Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Germany Arrests FDLR Leaders

In case you missed it, Germany arrested two key FDLR leaders earlier this week.
Ignace Murwanashyaka, the leader of the FDLR rebel group, and his aide Straton Musoni were held on suspicion of crimes against humanity and war crimes
Jason Stearns, over at Congo Siasa, explains why this matters (incidentally, if you're interested in DRC and you don't read his blog, you should, it's great). In short, while these two leaders have not been in Rwanda for years, the UN group of experts (of which Stearns was a member last year) has documented the FDLR's reliance on its leaders abroad. It's been tricky though to get Germany and other states to act on evidence against these officials. I suspect that Germany in particular might have been encouraged to do so after being briefed by the current group of experts on new evidence on these leaders. As Jason says, you'll have to wait for the report (due out mid-December at the latest) to find out what that evidence is.

Meanwhile, Rwanda has requested the extradition of the arrested leaders. This BBC article also has more on the FDLR.


  1. Well, the official statement on the homepage of the Federal prosecutor mentions "undercover inverstigations" that have been going on for a year and allowed to assemble enough evidence to get am arrest warrant:

    "Die seit etwa einem Jahr mit großem Aufwand verdeckt geführten Ermittlungen konnten die Beweislage gegen die Beschuldigten nunmehr so verdichten, dass die Bundesanwaltschaft sich in der Lage sah, den für einen Haftbefehl erforderlichen dringenden Tatverdacht zu bejahen. Der Ermittlungsrichter des Bundesgerichtshofs hat sich dieser Auffassung angeschlossen und gestern Haftbefehl gegen die Beschuldigten erlassen."

    So the briefing might have helped, but probably wasn't the deciding factor ...

  2. Ugh. "investigations" and "an arrest warrant", not "am". Should have used the preview function ...

  3. Thanks Positroll--that adds another piece to this.