A DR Congo military court sentenced six people to death, including two army colonels, for the murders of two Chinese mining employees.
The Ituri Military Court condemned four other military personnel to ten years in prison. Except for one, all of those sentenced to death were military personnel.
The two colonels were accused of plotting an attack on a convoy in March with the intention of snatching four gold bars and $6,000 in cash being hauled by the victims on their way back from a gold mine.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, death sentences are frequently executed but are afterwards routinely reduced to life in prison.
According to Lt. Jules Ngongo, in charge of military operations in the gold-rich Ituri region, “this must serve as an example for the black sheep in the armed services.”
In the resource-rich eastern DRC, which has been devastated by militia conflict for decades, attacks against Chinese-managed mines and Chinese employees are not unusual.
In an effort to reduce bloodshed, the DRC government gave security personnel administrative control over Ituri and the neighboring province of North Kivu last year. The precaution, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to deter attacks. The defense group declared that it will appeal.