Extremist militant Hutus have been scattered across the world since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Now two men, who have been allegedly leading forces in Congolese territory from their home in Germany, are to stand trial.
Murwanashyaka allegedly led the FDLR from 2001
Two Hutu rebel leaders from Rwanda are to stand trial in Germany for war crimes and crimes against humanity in May, the higher regional court in Stuttgart announced on Friday, March 4.
Ignace Murwanashyaka, 47, and Straton Musoni, 49, are both charged with 26 counts of crimes against humanity and 39 counts of war crimes. The charges relate to the killing of more than 200 people and the use of rape, child soldiers and civilian shields in fighting.
The two men are said to have been leading the operations of Hutu rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by issuing directives from Germany starting in January 2008 up until their arrest in November 2009. The indictment came in December 2010.
Prosecutors say Murwanashyaka also served as president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda from 2001. Known by its French acronym FDLR, the militant group was formed by many Hutu extremists involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Musoni was reportedly the group's vice president since 2004.
A specific trial date has not yet been announced.
France is holding a third alleged senior leader in the FDLR, Callixte Mbarushimana, who faces a trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Author: Andrew Bowen (dpa, epd)
Editor: Toma Tasovac