The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has drawn a list of top FDLR leaders still at large.
The list, released yesterday, comes on the heels of Monday’s conviction by a German court of two FDLR leaders who were found guilty of leading a terrorist organisation.
Ignace Murwanashyaka, the president of the militia group, and Straton Musoni, his deputy, received 13 and eight years in prison, respectively, after a court in the south-western German city of Stuttgart concluded a four-year trial on Monday.
The CNLG list contains 10 top FDLR leaders and other Genocide suspects with arrest warrants on their heads, but who continue to lead the notorious group with impunity.
In a statement, CNLG welcomed Monday’s ruling of the German court, referring to it as a new step in the fight against genocide and terrorism. But it called on UN member states to follow suit and track and bring to justice all FDLR leaders.
“CNLG urges concerted efforts to arrest, try and punish those criminals who continue to terrorise civilians and kill innocent people,” reads part of the statement.
The suspects include Maj Protais Mpiranya, the commander of the presidential guard during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and leader of FDLR resistance committee in South Africa; Esron Nyawenda, alias Mukiza David, the chief of staff of the executive committee of FDLR; Sixbert Ndayambaje, alias Soso Sixbert, member of the FDLR executive committee; Brig Gen Appolinaire Hakizimana, aka Amikwe Lepic or Poete, commissioner in charge of defence and security; and Martin Gatabazi, alias Enoc Dusabe, commissioner for mobilisation and propaganda.
Others are Brig Gen Leodomir Mugaragu, aka Manzi Leon, chief of staff to FDLR commander; Maj Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura; Col Ezechias JB Gakwerere, the FDLR sector commander in North Kivu; Ladislas Ntaganzwa, former mayor of Nyakizu (Butare), wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda believed to be living under the protection of the FDLR in North Kivu; Maj Gen Aloys Ntawiragaba, founding member of the FDLR; and Col Anaclet Hitimana, alias Kabuyoya or Gasarasi Odilo, deputy commander of the FDLR reserve brigade in North Kivu.
The statement said Félicien Kabuga, another notorious suspect sought by international justice, continues to fund and support the criminal activities of the FDLR.
It noted that Murwanashyaka and Musoni had regular contact with FDLR top military commanders, including their supreme commander, Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura.
Referring to the German court’s ruling as a condemnation with much significance, Dr Jean Damascène Bizimana, the CNLG executive secretary, said it was a lesson to criminals that sponsor atrocities from abroad.”
“The condemnation of the FDLR leaders illustrates the genocidal and terrorist nature of the organisation and the obligation for all states to continue to prosecute all leaders and combatants of the FDLR,” Dr Bizimana said in the statement.
“The recognition of the guilt of Murwanashyaka and Musoni highlights the mandatory obligation to arrest and try military FDLR commanders who remain at large.”
The FDLR is a militia group formed in 2000 by masterminds and perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, who fled to the neighbouring DR Congo after the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) stopped the Genocide in July 1994.
The FDLR militia is classified as a terrorist organisation by the UN, AU, EU, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes.