Nyungwe: Victims of Rusesabagina’s MRCD-FLN attacks remembered

On 16 December 2022 at 02:44

Families whose relatives were killed during attacks of MRCD-FLN terrorist group led by Paul Rusesabagina have organized an event to commemorate the victims. The attacks conducted in different districts of Southern and Western Province in Rwanda between 2018 and 2019 saw nine people killed and left several others gravely injured.

The event took place in Nyungwe National Park where some of the attacks were carried out.

The attacks were conducted in Nyabimata Sector of Nyaruguru District, Kitabi and Uwinkingi sectors in Nyamagabe District as well as Bweyeye Sector in Nyamasheke District.

The attacks also left many others gravely injured, and caused significant material and economic damage

During the event to commemorate victims of the attacks, mourners who set out from Kintobo Village, Kagano Cell, Kitabi Sector in Nyamagabe District to Nyungwe also conveyed messages denouncing FLN terrorism.

Desire Ngirababyeyi was driving a bus carrying passengers on 15th December 2018 along the road Rusizi-Nyamagabe in Nyungwe forest, Kitabi Sector in Nyamagabe District.

FLN combatant’s ambushed the bus along with others where they killed some passengers and injured others.

He explained that his bus was stopped by a log laid on the road by FLN terrorists who started shooting at passengers.

“As they shot us, the bus skidded off the road and rolled down. I immediately broke the glass, moved out and ran away along with some passengers who followed me. Later on, Rwandan soldiers came on our rescue,” he said.

“I was shot on the shoulder that I am handicapped. Since then, we have never received compensation but the government provided us with treatment and other support to survive,” narrated another affected resident identified as Azela Niyontegereje.

Residents who turned up for the commemoration event said that they wanted to denounce the international pressure exerted on Rwanda to release Paul Rusesabagina yet he was the leader of terrorists that killed relatives.

They also laid roses on two places where the victims were killed.

Vincent Nsengiyumva, the former Executive Secretary of Nyabimata Sector who was shot on the head by FLN attackers in June 2018 also provided testimonies at the event.

He commended security personnel for having intervened and urged foreigners against pushing for the release of Rusesabagina lest they continue to hurt affected residents.

Nsengiyumva asked the government of Rwanda to help them access fair justice because their compensation was not provided.

On 4th April 2022, the Court of Appeal maintained the 25-year sentence handed to Paul Rusesabagina while Nsabimana Callixte alias ‘Sankara’, the former spokesperson of MRCD-FLN terror group saw his sentence reduced from 20 to 15 years behind bars.

Rusesabagina and 20 co-accused individuals faced charges including the formation of an irregular armed group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, arson as an act of terrorism, attempted murder as an act of terrorism, and assault and battery as an act of terrorism.

Related story: Victims of FLN attacks demand Anthony Blinken to consider their concerns