The name of Lt. Col. Mutuare Daniel Kibibi of the Congolese army doesn't conjure up the horror of ruthless individuals like Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti or Idi Amin Dada of Uganda -- brutal men who brutalized their people.
For his act of ordering his men to rape dozens of women in the Central African country, Kibibi became the first commanding officer to be tried in such a trial and hopefully he won't be the last to face his punishment.
Kibibi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for ordering the New Years Day attack on the village of Fizi.
Kibibi's troops acted like "wild beasts" according to prosecutors, attacking the villagers they were supposed to protect. At least 62 women were treated for rape and one woman said Kibibi himself raped her.
To me, the 20-year sentence for crimes against humanity sounds a little light. But it is a start.
It is well-known that systemic rape in rural areas has been a weapon of choice in Congo and other African nations for decades. And it is often soldiers using the protection of the military uniform who give the orders for such barbarism against defenseless civilians.
More than 8,000 rapes were reported in Congo alone in 2009.
Three other officers received 20-year sentences and five lower ranked officers got lesser sentences from the military court which was financed by the nonprofit Open Society Initiative of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist.
It would be great if African nations themselves had the resources to bring corrupt policymakers and soldiers to justice. But if it takes Soros' dollars to help address the crime of sexual violence against African civilians and bring these criminals to justice, so be it.
Just do whatever it takes to end the cycle of violence.
01-Feb-11 - The New York Daily News is reporting that a Brooklyn nun called police last week claiming she had been sexually assaulted by a 6'4", 250 pound black man who was around 40... no wait 50, yeah that's the ticket, he was 50 years old.
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