KIGALI - France has in a rare message welcomed the recent arrest of two top FDLR leaders in Germany, describing their detention as a “positive development.”
The new developments in France seem to be pointing to a gradual isolation of members of the FDLR militia group and key genocide masterminds residing in the European nation.
“The arrest of two FDLR senior leaders in Germany is a positive development. We remind the public that in France, there is a judicial case that has been opened against Mr. Callixte Mbarushimana, FDLR’s Executive Secretary, for his alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide,” reads a statement issued by French Foreign Affairs ministry.
Mbarushimana resides in France.
This statement comes as two senior investigative judges from the Paris Court of Higher Instance are in the country to investigate Genocide fugitives residing on French soil.
“At the initiative of France and its partners, Mr. Callixte Mbarushimana and other FDLR members were put on the list of UN sanctions on the basis of violation of UN arms embargo in the Democratic Republic of Congo or an obstacle to disarmament of armed groups. Those sanctions are fully implemented in France.”
In what observers see as a surprising but positive turn of events, the statement also underlines that France is committed to supporting peace initiatives in the Great Lakes region.
It also pledged to “contribute actively in reinforcing actions of the international community against people responsible for the Genocide in Rwanda and armed groups who are destabilizing eastern DRC.”
France is o home to many suspected genocide perpetrators, some already indicted by both the Rwandan government and the ICTR.
The French team of two judges; Michele Ganascia and Fabienne Puos, will be carrying out investigations on four key suspects who are residing in France.
They are said to include Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, wife former president Juvenal Habyarimana and a key member of “Akazu”, the inner circle of the former president’s family responsible for the Genocide.