Fourteen FDLR terror suspects found guilty, two get life in jail

Fourteen suspects linked to the DR Congo-based FDLR militia group have been found guilty, with two of them getting life imprisonment while the others were sentenced to varying jail terms.

Fourteen suspects linked to the DR Congo-based FDLR militia group have been found guilty, with two of them getting life imprisonment while the others were sentenced to varying jail terms.

Two others were absolved of any criminal responsibility and acquitted.

Musanze High Court on Thursday found Jean Damascene Rugenera and Eric Harerimana, alias Kibamba, the key masterminds of the criminal activities blamed on the group, thereby handing them life term each.

The duo was found guilty of carrying out FDLR-sanctioned terror activities in Musanze District and other parts of the country.

FDLR is a blacklisted militia principally blamed for the slaughter of at least a million people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The trial of the group started last year following a period of grenade attacks across the country.

The presiding judge, Sephonie Munyawera, ruled that Rugenera was involved in recruitment of civilians into FDLR ranks s well as mobilising them to conduct terror attacks across the country.

He also ruled that Harerimana worked closely FDLR, and committed treason as well as smuggled firearms from DR Congo into Rwanda, through Kinigi Sector in Musanze.

Harerimana was also separately convicted of murder, which he committed in 2012.

With regard to the dozen others found guilty, court said some were in illegal possession of firearms while others underwent training in use of arms with the aim of carrying of criminal activities on behalf of FDLR.

Patrice Ntibanyemera, Intime Uwihanganye and Jean Pierre Hanyuzimfura were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Nine others were handed varying sentences ranging from five to fifteen years in jail.

The verdicts came months after the same court sentenced to life in jail eight other terror suspects with FDLR links.

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