Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Street justice

Two thieves burnt alive in DRC: "Kinshasa - An angry crowd burned two suspected thieves to death in a town in the centre of the Democratic Republic of Congo, said officials on Sunday.

Dominique Kanku, governor of East Kasai province, said: 'A group of armed recidivist bandits went to burgle a house late on Friday night.

'Two of the suspected bandits were stopped by local residents.' The killing took place in the provincial capital Mbuji-Mayi.

Kanku said: 'Local people put a tyre round their necks' and later set it alight.

One of the burglars died at once, while the other died later of his injuries

According to Kanku: 'They are infuriated' by the lack of law and order in a country emerging from five years of war. Recidivist groups are arrested one day and freed the next.'"
I will always remember the day, when as we were shopping at Kinshasa's central market, a thief stole a piece of fabric ("pagne") from one of the stalls. The stall owner yelled "thief" ("moyibi eh!!!"), and the thief found himself being chased by a couple dozen people. He dropped the piece of cloth, and ran to the nearest police outposts, begging the police officers... to arrest him! The officers toyed with him a bit, before actually shielding him from the angry mob. I thought that was quite funny... in a dark, cynical way.

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