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Mutineers get long jail sentences

[Congo] Vendeurs de bananes attendant le camion pour Brazzaville.
Roadside food sellers in Brazzaville (file photo) (IRIN)

A court martial in Lesotho’s capital Maseru on Wednesday sentenced 33 members of the Lesotho Defence Force to a total of 180 years in jail for mutiny during the political upheavals in the mountain kingdom in September 1998, SAPA reported. The soldiers were found guilty of taking part in the mutiny, in which violence or the threat of force was used by junior officers against the command structure of the force. The heaviest individual sentences of 13 years each were imposed on two lance corporals.

Sentencing the men, the court president, Colonel Phatuli Lekanyane, said the sentences were subject to confirmation by the convening authority of the court martial - the prime minister acting as minister of defence in terms of the Lesotho Defence Act. He said in addition the men were to be “reduced to their ranks and had to be discharged with ignominy from the defence force”.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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