RUD Urunana trial: Latest suspect in dock is an FDU-Inkingi member

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RUD Urunana trial: Latest suspect in dock is an FDU-Inkingi member
RUD Urunana trial: Latest suspect in dock is an FDU-Inkingi member

Africa-Press – Rwanda. On Tuesday, November 23, the trial of 38 people belonging to the P5 militia group resumed at the Military High Court in Nyarugunga, Kigali, as Aime Ernest Mbarushimana, the latest suspect to be introduced in the case, took to the dock.

Mbarushimana was introduced in the trial last month, almost six months after his colleagues had been formally charged at the military court in the case in which they are accused of attacking a village in Kinigi, Musanze District where they killed at least 15 people.

The arrest of Mbarushimana, a leader within the ranks of FDU-Inkingi further justified the fact that the latter was part of the P5 coalition to which RUD Urunana is part.

P5 is an umbrella organisation that brought together five different anti-Rwanda outfits including Rwanda National Congress (RNC), RUD Urunana, FDU Inkingi, PS Imberakuri and PDP Imanzi.

The group is responsible for the 2019 attacks on unarmed civilians in villages of Kinigi and Musanze sectors in Musanze district, during the night of October 5, in which 15 people were killed, 14 injured and property looted and destroyed.

During a counter operation in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) killed a number of the assailants and captured many others.

In addition to this, those that managed to flee to the DRC were apprehended by UN peacekeepers and the Congolese military and later repatriated to Rwanda.

According to military prosecution, Mbarushimana was part of a group that attacked Kinigi but were repulsed by DR Congo military (FARDC) before they crossed into Rwanda.

Mbarushimana was among those apprehended by the FARDC, and taken to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO). He however escaped and entered Uganda, from where he was later repatriated to Rwanda.

Delegated by FDU-Inkingi to join P5 ranks

Speaking about how Mbarushimana got into the P5 militia, prosecutor Lieven Kayihura said he was part of the FDU Inkingi (then led by Victoire Ingabire), where in 2017, he was sent by one of the party commissioners called Fabien Twagirayezu, to go to DRC and join the armed wing of the party that was operating in South Kivu Province at the time.

In DR Congo, he joined other militiamen under P5 coalition. He had some military training, and was given the responsibility to serve as an official in charge of public health.

However, speaking to the court, Mbarushimana said he did not join the group willingly. He claimed he went to Burundi to attend an FDU Inkingi party meeting, having been sent there by the party officials. When he arrived in Burundi, an FDU-Inkingi official only identified as Bosco who had received him told him that the meeting had been postponed.

“He asked me to accompany him to DR Congo and stay there for some time as we waited for a new meeting date to be communicated,” he said adding that they were later joined by some 15 people, some of them armed, and crossed into DR Congo.

They eventually arrived in Bijabo (South Kivu) where the P5 militia had its base is located. That is how he found himself among militia. Prosecutor Kayihura, however, argued that Mbarushimana willingly joined the militia, and knew well what their plans were all about.

He gave an example that in 2018, Mbarushimana crossed from the DR Congo to Burundi and stayed there for some time, and after, he willingly went back to Bijabo and rejoined the militia.

Mbarushimana is charged on 7 counts: joining an illegal armed group, joining a terror group, taking part in terror activities, encouraging others to take part in terror activities, treason, conspiring against the current government, and joining a criminal group.

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