Fate of FDLR chiefs to be known in three months

The case of the two top leaders of FDLR who were arrested in Germany on Tuesday will be re-examined in three months.
ARRESTED: Ignace Murwanashyaka
ARRESTED: Ignace Murwanashyaka

The case of the two top leaders of FDLR who were arrested in Germany on Tuesday will be re-examined in three months.

According to information gathered from the German city of Karlsruhe, where the group’s chief, Ignace Murwanashyaka, was arrested, the duo will remain in custody until next year.

Murwanashyaka was detained alongside his deputy, Straton Musoni, who was arrested in Stuttgart.

The German Federal Prosecution is still continuing with investigations into the duo’s links to a terrorist group.

Murwanashyaka and Musoni, were arrested simultaneously after German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for leaders of the group accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Yes, they are both in jail – they are jailed in Karlsruhe, their detention will be reexamined in three months – and then the judge has to be satisfied that investigations have progressed sufficiently well to warrant an extension of their detention,” Dominic Johnson, the Africa Editor of Die Tageszeitung (TAZ) said yesterday.

The New Times has reliably learnt that under German law, there is no time limit on this temporary pre-trial jail time, and that the trial judge has to be satisfied that investigations are proceeding before any other decisions are taken.

The re-examination of such a case is believed to take place at least three months.

Current investigations are directed by the German Federal Police and are expected to “move in a prompt and quick manner,” according to Frank Wallenta, the federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe.

German prosecutors initially issued arrest warrants describing the two as leaders of a “terrorist group.” The charges include war crimes, crimes against humanity, using child soldiers, and heading a criminal organisation.

This comes at a time when some western countries have strengthen their resolve to neutralize the group’s international network. Other key FDLR leaders and financiers are said to be residing in France and the United States.

Who is Murwanashyaka?
Murwanashyaka, 46, has been a long-time resident of Germany, first arriving as a student in 1989. He then received a Ph.D. in economics and later married a German woman. 

In 2000 he applied and was granted status as a political refugee and has allegedly been receiving Euros 432 monthly as state support.

He has been Head of the political wing and commander-in-chief of the FDLR forces.

Murwanashyaka’s direct subordinate (and close friend) is FDLR military commander, Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura,55, a soldier who received a two-year education in the leadership academy of the armed forces in Hamburg before 1994.

His brother-in-law and former military spokesman, Lt. Col. Edmond Ngarambe, was captured by Rwandan and Congolese forces in their joint operation (Umoja Wetu) early this year.

After military training in Germany, Mudacumura was in the presidential guard of Rwanda which actively took part in the genocide.

Later, with Murwanashyaka’s help, Mudacumura took his wife and daughters to Germany where it is believed Murwanashyaka has been taking care of them.

According to UN investigators, FDLR executives operate relatively freely in North America, and Europe.

The group’s Secretary General, Callixte Mbarashimana lives in France and has refugee status although an international arrest warrant is out for him.

During the Genocide, Mbarushimana worked for the UN in Rwanda and is suspected to have killed many of his colleagues.

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