KIGALI - Callixte Mbarushimana, the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was yesterday finally transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, for trial and detention.
Mbarushimana was arrested in France in October last year and has since been fighting legal battles to avoid extradition to the ICC, which indicted him for the crimes against humanity which were committed by FDLR in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, this did not come as a surprise.
“That was expected, and it is a good step forward. The advancement of this particular case should be a catalyst and challenge for stakeholders to deal with other FDLR collaborators still at large,” Ngoga said.
Following his arrest, in October last year, international human rights groups; African Rights, CPCR, and REDRESS, issued a joint statement highlighting what they called “wider implications of the arrest of Callixte Mbarushimana in Paris.”
Mbarushimana arrested by French authorities in response to an ICC arrest warrant highlighting 11 charges among them; war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2009.
The three groups, and others in Rwanda, welcomed the arrest but still emphasize that there are more crimes he committed than he was indicted for by the ICC.
Mbarushimana has long faced accusations that he played a central role in organizing and executing the killings of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
He is particularly alleged to have been involved in atrocities committed in Kigali, at the onset of the Genocide, in April 1994.
He took over the administration of UNDP in Kigali after the evacuation of expatriates and used the logistics of the United Nations in Killing sprees across the City.
According to media reports, Mbarushimana is expected to appear before ICC judges on Friday.
According to a former senior officer in the FDLR who defected recently, Col. Amri Bizimana, ever since Mbarushimana’s arrest, the group’s activities were being coordinated by Gerald Gahima, a fugitive former Rwandan government official.