• Germany's news in English

Hutu rebels arrested for Congo war crimes

AFP/The Local · 17 Nov 2009, 15:15

Published: 17 Nov 2009 15:15 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The pair, Ignace Murwanashyaka, 46, and Straton Musoni, 48, are the leader and deputy leader respectively of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), German federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Murwanashyaka, who lived in Mannheim and directed his forces from there, was arrested in Karlsruhe. The authorities picked up Musoni near Stuttgart.

The FDLR is estimated to have 5,000 to 6,000 fighters, many of whom took part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda before crossing into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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

Murwanashyaka is additionally accused of being the ringleader of a terrorist organisation.

According to the statement, the paramilitary FDLR are suspected of "killing several hundred citizens, raping several women and plundering and burning several villages" between January 2008 and July 2009.

Around 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were butchered in the space of 100 days in Rwanda in 1994.

Prosecutors said that after a year-long investigation, they had amassed enough evidence to arrest the men.

Story continues below…

Rwanda has voiced its concern over the FDLR's continued 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 is almost entirely composed of ethnic Hutus opposed to the government of President Paul Kagame.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:07 November 17, 2009 by Major B
"Prosecutors said that after a year-long investigation, they had amassed enough evidence to arrest the men."

Am I reading this correctly? Is this really saying that the No. 1 and No. 2 leaders of this vicious, vile and reprehensible rebel group is presently living openly in a modern Western nation? That they directed the activities of this group from Germany? Who is helping them? How could they possibly operate openly in Germany without assistance? The destruction of villages, rape of women and killing of children by both the FDLR and Congolese army is despicable. U.N., send the Rwandan army back in to North Easter Congo to clean up that mess.
08:27 November 18, 2009 by FrankfurtMeOy
Deutsche Welle has a more detailed articles:



I don't buy the excuse that in Germany the wheels of justice move slowly. The 2006 article states: "Murwanashyaka has been based in Germany for over 15 years, operating the political wing of the FDLR, an organization accused of participating in Rwanda's 1994 genocide in which Hutus killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus." The recent article says he was given refugee status in 2000. Why were they giving this mass murderer asylum for so long? And they finally arrest him now? Ridiculous! Despicable!
08:43 November 19, 2009 by wood artist
I doubt that the timing of this was based upon "slow moving wheels" or anything else to do with "German Justice." War crimes are notoriously hard to prove, especially in the absence of a paper trail...something I suspect is not available in this case. Remember, although it has nothing to do with this, that it was documents that sealed the issue in Nürnberg all those years ago.

This has undoubtedly been investigated for a long time, and given that information will be both in Germany and elsewhere, it takes some real work to put all the pieces together and build a case that will stand. Is it regrettable that it couldn't be done quicker? Absolutely. I'm I glad it's finally been done. Yup.

Hopefully a trial will help bring this sad episode of history to a close.
Today's headlines
Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd