Two former ‘generals’ under the militia group FLN, who are part of the 21 suspects undergoing trial at the High Court Specialised Chamber for International and Cross Border Crimes, have requested for bail, citing different reasons.
The duo – ‘Maj Gen’ Felicien Nsanzubukire and ‘Maj Gen’ Anastase Munyaneza -is part of the FLN-MRCD trial in which they face a number of terror-related charges.
They were top commanders in the militia group that has carried out attacks on Rwandan territory in which at least nine people died, leaving many others injured.
Specifically, Nsanzubukire features on a sanctions list by the UN Security Council over atrocities committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the time he was part of the FDLR which he left to be part of FLN-MRCD.
Speaking to court on Friday, the duo’s lawyer, Herman Twajamajoro said that his clients had been cooperative with the judiciary since their capture and repatriation to Rwanda in 2017.
“My clients have been cooperative enough with investigators, one of them (Nsanzubukire) is very sick and needs medical attention, I request on their behalf that they are released and stand trial while out of detention,” said Twajamahoro.
Nsanzubukire looked frail and was aided by a stick to walk.
According to Twajamahoro, his clients are willing to comply with all the restrictions that will be imposed on them.
He also presented to court concerns by his clients claiming that they were not extradited to Rwanda from DR Congo through legal channels, adding that this should motivate court to allow for their bail.
However, prosecution clarified that the two were not extradited but rather repatriated after they were captured during a military offensive.
“There was no extradition regarding these two; they were brought to Rwanda under the United Nation’s Disarmament, Demobilisation and Repatriation (DDR) framework,” said prosecution.
Who is Nsanzubukire?
Felicien Nsazubukire alias Fred Irakiza also known as Ahamat was born 1967 in Murama cell, Kinyinya Sector in the former Rubungo Commune (currently part of Gasabo District).
He was a soldier with Ex-FAR before the Genocide against the Tutsi. After he fled Rwanda in 1994, Nsanzubukire became a member of FOCA militia group which later became FDLR, where he worked as the Commander of the 1st Battalion that operated in South Kivu province of DR Congo, among other assignments.
In 2014, he was named on the UN sanctions list with different senior commanders of FDLR, owing to the atrocities they committed in DR Congo.
“Felicien Nsanzubukire supervised and coordinated the trafficking of ammunition and weapons between at least November 2008 and April 2009 from the United Republic of Tanzania, via Lake Tanganyika, to FDLR units based in the Uvira and Fizi areas of South Kivu,” reads a statement on the UNSC website.
Later, he was part of the group that splintered from FDLR to join CNRD, which coalesced with other outfits put together by Paul Rusesabagina to form MRCD and its militia wing FLN.
According to prosecution, Nsanzubukire was arrested on his way to Burundi where he was travelling as an emissary of FLN.
After a brief consultation between the judges, presiding judge Antoine Muhima said that they will rule on the request next week on Wednesday, March 3.
Anastase Munyaneza aka Rukundo Job Kuramba was born in 1968 in Nyamiyaga sector, Kamonyi district.
In 1990 he enrolled in the then Force Armee Rwandais (FAR) in the 31st intake of the military academy. He graduated as second lieutenant in the gendermerie and was deployed in Kacyiru at the headquarters of the outfit.
During the Genocide against the Tutsi, he returned to his native area in southern Rwanda along with the notorious Lt Ildephonse Hategekimana alias Bikomagu and he was allegedly directly involved in massacres of the Tutsi, according to available information.
Like Nsanzubukire, he also later left FDLR and joined CNRD-Ubwiyunge splinter group before he was captured and repatriated by the Congolese army.
Source New Times.
By Felly Kimenyi