New evidence link FDLR and RNC in terrorist attacks

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Prosecutors in the terror trial of Lt Joel Mutabazi and his 15 co-accused has unearthed new evidence exposing two terrorist groups; Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)’s  key role in throwing grenades that killed four people and injured others in Kiculiro market in Kigali City.

The terror trial continued yesterday at Kanombe Military High Court.

At the commencement of the hearing, prosecutors showed a video tape displaying Nshimiyimana Joseph alias Camarade, explaining how he was recruited in FDLR and RNC.

In the video, he admitted to coordinating Kicukiro Market grenade attacks, he explained the source of financing of the attacks, his collaboration with FDLR and Rwanda National Congress (RNC), among others.

According to the video, Nshimiyimana alias Camarade, is an operative of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The suspect reveals how the terror group worked closely with Rwanda National Congress (RNC).

Amidst silence from the audience that filled the Courtroom, the video showed the suspect explaining in detail how the two organisations coordinated activities that saw a number of grenade attacks in the country.

According to prosecutors, the video was taken during the interrogation session before the suspects were brought to court.

When asked by Judges to react on the video, Nshimiyimana only admitted that the video is reliable but declined to respond to further queries from the judges.

In the video, the suspect claims to have worked for RNC while directly reporting to Lt. Mutabazi and that after successfully executing a mission to strike Kicukiro Market with a grenade that killed people, he reported back to Mutabazi and a certain Col. Jean Marie of FDLR, who were both based in Kampala.

The Military prosecution, while summarizing the content of the video of Nshimiyimana Joseph alias Camarade as part of evidences to charges against Lt Joel Mutabazi and Nshimiyimana Joseph, urged that some testimonies given in the video are also recorded in Nshimiyimana’s prior statements.

According to prosecutors, Nshimiyimana Joseph, who arrived in Uganda in 2009 to work for FDLR “antenna” (branch) in Uganda, attended the meeting that planned to conduct terror attack on Rwandan territory.

The meeting is reported to have taken place at Mamba Point in Uganda and was chaired by Col. Jean Marie who heads an FDLR wing in the Eastern Africa region.

Court heard that Jean Marie who is based in Uganda, told participants at the meeting that RNC had pledged US $50,000 to conduct the terror attacks.

How grenade attack mission was conducted

At the hearing, prosecution told Court that it was after the Mamba meeting that Nshimiyimana received the mission orders.

Prosecution further revealed that during the process, Nshimiyimana Joseph alias Camarade received five grenades to terrorise Kigali from the one only identified as Bob alias “Finish”, a former escort of Robert Kajuga from Interahamwe militia.

Prosecution said that Sgt Gafirita and Cpl. Ndagije, both from RNC were selected to carry out the attacks in Kigali; reportedly because of their rich experience of having served in the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) before.

According to prosecutors, the suspects crossed into Rwanda with two grenades and Pager PLN 09- a device on their mobile telephones that would protect them from being monitoring by the MTN Network once their handsets were used.

Sgt Gafirita Emile and Cpl Ndagije alias Muzehe, according to Nshimiyimana Joseph’s prior statements and video clip, conducted grenade attack on September 13 and 14, 2013 at Kicukiro market.

Nshimiyimana Joseph said that he stayed in Kabale, Uganda while coordinating the attacks. After the grenade attacks, prosecution said, Lt Joel Mutabazi received a short text message (sms) from Nshimiyimana Joseph reporting a mission was accomplished.

Lt. Mutabazi communication with Kayumba Nyamwasa

After the first Court session, the Military prosecution presented Lt. Joel Mutabazi- a member of RNC, and exposed evidence of how the suspect once communicated with Kayumba Nyamwasa via skype on a computer belonging one Mukombozi in charge of media in RNC.

The communication is reported to have been made after contacting Emile Gafirita, a former Republican Guard soldier and Jean Paul, formerly an escort of renegade General Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Lt Joel Mutabazi, according to the prosecution, received a total of 2, 300 US Dollars in different times from RNC via Mukombozi and that he received Sam Lessoko and Esther from South Africa; the two South Africans who were on a mission for Kayumba Nyamwasa.

The mission initial plan was to gather intelligence/information on Rwanda and DRC.

Prosecution revealed that Sam Lessoko once gave US $1000 US to Lt Joel Mutabazi who later shared it with Nshimiyimana Joseph.

Lt Joel Mutabazi also received further US $700 from Sam Lessoko to pay for travel documents so that he could leave Uganda to another country.

The accused rejected all the charges saying that he is ready for any penalty.

The trial continues today with the hearing of Pte Kalisa Innocent- accused of spreading rumors against the Government mainly through media.

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