Four years later, the case resurfaced. Joseph Kabila and five of his relatives have just been sentenced for molesting Congolese protesters in the United States in 2014. They will have to pay more than 500,000 dollars in damages.
On August 06, 2014, Joseph Kabila went to the United States for the United States – Africa summit. He was staying at the Capella Hotel in Georgetown, Washington. Radical opponents called the “fighters” seized the opportunity to demonstrate in front of the hotel to denounce sexual violence, corruption, genocide, dictatorship and human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, President Kabila’s guards attacked the protesters with rare brutality. The scene was immortalized by the mobile phone of a passerby who posted the video on Youtube. Only in 2015, a complaint was finally filed. Jacques Miango, a political refugee who took part in the demonstration, was “thrown to the ground, beaten, strangled, trampled”. Result: several teeth torn off and a concussion.
For its part, President Kabila’s camp speaks of self-defense. One of the main defendants, Jean-Marie Kassamba assured that the plaintiff “rushed on the presidential escort to attack the head of state”. “The security guards only did their job,” he adds. However, since the events, no one from Camp Kabila had mentioned the case and since the beginning of the investigation none of the accused has been presented or heard by the American justice.
The District Court of Columbia in charge of the case, therefore took into account the silence of the mis en cause. It ordered them to pay $ 562,660 to the plaintiffs for damages.
While US justice has whitewashed US security forces accused by protesters. Jean-Marie Kassamba felt that this is a mistake. ” We must not forget that President Kabila was on an official mission to the United States and that his protection was primarily the responsibility of the US security services ,” he said.