FDLR spokesman faces terrorism-related charges

Monday April 15 2019

fdlr

A member of the FDLR rebel group. The members fled to eastern DR Congo after the Rwanda genocide. PHOTO | FILE  

By Reuters

A Kigali court filed terrorism-related charges against the spokesman for the FDLR rebel group last week on Monday, two months after his deportation from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The FDLR is composed of former Rwandan soldiers and ethnic Hutu militiamen who fled into lawless eastern DR Congo after the massacre of around 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus during Rwanda’s genocide in 1994.

Nkaka Ignace, who also goes by the alias La Forge Bazeye, and an FDLR co-defendant, Jean-Pierre Nsekanabo, were charged at their first appearance in Kigali with six offences including membership of a terrorist group, taking part in terrorist activities and inciting others to commit terrorism.

“I confess to some of the charges but deny others,” Ignace told Judge Justin Nshimiyimana, adding he had been influenced by superiors in FDLR, whom he did not name, into plotting to topple President Paul Kagame’s government, adding, “I apologise for having been given negative information about Rwanda.”

Prosecutors said the two had “played a direct role in attacks,” which they did not specify, carried out by FDLR both in Rwanda and Congo.

Prosecutors said Ignace and Nsekanabo, identified as an intelligence officer in FDLR, had travelled to neighbouring Uganda in January to meet representatives of another anti-Kigali rebel group, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC).

RNC is led by some of Rwanda’s most prominent dissidents including South Africa-based Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Rwanda has accused Uganda of supporting its dissidents. The two accused asked the court to free them on bail and a ruling on their application will be delivered on Wednesday.

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