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Battle royal in anti-Rwanda rebel coalitions: “You don’t own us” FLN rebel blasts both Twagiramungu and Rusesabagina

By Moses Gisa

Aftermath of an FLN terror attack in 2018, in Nyaruguru. The group’s violent agenda is what the likes of Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu are squabbling to take control of.

Internal conflicts have deepened in the anti-Rwanda coalition MRCD-Ubumwe and its former ally CRND-Ubwiyunge. The two are clashing over ownership of the armed militia group, known as Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), with MRCD claiming to have established and sponsored the militias before any other. FLN is better known as one of the armed anti-Rwanda terrorist groups.

In a press conference earlier this month, on 6th July, MRCD spokesperson Faustin Twagiramungu announced that, “FLN is a legal entity of MCRD-Ubumwe.”

Twagiramungu then accused MRCD’s former ally, CNRD, of “impersonation”, and false claims of ownership. “We are tired of military dictatorships and if CNRD fights for democracy, their militias should submit to the leadership of MRCD-Ubumwe because we own them,” shouted a deranged Twagiramungu.

It was in July 2017 that a group called PDR-Ihumure of Rusesabagina, RDI-Rwanda Rwiza of Twagiramungu, and CNRD-Ubwiyunge of ‘Lt Gen’ Wilson Irategeka, agreed to form MRCD-Ubumwe. CNRD’s major contribution to the coalition was its armed wing, FLN which the others resolved to sponsor.

Read: Europe-based anti-Rwanda terror group claims attack that originated from Burundi

Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu then campaigned across Europe to raise funds for what they termed an “armed struggle to overthrow the Rwandan government.”

Recently, on 20 this month in an interview with CNRD-Ubwiyunge Radio and TV, however, both Twagiramungu and Rusesabagina’s statements were refuted by MRCD’s “head of security and intelligence,” a man called “Brig. Gen.” Antoine Hakizimana, alias Geva, who also serves as “head of military operations” in FLN.

“I was shocked to hear what Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu said,” he said. “FLN was created long before the existence of MRCD-Ubumwe. FLN was formed on May 31, 2016, by members of FDLR-FOCA, from different units in what was codenamed ‘Peace Revolution’ led by Laurent Ndagijimana (alias “Lt. Gen.” Wilson Irategeka Rumbago).

“That was when the laws and names of CNRD-Ubwiyunge and FLN were enacted for our political and armed group respectively,” Geva added. “I see their (Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu) claims as just a political talk that has nothing to do with reality.”

Read: FLN militia group ‘on verge of collapse’ with no head

Continuing to inadvertently disclose the disarray roiling the terrorist groups, Geva continued: “We joined the MRCD-Ubumwe coalition being an already established political and military group. Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu’s claims are baseless and meant to divert attention and sow divisionism amongst FLN combatants and CNRD members.”

According to Geva, “FLN was never Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu’s making. Right from its inception, FLN fought battles with FDLR-FOCA in Kamodoka, Rutshuru, North Kivu in October 2016 and 2017; that was before the formation of MRCD-Ubumwe, or anything by Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu.”

On what has become the norm in all anti-Rwanda terrorist groups, the MRCD-Ubumwe coalition did not last long. Its members started accusing each other of betrayal, mismanagement of member contributions, and insubordination, among others. Matters further worsened when its public face and spokesman, “Maj.” Callixte Nsabimana alias “Sankara” was arrested, tried in court, and imprisoned on an array of treasonous charges.

The FLN group is one of the illegal armed groups that are a factor of instability in the region. They have launched terror attacks on innocent civilians that claimed some lives – in Nyaruguru District, Southern Province – before the Rwandan military repulsed them, upon which they fled back to Burundi via the Nyungwe Forest.

Read: FLN obtained ammunition and supplies from Burundi’s Gen Agricole Ntirampeba

According to SOS Media and Radio Publique Africaine, the same FLN militias ambushed Burundian soldiers on night patrol in Kibira forest, killing two and injuring four in the night of Monday, 20 this July.

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