Saturday 24 June 2017

Cape Verde remembers massacre victims a year on

Cape Verde remembers massacre victims a year on
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
Cape Verde remembers massacre victims a year on

Cape Verde on Tuesday mourned nine citizens and two Spanish nationals gunned down by a "psychopathic" soldier a year ago in a massacre that shocked this ordinarily peaceful west African archipelago.

Soldier Silva Ribeiro was jailed for 35 years for turning his gun on colleagues as they slept at a military communications centre last April, before also killing three civilians including two Spanish technicians as they arrived for work.

Speaking at the remembrance ceremony, Cape Verde's Interior Minister Paulo Rocha described the massacre at the Monte Tchota site as "one of the darkest and most difficult moments in Cape Verde's recent history," in the presence of victims' families.

The brother of one of Spaniards killed thanked the authorities for their support, and a mass was held in the nearest village to the site in this majority-Catholic nation.

Army chief Anildo Morais told those assembled that "justice had been done", and added "lessons had been learnt" by the armed forces.

A military court found that the gunman exhibited "psychopathic behavioural patterns" and was "fully aware" during the April 25 rampage.

Ribeiro was ordered to pay 11 million escudos ($110,000) to the victims' families.

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