Six people accused of being members of the Rwandan rebels were condemned in Rwanda, in the town of Ruhengeri, Northwestern Rwanda, today March 12, 2015. The 6 people, including two women, were sentenced to life in prison, for, according to the prosecution, "treason, illegal transport and possession of fire arms, complicity in terrorist acts, murder and aggravated assaults".
They were tried for belonging or supporting the Rwandan rebels, known as FDLR, and helping carrying out the attacks in Northwestern Rwanda in 2013. The six individuals condemned to life in in prison are: two women, Belancile Nyiransabimana and Agnes Murekatete and four men: Sadik Habimana, Jotham Nsengiyumva, Emmanuel Rukera, JMV Uwihanganye.
One of the accused, Jotham Nsengiyumva, was labelled by the Rwandan government prosecution as the ring leader who has trained with Rwandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The family members of the accused contacted by AfroAmerica Network have denied the charges and instead blamed the government of trumping up the charges, torturing the accused, and holding summary trials for propaganda purposes. To support their claims, the family members pointed to the ways the ruling was conducted and verdicts were announced to the public. The ruling was held and the verdit for 14 suspects announced in a soccer stadium in Ruhengeri, the largest city in Northern Rwanda.
A strange turn of events happened when it was disclosed that the accused ring leader, Jotham Nsengiyumva, has claimed that the Governor of Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe, had funded the rebels and the attacks. Aime Bosenibamwe allegedly gave 3 million of Rwandan francs, or around US$ 5,000, to fund rebel attacks.
The Governor Aime Bosenibamwe, a rare leader from the Hutu ethnic majority in a government entirely dominated by teh Tutsi minority, has denied his involvement and members of his family, contacted by AfroAmerica Network, have said that he sees the accusations as "a sword over his neck". The Rwandan police has declared to the media that investigations regarding the involvement of Aime Bosenibamwe are on-going. The Rwandan government said that some of the attacks led to multiple casualties, including the death of the Musanze mayor Winifrida Mpembyemungu and a baby and two injured people.