Rwanda’s terror suspect Callixte Nsabimana a.k.a Major Sankara who claimed to be the head of Rwanda rebel group National Liberation Force (NLF) on Monday told the judge at the International and Cross-Border Crimes in Nyanza,a district in Southern Rwanda that Zambian President Edgar Lungu helped rebel factions to attack Rwanda.NLF is a military wing of a Rwanda opposition political party, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change led by Rwandan dissident Paul Rusesabagina, known for protecting people during 1994’s Rwandan genocide as a manager of Hotel des Mille Collines.
Nsabimana appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded guilty of all charges but said that he was misled by some individuals including Kayumba Nyamwasa, one regade senior officer of the Rwandan army currently seeking asylum in South Africa.
Speaking Monday before the International and Cross-Border Crimes, Nsabimana accused Zambian President Edgar Lungu of allowing them space to operate in his country to overthrow the Rwandan government.
The trial was conducted digitally due to COVID-19 measures where all the parties made submissions through a live video link. There were glitches from the start of the trial which were resolved and the hearing proceeded.
The defendant is facing several charges including the formation of an irregular armed group, complicity in committing terrorist acts, conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorist acts, taking persons hostage, murder, and looting.
Nsabimana was spokesperson of a rebel outfit that calls itself National Liberation Front (FLN, French acronym), which has been accused of attacking villages in Southern part of the country, killing people, looting and destroying property.
The former rebel leader who promoted himself to the rank of Major, according to the prosecution began his journey when he was expelled from a government university in Rwanda, then reappeared in South Africa as a member of the group led by former RDF chief Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa in 2012.
He also spent time in Indian Ocean island of Comoros.
For years, since he began dissident activities in South Africa with the Rwandan National Congress (RNC) of Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, Sankara always appears in dark sunglasses.
On capture before his extradition to Rwanda, Sankara was found with Lesotho passport under the names Kabera Joseph, born from Masisi, DR Congo. It was acquired in 2013. Sankara paid 5,000 South African Rands ($ 300 USD). Prosecution says it is a fake passport.