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Africa

DRC colonel on UN blacklist for alleged rapes and murders

media Rebelles rwandais hutus des FDLR le 6 février 2009 à 150km au nord-ouest … Rebelles rwandais hutus des FDLR le 6 février 2009 à 150km au nord-ouest de Goma. (Photo : Lionel Healing/AFP)

A UN Security Council committee has placed four people from the Great Lakes on the UN sanctions list, including Democratic Republic of Congo Lieutenant Colonel Innocent Zimurinda. The US, UK and French permanent missions to the UN issued the statement, saying that those on the list will be subject to a worldwide travel ban and asset freeze.

Zimurinda "is one of the most brutal in a zone where there is no shortage of bloodthirsty combattants", said one diplomat.

Before becoming a lieutenant colonel in the DRC army, he took part in an operation as a militia leader in November 2008 that led to the massacre of 89 people, including women and children, in the eastern DRC,  the joint statement said.

The operation allegedly included gang-raping 10 women and cutting their breasts off.

Three other people added to the list include Hutu militia Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) members - FDLR president Gaston Iyamuremye, accused of terrorising eastern Congo populations; Felicien Nsanzubukire, a chief accused of arms smuggling, and Leodomir Mugaragu, the militia's military planner.

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