Rwanda has expressed disappointment over Friday’s decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to dismiss the case against the secretary general of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) terrorists, Callixte Mbarushimana.
The Hague-based tribunal dismissed the case on grounds of lack of enough evidence.
Mbarushimana, 47, who had been arrested in 2010, was facing six counts of war crimes, including charges of murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution, and destruction of property – which were allegedly committed in DR Congo.
But prosecutors can appeal the ruling.
Reacting to the decision, the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, said that it would have been better if the Hague-based court treated the case with a bit of seriousness, adding, however, that considering Rwanda’s stand on the ICC, there was no surprise at all.
“It would have been better for the ICC to deal with this serious case, but that didn’t happen. Rwanda has reservations about the ICC, which go beyond just this case,” Ngoga said.
“Mbarushimana continues to face serious allegations that he must confront one day – about Genocide and his involvement with FDLR. Issues about the ICC and how it performs are another complex matter to be tackled, differently,” Ngoga said.
After his arrest, Mbarushimana was briefly tried by a French Court following a lawsuit filed by Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), a Genocide victims advocacy group based, and Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations.
He was questioned over suspected personal involvement in massacres at road blocks in Kigali and other parts of the country during the Genocide.
Ibuka alleges that, on top of committing war crimes in the DRC, Mbarushimana committed Genocide crimes in 1994 in Rwanda.