Victims, usually too fearful or ashamed to testify, rallied together and dramatically detailed the rampage. According to the Associated Press, one newly married young woman threw her bloody torn clothes on the courtroom floor as evidence. Others accused nearly all the company of 150 soldiers stationed in the village of participating in the crimes.
The moving survivors' accounts had effect, because--in contrast to other atrocities in which perpetrators have been accorded impunity--this time the officers and soldiers were sentenced. The verdicts fell short of what the prosecutor had sought. Instead of the death penalty, the rapists were sentenced to prison.
Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware was sentenced to twenty years in prison and two majors and a second lieutenant to twenty years for "crimes against humanity by way of rape and other inhuman and terrorist acts."
Welcoming this first sentencing of a commanding officer in such an attack, Roger Meece, the head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MUNUSCO) said, "The fight against acts of rape, sexual violence, and all other forms of human rights violations ...requires the strict enforcement of the law and the end of impunity."
|World News (wn.com)|
Where does our sense of morality, of ought-ness, of justice come from? Without a holy God, wrong would be arbitrary. Thankfully, there is a such a thing as justice, and in the court of heaven absolutely-just verdicts will be pronounced.
Actually, the promise of ultimate justice should make us all nervous. We should fear what we justly deserve. However, the absolutely Holy One took our punishment, so we need not be afraid. Rather, we can be eternally grateful for the Righteous Judge who lovingly became the criminal, so we can stand acquitted.
(For background on the DRC issue, you can read my back post: http://graciousinteriors.blogspot.com/2010/09/winsome-hearts-revile-gang-rapes-in.html.)