A French court Wednesday finally approved the transfer of Callixte Mbarushimana, the Executive Secretary of the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), from France to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
Mbarushimana was arrested last month by French authorities, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the ICC in September on 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, torture, rape, attacks against civilians, destruction of property, inhuman treatment and persecution – all committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“Let them [ICC] carry on and pursue him on crimes against humanity and war crimes. We will also pursue him later, for Genocide,” said Prosecution Spokesperson Augustin Nkusi.
“We are following him for Genocide, it is true, but the ICC also wants him for different charges. We will wait, especially since the crime of Genocide never dies off.”
International human rights groups; African Rights, the Collectif des Parties Civile pour le Rwanda (CPCR), and REDRESS, issued a joint statement last month stressing that he has Genocide charges to answer.
The trio emphasized that there is more to Mbarushimana’s case than the crimes which have been attributed to him by the ICC.
The US Department of State said on October 13 that it welcomed the arrest in France of Mbarushimana, who as a top FDLR official, had also been listed in 2008 for targeted UN and US sanctions.
Mbarushimana’s arrest is another blow to the FDLR after the November 2009 arrest in Germany of FDLR leader Ignace Murwanashyaka and his deputy, Straton Musoni.