FDLR coordinated July 26 grenade attack – suspects

The DR Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia is responsible for the July 26 grenade attack in Kigali’s commercial hub of Nyabugogo, which killed three people, the prime suspects said.
Jean de Dieu Ntakirutimana alias Rafiki (L) and Jean de Dieu Mugaboniki at the Kicukiro Police Station yesterday. The New Times/John Mbanda.
Jean de Dieu Ntakirutimana alias Rafiki (L) and Jean de Dieu Mugaboniki at the Kicukiro Police Station yesterday. The New Times/John Mbanda.

The DR Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia is responsible for the July 26 grenade attack in Kigali’s commercial hub of Nyabugogo, which killed three people, the prime suspects said.

The duo, Jean de Dieu Ntakirutimana, a.k.a Rafiki, and Jean de Dieu Mugaboniki, confessed they carried out the attack on the instructions of a top FDLR commander.

They were speaking to journalists at the Kicukiro Police Station in Kigali yesterday.

“The whole plot was coordinated by Col. Enock Bizimana, also known as Matovu. He sent us the grenades and directed us to plant them in Nyabugogo taxi-park,” said Ntakirutimana, a former FDLR combatant.

 Ntakirutimana said they had hatched the attack together with Col Bizimana before the former repatriated in January.

But Bizimana advised him to wait until he returned to execute the plan while in Kigali.

The  21-year old explained that Col. Bizimana had promised to reward them handsomely once the militia finally captures Rwanda, something the latter allegedly claimed would happen not later than January next year.

The plot

In January this year, Ntakirutimana, was repatriated by United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR), through Rusizi District in Western Province from the  Democratic Republic of Congo.

 In March, he narrated, Col. Bizimana sent him two grenades through one Emanuel Mugwenderi who is still at large.

The suspect added that they involved his brother-in-law Jean de Dieu Mugaboniki, 23, a resident of Bugesera District in the planning process.

“We realised it would not be possible in Nyabugogo Bus Park as we had planned that’s why we later changed position,” he said.

The grenade explosion, which occurred on Friday, July 26, at about 6:50p.m, near a popular Nyabugogo abattoir, killed three people – two of them on the spot – and wounded 32 others.

Ntakirutimana was apprehended on July 29 while trying to flee back to DR Congo.

Police speaks out

The police spokesperson ACP Theos Badege said investigations continue and they expected more arrests to be made. He called upon the public to cooperate with authorities to ensure that similar incidents are detected in time.

“Their dossiers are being prepared to be taken to the prosecution,” he said.

The suspects face terrorism, treason, murder and attempted murder charges, according to police. The charges attract life imprisonment upon conviction. 

The FDLR is largely composed of elements widely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which claimed the lives of an estimated one million people in a record spell of 100 days.

The group, blacklisted by the United Nations and United States as a terrorist organisation, has been accused of committing gross human rights abuses in eastern DRC and neighbouring countries for close to two decades now.

The militia, which twice made incursions on Rwanda last year, crossed into the DR Congo in 1994 after then Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) rebels brought to a halt the the genocidal campaign.

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