel and three majors were among the defendants.

The confiscated weapons including an AK47 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were recognized on the first day of the proceeding.

DR Congo soldiers allegedly sold army firearms to Cooperative for Development of the Congo (CODECO), a militia group said to be responsible for the continuing violence in DR Congo. Reports said the weapons were used to attack internally displaced people in villages and camps.

In 2017, violence among the army, militia, and armed groups in the provinces of Tanganyika and South Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo displaced at least 1.3 million people, including more than 800,000 children.

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