16 October 2022 :
Six people, including two army colonels, were condemned to death by a Democratic Republic of the Congo military court on 14 October 2022 for the murder of two Chinese mine workers.
Four other military personnel were sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Ituri Military Court.
All but one of those receiving the death sentence were members of the military.
The two colonels are accused of planning an attack on a convoy in March, with the aim of stealing four gold bars and US$6,000 in cash being transported by the victims, who were returning from a gold mine.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, death penalties are regularly handed down but then systematically commuted to life imprisonment.
“This must serve as an example for the black sheep in the armed forces,” Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesman for military operations in the gold-rich Ituri province, said.
Attacks on Chinese-managed mines and Chinese workers are not uncommon in resource-rich eastern DRC, which has been ravaged by militia violence for decades.
Last year, the DRC government placed security officials in charge of the administration of Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu province in a bid to curb violence. However, the measure has failed to stop attacks.
The defence team said they would appeal.