DR CONGO: Trial Opens for Soldiers Accused of Raping 60 Women
Eleven government soldiers accused of raping more than 60 women have gone on trial in the most high-profile case yet heard by the Democratic Republic of Congo's pioneering "mobile gender court".
The men are alleged to have carried out the attacks on New Year's Day in the town of Fizi, in the South Kivu province, where sexual violence is rife amid clashes between the army and local and foreign militias.
The accused – including commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Mutware Kibibi – have been charged with crimes against humanity, including rape and imprisonment.
The opening of the military trial was attended by numerous residents of Fizi, most of whom walked more than 20 miles to attend.
The case, expected to last up to 10 days, is being heard in a mobile gender court set up in the nearby town of Baraka.
The court exists within the structure of the DRC's justice system and travels to remote communities that have little access to conventional courts. The Guardian (10 February 2011)