Musanze terror suspects confess to FDLR links

FIFTEEN PEOPLE, including three women, accused of being behind a spate of attacks in Musanze District and having links with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, have confessed.
Some of the suspects before the court in Musanze District yesterday. (Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti)
Some of the suspects before the court in Musanze District yesterday. (Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti)

FIFTEEN PEOPLE, including three women, accused of being behind a spate of attacks in Musanze District and having links with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, have confessed.

FDLR is a militia operating in eastern DR Congo whose members include remnants of former Rwandan army (ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The group appeared before a court in Musanze where they were charged with terrorist acts that left two dead and eight injured. 

The trial, yesterday, attracted a huge crowd, with Musanze mayor Winifride Mpembyemungu, who was a target of one of the attacks last January, also in attendance. 

The prosecution, led by Gaspard Rudatinya, preferred charges of murder, treason, transporting of and illegal possession of illegal fire arms, creation of and belonging to a criminal gang and terrorism, among other crimes, against the suspects. 

He prayed the court not to grant the suspects bail, arguing that the case was of serious nature and that there was risk of their fleeing if let out.

Rudatinya said two of the female suspects were used to transport weapons from FDLR.

Jotham Nsengiyumva, considered as the prime suspect, confessed to his role in three crimes. He admitted being a member of FDLR and that he was involved in the shooting of a Police officer in December last year.

Nsengiyumva said he was the one who masterminded two grenade attacks in the area in January; one at the home of Mayor Mpembyemungu that killed a one-and-a-half-year-old girl and injured two others, and another in Musanze town that injured six.

Another key suspect, Alfred Nsengimana, the former executive secretary of Cyuve Sector in Musanze District, is accused of collaborating with FDLR.

The prosecutor said Nsengimana’s passport revealed that numerous  trips to DR Congo and Uganda without permission from his superiors during his link-ups with the militia.

However, Nsengimana, who was also accused of financially supporting the group, denied being part of the group, saying some of the suspects are relatives he had been supporting. 

His lawyer, Francis Munyaneza, told the court that the accused was a student in one of the Goma-based varsities, hence the cross-border travels.

The court will today decide on their bail applications.

 

Have Your SayLeave a comment