KIGALI - The trial of Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, leaders of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) will finally start in Germany, on Wednesday.
Reports from the European country say the trial will be held in the south western German city of Stuttgart.
The pair has been on pre-trial detention since their arrest in 2009 after being accused of masterminding, atrocities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“It is a continuation – which is very good. Belgium has made four arrests in the last two months alone, and considering the developments in Europe, we are being encouraged,” Justice Minister and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, said yesterday.
Murwanashyaka and his deputy, Musoni, were arrested following a warrant issued by German Federal Prosecutors.
Their charges include crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In 2009, German federal prosecutors highlighted 'systematic crimes' against civilian population, perpetuated by the para-military organisation (FDLR) which has killed hundreds of Congolese, raped women and recruited child soldiers.
The prosecutors say that as leaders of FDLR, with control over the rebels’ operations and command, they are, responsible for the crimes committed by the group.
The FDLR still constitutes the bulk of the genocidal forces that caused the death and destruction in Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In 2005, Murwanashyaka was blacklisted by the UN for violating an arms embargo aimed at promoting peace in the DRC, and subjected to a travel bans and assets freeze.