Germans call for speedy trial of FDLR officials

GERMANY - Sections of the German civil society and politicians want the trial of FDLR leader, Ignace Murwanashyaka and his deputy, Straton Musoni, who were arrested on November 17, 2009, in Germany, to be expedited, a Rwandan diplomat has revealed.
Rwandan Ambassador to Germany, Christine Nkurikiyinka. (File Photo)
Rwandan Ambassador to Germany, Christine Nkurikiyinka. (File Photo)

GERMANY - Sections of the German civil society and politicians want the trial of FDLR leader, Ignace Murwanashyaka and his deputy, Straton Musoni, who were arrested on November 17, 2009, in Germany, to be expedited, a Rwandan diplomat has revealed.

Ambassador Christine Nkulikiyinka, Rwanda’s envoy to Germany, revealed this to The New Times during the just concluded two-day retreat of Rwandan heads of diplomatic missions.

“The civil society is putting pressure on them (German Federal Prosecutors) to speed up the trial, but the latter say they want time to do it carefully and gather concrete evidence,” Nkulikiyinka told The New Times.

Members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are accused of masterminding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, before they fled into eastern DRC.

The group has also been blacklisted as a terrorist entity mainly because of the crimes they have committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past 15 years.

Murwanashyaka and Musoni were arrested on a warrant issued by German Federal Prosecutors who had confirmed that the two fugitives were leaders of a “terrorist group (FDLR) that is accused of crimes against humanity and different war crimes” in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Pointing to ‘systematic crimes’ against the civilian population, German prosecutors last year acknowledged that the two led a para-military organization (FDLR) active in the DRC civil war and which “has killed hundreds of Congolese, raped women and recruited child soldiers.”

However, Nkulikiyinka conceded that not all Germans know or understand the FDLR problem.

“I would be lying if I said that all Germans know, but those who follow Rwandan issues or have an interest on Congo (DRC) know what role the FDLR has done and are the ones who push, even some politicians, so that the problem can be solved,” the envoy said.

Without giving specific names, she noted that Germany has ‘a genocide history’ and as such also “has some committed politicians who would like to see the issue resolved.”

“It is a burden on them when they hear that they have such people in their country.”

In June 2002, Germany introduced a new International Penal Code to deal with the crime of genocide and other crimes against humanity and terrorism.

Under this law, German prosecutors can try a civilian for command responsibility over atrocities committed outside Germany.

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