Murwanashyaka ignace, the leader of the Hutu led FDLR rebel group will go on trial this week. He faces charges that include, “crimes against humanity, war crimes and being members of a foreign terrorist group.” Is this the end of terror in eastern Congo? Can we expect much from the trial?
There are many factors that it is hard and perhaps immature to make any definitive statement. The prosecutor will have to prove that the FDLR was under the direct command of Murwanashyaka. Although highly respected in the rank and file of the rebel group, Murwanashyaka rarely traveled to eastern Congo. He maintained his command base in Germany, coordinating with those on the ground using telecommunication technology.
In any case, the trial carries a symbolic victory for those fighting against impunity in the region. As critic of the Rwandan regime, I am tempted to think that this is nothing new: it is the attack, through military and legal means, all the opponents of the regime in Kigali. However, I have to acknowledge that the FDLR has orchestrated some of the most despicable crimes. Just because all thieves cannot be reprimanded does not mean that it is wrong to catch one of them.
I will praise this arrest while continuing to push for the prosecution of some criminals still at large, protected by the mighty Rwandan regime. The most notorious of them being: Bosco Ntaganda and Laurent Nkunda.