Six jailed for life over Musanze terror attacks

The High Court in Musanze yesterday sent six people to spend the rest of their lives in prison after finding them guilty of working with DR Congo-based terrorist group, FDLR, and carrying out terror attacks in the district.
Nsengiyumva (R) and other convicts shortly after the ruling in Musanze yesterday. (Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti)
Nsengiyumva (R) and other convicts shortly after the ruling in Musanze yesterday. (Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti)

The High Court in Musanze yesterday sent six people to spend the rest of their lives in prison after finding them guilty of working with DR Congo-based terrorist group, FDLR, and carrying out terror attacks in the district.

The court presided over by Jean Pierre Kayisire also sentenced five others to 10 years in jail.

Three of the acsused were, however, acquitted.

The 14 suspects were jointly accused of treason, illegal transport and possession of fire arms, complicity in terrorist acts, murder and aggravated assaults, among other charges.

The ruling that lasted close to three hours, took place at Musanze’s Ubworoherane Stadium.

Two of those sentenced to life were women.

Jotham Nsengiyumva was successfully prosecuted for masterminding the terrorist attacks after undergoing military training in FDLR camps in DR Congo in 2011.

Earlier, the court heard that Nsengiyumva was tasked with mobilising new recruits for FDLR and coordinating terror attacks.

The others sentenced to life are Sadik Habimana, Emmanuel Rukera, JMV Uwihanganye, Belancile Nyiransabimana and Agnes Murekatete.

Eliavane Tuyishimire, Angelique Nyiransengimana, Jean Bosco Nsabimana, Theoneste Kamali and Niyitegeka alias Muyaga received 10-year jail terms each.

Jacuques Kizere, Tite Munyaziboneye, and Fiacre Niyomugabo were acquitted after the court found them not guilty.

They were arrested at the end of 2013 and first appeared in court in March last year.

They were accused of conducting three terror operations, one targeting the home of Musanze mayor Winifrida Mpembyemungu, where a baby was killed and two others injured.

Another terror attack claimed the life of Clement Mucyurabuhoro, a Policeman who was shot dead in 2013, while the third attack left several people injured when a grenade was hurled near the Police College in Musanze town.

Nsengiyumva was arraigned before the court together with 13 others, including three women.

He had told court that Northern Province governor Aime Bosenibamwe, had aided and abetted terror acts in his Northern Province jurisdiction, an allegation Bosenibamwe vehemently denied.

Nsenguyumva said he held several meetings with the governor, who paid him about Rwf3 million in installments after the three grenade attacks that claimed lives and left others injured.

The court rejected the accused’s claims, saying he was concocting the story as he never disclosed this particular line of story during interrogations by both Police and the prosecution.

Police spokesperson Celestin Twahirwa told The New Times before the ruling that investigations on the accusations were ongoing and both the suspect and the governor have been interrogated over the matter.

However, the court pronounced itself on the case before the results of investigations were made public.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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