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Rwanda’s major terror suspect implicates Zambia

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.

Published on 28.04.2020

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