Democratic Republic of Congo’s military court has sentenced to death the rebel leader, who led the Mayi-Mayi rebel group. He was prosecuted for illegal possession of weapons and participation in an insurgent movement, was sentenced to death. His 16 co-accused have been issued sentences ranging from 3 to 15 years in prison. The death penalty has not been applied in the DRC since 2002, due to a moratorium.
Mayi-Mayi are self-defense groups formed on an ethnic basis. Eastern DRC, particularly the provinces of North and South Kivu, have been plagued by violence for more than 20 years. It was formed to defend their local territory against other armed groups. Most were formed to resist the invasion by Rwandan forces and Rwanda-affiliated Congolese rebel groups, but some may have created to exploit the war for their own advantage by looting, cattle rustling or banditry.