French Court approves Mbarushimana extradition 03 Nov 2010
A Paris Appeals Court has approved the extradition of an accused Rwandan rebel leader to the ICC

On Wednesday 3 November 2010, the Paris Court of Appeals approved the extradition of Callixte Mbarushimana to face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Mbarushimana was arrested on 11 October 2010 after a warrant for his arrest issued by the Court was unsealed.

Mbarushimana is charged with 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape, persecution and extensive destruction of property committed by the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) during most of 2009. The FDLR is a rebel group operating in the eastern region of Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), originally composed of former Interahamwe militias who fled Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide.

Rebel leader

According to the charges against him, Mbarushimana is one of the principal leaders of the FDLR having superior responsibility over the alleged crimes committed. The Paris Court approved Mbarushimana’s extradition on the condition that “under no circumstance should Mr Mbarushimana be taken back by any means to Rwanda”. Lawyers for Mbarushimana attempted to prevent his extradition by arguing that he would be sent to Rwanda where they claim he would not receive a fair trial.

Two arrest warrants issued by the Rwandan authorities remain outstanding for Mbarushimana.

According to the ICC, pending an appeal against the decision, Mbarushimana would be transferred to the custody of the ICC within one month. Mbarushimana has denied the charges and claims that the FDLR is a freedom movement, fighting to liberate Rwanda from the current governing authorities.

Instability in the eastern DRC has been rife since the end of the Rwandan Genocide, with Rwanda twice sending its troops into the country. The FDLR remains one of the most powerful groups in the eastern regions, with allegations that they are financed by gold and mineral mines. Mbarushimana will be the first person to face charges in relation to crimes committed in the Kivu provinces in the DRC.

Callixte Mbarushimana ('DomCLIC' Project)

DRC Background Document

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