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S African peacekeepers convicted of abusing boy in DRC

AFP  |  Johannesburg 

Eleven South African soldiers have been convicted of mistreating a teenage boy during a UN deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the said in a statement.

The men, who were convicted of common by a court, dragged the 17-year-old into their base in southern province after he was caught allegedly stealing buckets in January, the said Monday.

Sixteen men were originally charged under anti-torture legislation over the incident but five were subsequently cleared of all charges, and the other 11 were not convicted of torture.

"The of the (SANDF), Solly Shoke, welcomed the speedy trial and the successful conviction of those guilty of assault and tarnishing the good name of the SANDF peacekeepers in the DRC," said the statement.

is one of the leading contributors to the Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the (MONUSCO), according to a UN briefing note.

The conflict-torn former Belgian colony is heading for long-delayed presidential and on December 23. The government, which has a thorny relationship with the UN, has rejected all forms of international financial or logistical assistance for the election in a country nearly five times the size of

MONUSCO had suggested using its helicopters and planes to ferry imported voting machines to polling stations nationwide. But wants to see MONUSCO gone by 2020, ending a 20-year presence that has seen 16,000 troops deployed at an annual cost of more than a billion dollars.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 16:05 IST