A commander in DR Congo’s armed forces has been sentenced to death after he was tried for violent repression of a protest against the United Nations mission on August 30, in which more than 50 people were killed. Colonel Mike Kalamba Mikombe, who commanded the Republican Guard in the eastern city of Goma, was charged with murder, malicious destruction and inciting soldiers to commit acts contrary to duty or discipline, along with five more officers. ALSO READ: DR Congo: Six soldiers charged for killing civilians Mikombe was sentenced to death for murder, the office of the military governor of North Kivu province said on Tuesday, October 3 in a post on X. La Cour Militaire du Nord-Kivu siégeant en matière répressive et en procédure de flagrance au premier degré à rendu le lundi 2/10/2023 les arrêts suivants: 1. Condamnation du Colonel Mike Kalamba Mikombe de la peine de mort pour meurtre. 2. Condamnation des soldats de deuxième... pic.twitter.com/AypT5hhWpr — Gouvernorat|Nord-Kivu (@GouvNordKivu) October 3, 2023 Three other soldiers, Mwati Musombwa, Daniel Bangala and Fabrice Mbaya Mbaya were sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder. Two others, Lieutenant-Colonel Donatien Bawili and Idriss Kabanda, were acquitted of the charges. Colonel Mikombe’s defence lawyer said they would appeal against the ruling, according to media reports. ALSO READ: DR Congo: Three killed as rioters torch UN convoy Although DR Congo still has the death penalty in its penal law, reports say those sentenced to it end up serving life in prison instead of being killed. Eastern DR Congo, which is home to more than 130 local and foreign armed groups, has been volatile for nearly three decades. Multiple interventions, including one of the UN's longest and largest peacekeeping missions, have failed to end the decades of conflict and violence. The 25-year-old UN mission in DR Congo, known by its French acronym MONUSCO has faced demonstrations since at least July 2022. MONUSCO has begun a process of withdrawal. Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said in September that “the accelerated withdrawal of MONUSCO is absolutely necessary to ease the tensions” between the mission and the local population.