KIGALI - The United Nations has welcomed the recent arrest in Germany of top leaders of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and urged other nations to follow suit.
Allan Doss, the United Nations top envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Thursday said that Germany made the right decision to arrest the two leaders of the militia group accused of carrying out crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Eastern region of the DRC.
The two men, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, president and vice president of the rebel outfit made up of former Ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias, were taken into custody by German authorities on Tuesday.
“This is an important development, which we believe will help the people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region’s move to a more peaceful future,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the DRC in a statement.
“I would urge other nations where FDLR leaders are sheltering, to follow Germany’s example,” added Mr. Doss, who also heads the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUC.
The arrests are in line with Security Council resolutions calling for UN Member States to take action against leaders who are known to be supporting FDLR commanders in eastern DRC.
Meanwhile Rwanda has expressed its plans to request for extradition of the two men to face trial in Rwanda.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali told BBC Focus on Africa that Murwanashyaka and Musoni should be arraigned before courts in Rwanda to answer charges regarding their role in fuelling conflicts.
“Ignace Murwanashyaka and his colleagues are the ones now fuelling the war that is in eastern Congo,” Museminali said.
“They are the ones who are collecting money and doing all the political work, canvassing for support. So we welcome the fact that they’ve been arrested. We urge that these people be transferred to Rwanda, and be tried from here.” She said.