Relations between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo have taken a step in the right direction with DRC extraditing two top officials of FDLR. The spokesperson of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group, Ignace Nkaka alias LaForge Fils Bazeye and Lt. Col. Jean Pierre Nsekanabo, head of intelligence were arrested last year by the Congolese army and extradited to Rwanda on Monday.
“These two people were subject to arrest warrants issued by the legal authorities in Rwanda,” said Congolese government spokesperson Lambert Mende.
“We extradited them as part of a judicial cooperation agreement between the DRC and Rwanda,” he added.
The FDLR comprises remnants of masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda who fled the country in 1994 after masterminding the killing of more than one million people.
“The next step will be our prosecution looking into their cases so that they have their day in court,” said Richard Sezibera, Rwanda’s foreign minister.
The duo was arrested at Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana.
According to security sources, Congo decided against trying the duo in Kinshasa and opted to send them to Kigali for trial basing on an agreement that it has with Rwanda.
The source also reveals that within the past month, over 600 FDLR fighters have willingly repatriated to Rwanda by DRC. Among those repatriated are top rebel officials who are now undergoing reintegration training at Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration Centre in Musanze District.
Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Spokesperson Lt. Col. Innocent Munyengango recently confirmed that it was elements of the FDLR militia who attacked Rubavu District.
Munyengango said the attack happened in Cyamabuye village, in Busasamana Sector.
“The attack was carried out by people we suspect to be FDLR who attacked from Congo. They attacked our post in Cyamabuye. Fortunately they found our forces ready and were repulsed. They lost four of their members in the process, and a Kalashnikov rifle.”
A United Nations report as reported by Watchdog linked prominent Rwandan opposition figures to a rebel outfits operating in the eastern Democratic republic of Congo.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and exiled former Rwanda’s military chief, General Kayumba Nyamwasa are believed to be behind P5, the UN Group of Experts report says is a coalition of armed Rwandan opposition groups. According to the report, Nyamwasa is recruiting fighters and getting ammunition from Burundi, Uganda and DRC.
Defectors also told the Group that Kayumba Nyamwasa frequently traveled to the region and that many recruits are enlisted by people who lure with promises of jobs in Burundi, only to arrive in Bujumbura and dispossessed of all their belongings before they are taken across the border to the Congo. Recruitment strategies varied from phone calls and face-to-face meetings to social media, it says, adding that some of the recruits come from Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Malawi. Ex-combatants told the Group that the P5 leaders levied taxes on residents and that the combatants received food from the local Banyamulenge population.