By Moses Gisa
The Democratic Republic of Congo army-FARD has killed Col Leo Cyprien Mpiranya, the leader of RUD-Urunana, a Ugandan backed anti-Rwanda terrorist Group operating in the Congolese jungles and Kisoro, Western Uganda. Mpiranya, aka Kagoma, took over the group’s leadership from the slain General Musabyimana Juvenal alias Jean-Michel Africa in November 2019.
News of Mpiranya’s death emerged at the break of dawn on Monday, September 31; the notorious terrorist is reported to have been shot dead in the recent battles between his militia group and the Congolese army in Makoka, Rutshuru territory in the Northern Kivu. The attack is part of DRC’s continued operations aiming at rooting terrorist groups out of her soil. “This is indeed good news, the death of someone like Mpiranya who took part in the Genocide and continued involving in criminal acts to destabilize both Rwanda and the DRC citizens deserved such a fate,” a commentator reacted on social media accounts.
Rwandans were jubilating that Mpiranya’s death is yet another wake-up call to all anti-Rwanda terrorists perpetrating crimes out there. “It’s just a matter of time; they will be caught and brought to book to answer for their heinous crimes,” said someone on Twitter.
Prior to the fall out within the genocidal FDLR, Kagoma was among the most wanted for crimes against humanity committed during the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. Mpiranya has been very influential in anti-Rwanda terrorist groups, together with Col Rugema and former RUD- Urunana leader General Musabyimana- killed in FARDC operations on November 9, 2019. The trio led a breakaway faction from FDLR with help of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, formed RUD-Urunana militia with a core mission to destabilize Rwanda.
Other reports, whose accuracy was yet to be verified, have indicated that Mpiranya could have been killed by his own men after disagreements with his deputy, Col. Emmanuel Rugema alias “The Witchdoctor of the Jungle”. The report alleges that after the death of Gen Musabyimana, the two have failed to agree on the terrorist militia’s future and we’re always caught up in supremacy battles which could have led to Kagoma’s death.
Mpiranya-whose wife and four children live in Mubende, Uganda, is a native of the former Commune Rweru, in the former Ruhengeri Prefecture, currently Burera District in Northern Province. He joined the FAR, the army of the genocidal regime in 1992, and fled the country in 1994 at the rank of sergeant.
In 1998 Mpiranya joined the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) group, composed of the forces that had perpetrated the Genocide – mainly the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias. ALIR later became FDLR. In 2003 Mpiranya joined fellow renegade FDLR combatants in the RUD-Urunana faction, at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; he led its “Douala” and “Samosi” battalions.
The death of Mpiranya comes a few days after 24 Rwandan nationals returned home from the DR Congo jungles where they had been held siege by renowned anti-Rwanda terror groups, FDLR-FOCA, RUD-Urunana, and FLN of CNRD-Ubwiyunge. On arrival in Rwanda on August 25, the group, which included 10 combatants, asserted that their decision to lay down arms was a result of good news about Rwanda that they learnt through the MONUSCO-run Radio Okapi, and other internet platforms.
The terrorist groups were hard hit by the deaths of their leaders and continue to lose numbers as thousands of their combatants and dependents surrender to the Congolese army. Over 10,000 ex-combatants have returned home and reintegrated into the Rwandan society after undergoing civic education workshops in Mutobo, Mukamira Demobilization and Reintegration centers in Western Province.