Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana sent to ICC

Previous article | Next
BBC News - January 25, 2011
FDLR leader Callixte Mbarushimana

The head of a Rwandan rebel group accused of committing war crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo has been extradited from France to The Hague.

Callixte Mbarushimana was arrested in Paris last October, following a request from the International Criminal Court.

The Hutu rebel leader has denied accusations that he ordered his FDLR fighters to kill and rape civilians.

The move came as the FDLR was accused of attacking a wildlife patrol.

The director of Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo said three rangers and five government soldiers died in the rocket-propelled grenade attack on their vehicle.

Emmanuel de Merode said more than 130 park rangers have died since 1996 when the conflict began in the volatile east.

The presence in DR Congo of Hutu rebels has been at the heart of years of unrest in the region.

Charcoal

Mr Mbarushimana, 47, faces five counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes, including charges of murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution, and destruction of property.

A French court has previously rejected an appeal against Mr Mbarushimana's extradition but ruled he should not be sent to Rwanda, where his lawyers say he would not get a fair trial.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the prosecution of the FDLR leaders "will provide the opportunity to demobilise this armed group".

"Rape can no longer be used as a weapon of war. In the ICC era, the fate of leaders and commanders who plan or oversee campaigns of mass crimes against civilians is to face justice," he said.

Mr de Merode said he had had reports in recent days of more than 700 FDLR fighters coming into Virunga park territory.

The park, in North Kivu province, is home to some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas and is managed by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN).

"They are extremely hostile towards ICCN ever since we started to stop the forest destruction for charcoal, an illegal industry from which they were making significant revenue," he said in a statement.

He said the attackers escaped by foot and that it was the worst attack in the park in the last 12 months.

FDLR fighters were accused of raping hundreds of people in eastern DR Congo last year, although the group has denied responsibility.

Some FDLR leaders allegedly took part in the 1994 slaughter of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.

After a Tutsi-dominated group took power ending the genocide, some FDLR members fled into what is now DR Congo, sparking years of unrest in the region.

Rwanda has twice sent its troops into DR Congo, saying they are needed to stop Hutu fighters, such as the FDLR, from using Congolese territory to attack Rwanda.

This led to the six-year conflict in DR Congo and the deaths of some five million people.

The FDLR is now one of the most powerful rebel forces operating in the east of the country, where they are believed to make millions of dollars a year by controlling mines rich in gold and other minerals, and extorting money from local people.

Mr Mbarushimana, who has been living in Paris, has described the FDLR as a freedom movement, fighting "to liberate the Rwandan people from the yoke of the fascist regime" of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which is still in power in Kigali.


Related articles


  1. Jean-Pierre Bemba named MLC presidential candidate (July 13, 2018)
  2. Peacekeepers, Congo Army to Resume Joint Fight Against Rwandan Rebels (January 28, 2016)
  3. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 7, 2015)
  4. DRC Army Putting Pressure on FDLR (April 1, 2015)
  5. ICC Confirms 14-Year Sentence Against Thomas Lubanga (December 1, 2014)
  6. ICC Case Against Bemba Wrapping Up as Another Opens (November 12, 2014)
  7. Southern African Leaders to Meet in Zimbabwe (August 15, 2014)
  8. ICC confirms war crimes charges against Bosco Ntaganda (June 10, 2014)
  9. ICC sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years (May 23, 2014)
  10. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  11. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  12. ICC finds Germain Katanga guilty of war crimes and crime against humanity (March 7, 2014)
  13. Bosco Ntaganda Attacked Civilians on Ethnic Grounds, ICC Prosecutor Says (February 10, 2014)
  14. No 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, DR Congo Says (November 11, 2013)
  15. Congo Will Not Sign a 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, Government Says (November 6, 2013)
  16. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  17. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  18. Advancing Congo Troops Take Control of Rumangabo From M23 Rebels (October 28, 2013)
  19. Congo Army Liberates Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Kibumba From M23 Rebels (October 27, 2013)
  20. Congo Army Dislodges M23 Rebels From Strategic Town of Kibumba (October 26, 2013)
  21. Congo Army Takes Control of Kibumba After Fighting With M23 Rebels Resumes (October 25, 2013)
  22. U.S. Sanctions Rwanda Over Use of Child Soldiers by M23 Rebels (October 4, 2013)
  23. Rwandan Support for M23 Rebels Frustrates Attempts to End Fighting in Eastern Congo (September 26, 2013)
  24. Ban Ki-moon Confirms M23 Rebels Shelled Rwanda (August 31, 2013)
  25. DR Congo Will Defend Itself Against an Attack by Rwanda, Government Says (August 31, 2013)
  26. M23 Rebels Fired Shells Into Rwanda, Not Congo Army, UN Says (August 30, 2013)
  27. Mortar Shells From Rwanda Kill Civilians in Eastern Congo (August 23, 2013)
  28. UN Peacekeepers Start Enforcing Security Zone in Eastern Congo (August 1, 2013)
  29. Rwanda 'recruiting for M23 rebels' (July 31, 2013)
  30. DR Congo Asks Rwanda to Turn Over M23 Rebel Leaders (July 26, 2013)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio


Make CongoPlanet.com Your Home Page | Contact Us | About Us | ╔dition en Franšais | French Edition

© 2018 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.