Kinshasa—September 29, 2015—Today, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) welcomed Germany’s sentencing of Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, two leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) armed group, for war crimes committed in the eastern DRC territory. Murwanashyaka and Musoni were sentenced to thirteen and eight years in prison, respectively, for ordering militias to commit mass murder and rape between 2008 and 2009 from their homes in Germany. The two men had been living in Germany since the early 1990s and were arrested in 2009.

DRC government spokesperson Minister Lambert Mende responded to the sentencing, noting that the DRC government learned of the news “with satisfaction,” adding that “This sentencing by the German justice system constitutes a notable advancement in the fight against the sense of impunity that drives the persistence of negative forces in the Great Lakes region.” Minister Mende also stated that the development is “an occasion to remind members of the FDLR and other cross-border rebel groups still active in the Democratic Republic of Congo of the combined power of the Congolese security forces as well as domestic and international law in protecting the sovereignty and citizenry of our country.”

Security has been and remains a critical prerequisite for the peace and well-being of the Congolese people, as well as for the nation’s political and economic development. Since the 2002 peace accords, DRC security forces have helped stabilize regions wracked by conflict, removing foreign forces and rebels from much of the country. Efforts continue, in coordination with the United Nations and other nations, to re-establish peace in some eastern provinces, and to improve relations with the DRC’s neighbors.


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