Hutu extremist leaders arrested in Germany

18th November 2009, Comments 1 comment

Ignace Murwanashyaka, 46, the leader of Rwanda's Hutu FLDR rebels, was seized in the western city of Karlsruhe on suspicion of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in eastern DR Congo between January 2008 and July this year.

Berlin -- German police arrested two top Rwandan militia leaders Tuesday suspected of atrocities committed in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, prosecutors said.

Ignace Murwanashyaka, 46, the leader of Rwanda's Hutu FLDR rebels, was seized in the western city of Karlsruhe on suspicion of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in eastern DR Congo between January 2008 and July this year.

His deputy Straton Musoni, 48, was arrested in Stuttgart on the same charges.

Federal prosecutors said their Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are suspected of "killing several hundred citizens, raping several women and pillaging and burning several villages" in eastern DR Congo.

They said the arrests follow a year-long investigation.

Human Rights Watch say the FDLR have killed 630 civilians between January and September this year.

"The accused are strongly suspected, as members of the foreign terrorist organisation FDLR, of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes," the prosecutors said in a statement.

The FDLR fled neighbouring Rwanda after the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered.

Its leaders are strongly suspected of taking part in the genocide and have been actively sought by Rwanda.

The movement is almost entirely composed of ethnic Hutus opposed to the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, which welcomed the arrests.

"The UN and the international community have realised there is no way they can stop what is happening in the DRC without dealing with those (FDLR) who are in Europe," a Rwandan official told AFP in Kigali.

Kigali has long voiced concern over the FDLR's use of Germany as a safe haven despite a UN Security Council resolution imposing travel and financial restrictions on the group's leaders.

The FDLR, whose fighters are thought to number around 5,000, has carried out a brutal campaign of murder, rape and pillage against civilians in eastern Congo despite a joint military operation by Kinshasa and Kigali to clear them out of the region.

In a report in May, UN experts concluded that Murwanashyaka was involved in co-ordinating FDLR operations from February this year.

Recently, the militants have been deliberately targeting civilians to punish them for their government's decision to launch military operations against them, human rights groups said in a report last month.

They say that since the operations began in January, 1,000 civilians have been killed, 7,000 women raped, and more than 6,000 homes have been razed to the ground.

Human Rights Watch said earlier this month that government soldiers had "deliberately killed" more than 500 civilians since March during operations against the FDLR.

The UN mission in DR Congo (MONUC) announced on November 2 that it was immediately withdrawing logistical support for Congolese army units linked to 62 killings.

AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • janifer asante posted:

    on 18th November 2009, 16:39:26 - Reply

    You people are barking on a wronge tree . Am a Ugandan born in 1960 and i know the Tushis very well . Can anyone explain to me how the now goverment came in only three months and stopped everything ? The Tutshis put down the plane and killed the 2 leaders they didnt want and it was all controlled by the Ugandas Dictatar Museveni becouse he promised his child soldiers who where main Tutshis a ticket home . This is the truth . Hutus where only defending what they thought was theres . am really sorry about what people think about the genocide , the person they should look for is MUSEVENI . Since the Europian Leaders are kissing his back side like they are doing for the Jews , I dont think the world will ever be a nice place to live . SORRY .