Reliable sources indicate that preparations to send a file requesting the South African government to arrest and extradite RNC terror masterminds are in advanced stage
By Justus Gashugi
On 13 September 2013 a team of terrorists infiltrated into the country to launch grenades in areas which large numbers of ordinary people frequent, such as markets and taxi parks.
Their plan succeeded. The day after, on 14 September, they lobbed two grenades into a crowded Kicukiro market, claiming two innocent lives, and injuring forty-six.
The subsequent trial of those involved and apprehended revealed that the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terrorist organisation, was behind the attacks whose intent, according to one of the planners, was to create fear in the population in the lead-up to the parliamentary elections slated for November that year.
It now seems the time may be up for the terror masterminds; victims and their families may finally get the long overdue justice that has eluded them for years.
Reliable sources within Rwanda’s Public Prosecution Authority (RPPA) indicate that a file intended for the South African government, where most of the terror masterminds reside, is being finalized.
According to the source, similar dossiers will be sent to other countries as well.
Among those included in the file are Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, the 1st Vice Coordinator of the RNC, his brother-in-law Frank Ntwali, and Kennedy Gihana, the RNC head of planning.
The case file seeks action against these terror masterminds, including a request to the South African authorities to arrest and extradite them to Rwanda to face justice.
It underscores how their stay in South Africa has allowed them to continue to orchestrate terrorism against innocent Rwandans, with nothing being done to curtail their illegal activities. “They have been hiding under the status of being refugees, but their terrorist activities are in direct violation of such a status,” a source with knowledge of the dossier, but who was not authorised to speak to the media about it publicly told this reporter on condition of anonymity. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and it is high time the victims got the justice that is due to them.”
Inside the dossier is overwhelming and damning evidence linking the RNC with the FDLR, a genocidal organisation that is on the United States government’s watch-list of terrorists across the globe.
Kayumba Nyamwasa, the real RNC chief, who is on Interpol’s fugitives Red Notice, has been instrumental in linking the two organisations in line with their shared aim of destabilizing Rwanda through terror methods that indiscriminately target innocent civilians.
Kayumba was convicted in absentia by court martial on 14 January 2011 and sentenced to 24 years in prison for charges that include forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, and undermining public order, among others.
This case file to be sent to South Africa similarly includes charges of forming an illegal armed group; involvement in terrorism for political purposes; complicity in terrorist acts; financing terrorism; conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorism.
Among the evidence in the dossier are testimonies of RNC members Kayumba sent to negotiate an alliance with the FDLR. During the hearing of Rukundo Patrick alias Jean Marie Vianney Ngabonziza, now convicted and on remand, confessed that Kayumba had sent him along with other members of the RNC to negotiate entering in alliance with with the FDLR; other testimonies include those of defectors from the RNC training centre in Minembwe, South Kivu, DRC, who were allegedly recruited under the instructions of Kayumba Nyamwasa.
When interrogated, these recruits revealed the RNC’s agenda for their recruitment, how they were facilitated by some senior coordinators (some of whom are mentioned in the dossier to be sent to South Africa), and transported to the DRC.
Kayumba implicated in the Kicukiro bomb blast
Furthermore, the 2013 trial of the direct actors in the grenade incidents, lieutenant Joel Mutabazi and corporal Joseph Nshimiyimana, aka Camarade, revealed more damning evidence against Kayumba Nyamwasa and his RNC. Prosecution submitted to court WhatsApp, Skype, and SMS communications linking Kayumba, the FDLR, and their joint planning of the Kicukiro terror attack.
On 5 November 2013, Nshimiyimana testified to court that he was present during the planning of the terror attack (in which he took part) and that Kayumba Nyamwasa had linked the team to an FDLR commander, colonel Jean Marie, with whom they had worked to prepare the attack.
Kayumba is also charged with financing terror. At the same meeting he had promised that the RNC would make available 150 grenades and 50,000 US dollars to be used to recruit people to lob the grenades across busy centers in the country.
Again, prosecution was able to provide printouts of WhatsApp and skype conversations that corroborated the witness testimonies against Kayumba and the RNC.
Meanwhile, witnesses confessed that Kayumba recruited them and facilitated them to acquire skills in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were to be used to bomb key installations in Kigali. They additionally confessed that he had procured and delivered to them a bomb-making manual to use for training on how to produce explosives; similarly, they admitted to possession of photos he had sent them showing the bottles of sulphuric acid and dropper, including the receipts for the products needed to manufacture IEDs.
Sources have revealed to this reporter that these RNC fugitives had benefited from souring relations between Rwanda and South Africa during the previous administration to evade justice.
However, the recent moves by the two countries to normalise relations has them extremely worried and considering relocating to other countries.
This may, however, also not be possible once their case files reach authorities in South Africa, which, according to similarly reliable sources, is likely in the coming days.