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DRC: Ex-militiaman jailed for life for murder of UN observers

KINSHASA, 14 November 2007 (IRIN) - A court in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has found a former militiaman guilty of the 2003 murder of two UN military observers and sentenced him to life in prison.

Agenonga Uforunyu, alias Kwisha, who fought with the Fronts des Nationalistes Intégrationnistes (FNI), an armed group in Ituri, was sentenced by a court in the regional capital, Bunia, on 12 November. He was found guilty of shooting to death Major Saswat Oran, a Jordanian serving with the UN mission in DRC, MONUC, and his Malawian colleague, Captain David Banda.

Five other people were convicted in connection with the killings in Mongbwalu, a mining town 80km north of Bunia, and sentenced to life in prison in February 2007.

"Justice has finally been done. The culprit of the heinous murder has received the punishment that he deserves," MONUC's spokesman in Bunia, Madnoje Mounoubai, said after the verdict was delivered.

Uforunyu was first arrested in November 2006, according to MONUC, but escaped from prison in February 2007, before his trial could be completed.

On 6 October 2007 Uforunyu was arrested again by Congolese national police, with the help of MONUC civil police from Bunia, and brought before the military tribunal in Bunia.



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