Rwandan militiamen in german court: family in the landle and terror in congo

Rwandans Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni allegedly acted from Germany as political chiefs of the FDLR militia. In this country, they led a bourgeois existence.

Then he was still at large and gave an interview in a Christian church in Rome: Ignace Murwanashyaka in 2005. photo: reuters

Ignace Murwanashyaka, the president of the FDLR, was born in Rwanda in 1963. He came to Germany in 1989 on a scholarship and studied at the University of Bonn, where he also stayed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. He moved to Mannheim, married a German woman and became a father. In 2001, he received his doctorate on the topic of "Money Demand in South Africa."

He became involved as the German representative of the exile party RDR (Rally for Democracy and Return to Rwanda), the first political organization of Hutu who had fled Rwanda, which also gathered fugitive perpetrators of the genocide. This gave rise to the PalirAlir (Rwandan Liberation Army), in which Murwanashyaka was responsible for foreign relations. When the PalirAlir was listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, it renamed itself FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) in 2000. That same year, Murwanashyaka applied for asylum in Germany. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) subsequently granted him an unlimited residence permit.

Between 20, Murwanashyaka traveled to Congo several times. He completed military training. On his first trip, he was elected president of the FDLR, the reason being that unlike many others in the top leadership, he had a clean slate with regard to the genocide. Like a head of state, he was received with parades in the jungle. He distributed over $250,000 in cash to his troops.

During his last trip in 2006, the BAMF revoked his asylum status. This was his undoing: he ended up in deportation custody after the return flight, but was released. The court imposed conditions on him: he was no longer allowed to engage in political activity. When he continued to sign FDLR press statements, the media and politicians took notice. The Office of the Attorney General began an investigation. On November 17, 2009, Murwanashyaka was arrested. His asylum status has since been revoked.

Straton Musoni was born in 1961 near the Rwandan capital Kigali and was the first vice president of the FDLR. In 1986, he came to Stuttgart to study with a scholarship. Until 1993, he studied landscape management at the Nurtingen University of Applied Sciences and graduated as a graduate engineer. From 1995 to 1996, he was enrolled in the postgraduate program in International Economic Relations. During all these years he held a residence permit for his studies. When his first son was born in 1998 and he married a German woman, he was granted a temporary toleration.

After Murwanashyaka’s election as FDLR president in 2001, Musoni became vice president and was primarily responsible for finances. In 2007, he was named by the UN Sanctions Committee in connection with violations of the current arms embargo against armed groups in Congo, and a suspicious money laundering report was submitted to the Baden-Wurttemberg State Criminal Police Office. The LKA then began to investigate. While it searched for evidence, Musoni was in and out of the Ministry of Justice in Stuttgart to maintain the computers. From 2005 to 2008, he worked there as an employee of an IT company.

Despite suspicions of money laundering, Musoni survived two background checks by the Ministry of Justice. It was only after media reports about the FDLR leadership in Germany that he was checked again in 2008 – four days later he was denied access to the Ministry of Justice. After all, Musoni was banned from political activity in 2009 to prevent him from taking Murwanashyaka’s place. Musoni had already registered two websites. On these, he published, among other things, photos of a children’s sports festival from his home town of Neuffen.

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