In September 2013, in the village of Mukoloka in Shabunda Territory (South Kivu Province), Army Corporal Bolingo Katutsi forced open the door of the house where W. and E. lived, and raped them using his rifle. One of the two women had given birth just two weeks earlier, and her child was injured at the time the crimes were committed, dying a few months later.
The Army Commander in charge of the village of Mukoloka had the Corporal arrested and placed him in detention. But just a few days later, Bolingo managed to escape and the authorities lost all trace of him. It was not until 2014 that they found him, arrested him and transferred him to Bukavu to appear before the Military Prosecutor’s Office.
In collaboration with the local NGO Dimension Sociale, TRIAL International has been documenting this case since early 2015. A trial was opened before the garnison Military Court in September 2015, thanks particularly to the work done by the lawyer appointed to defend the victims. TRIAL International helped the victims and several witnesses travel to Bukavu to ensure that their voices were heard in the trial. The judgment on this case was entered in March 2016 and in July, Bolingo was convicted for rape and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. In August 2018, the Military Court of South Kivu confirmed the guilt of M. Bolingo but commuted his sentence to 8 years imprisonment.