Rwanda’s lower court has heard that Uganda’s State Minister for Regional Affairs, Philemon Mateke was the link between the rebel groups Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Rwanda National Congress (RNC).
RNC is a dissident group headed by renegade General Kayumba Nyamwasa.
The accused FDLR commanders, Ignace Nkaka and Jean Pierre Nsekanabo are charged with terrorism.
Addressing court, the prosecution says investigations revealed that the suspects met with the minister who in turn linked them up with RNC agents.
The case comes after a report by a UN Group of Expert, linked Nyamwasa to a new rebel outfit operating in the eastern Democratic republic of Congo, P5 as reported by Watchdog.
P5, the UN Group of Experts report says, is a coalition of Rwandan opposition armed groups prominent among them is RNC which Nyamwasa is cofounder .
According to the report, Nyamwasa is recruiting fighters and getting ammunition from Burundi, Uganda and DRC.
Nyamwasa was in 2011 sentenced in absentia to 24 years in prison after he was convicted of multiple charges including terrorism, genocide denial and crimes against humanity.
His presence in South Africa has caused jitters in Kigali, which has called for his extradition to Rwanda.
According to the report, defectors also told the Group that Kayumba Nyamwasa frequently travels to the region and that many recruits from Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Malawi are enlisted with promises of jobs.
Ex-combatants told the Group that the P5 leaders levied taxes on residents and that the combatants received food from the local Banyamulenge population.
The accused were arrested on the Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana by the Congolese army and extradited to Rwanda.
“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. They fled the country in 1994 after masterminding the killing of more than one million people.
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.
Uganda is yet to respond.
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