Border officer sentenced to death over killing of military commander in eastern Congo

A military court in northeastern Congo has convicted and sentenced to death a high-ranking border official over the killing of a military commander early this year.

Lt. Col. Birocho Nzanzu Consy, a former chief for border intelligence in North Kivu Province, received the harshest penalty in a trial of 19 people in Beni in connection with the killing of Col. Mamadou Ndala, the military commander in the east, in a January ambush.

Twelve were convicted and seven defendants acquitted. No appeals are available under Congolese law, though those found guilty can appeal to the African Court on Human Rights in Ethiopia.

Eastern Congo is home to myriad armed groups, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. Many rebel groups originate in neighboring Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.