Rwandan National Liberation Front (FLN) rebel Major Callixte Nsabimana aka Sankara has pleaded guilty to the 16 charges of terrorism, kidnap, murder, genocide denial, arson, armed robbery, forgery, causing bodily harm, among others.
Major Sankara has been spokesman of FLN, a military wing of Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (RMDC:MRCD) led by an affluent humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina and deputized by Maj. Sankara himself.
The rebel outfit has in the last few days given Paul Kagame sleepless nights as it intensified war on RDF soldiers in Nyungwe forests- Southern Province of Rwanda.
Arrested in Comoros a month ago and extradited to Kigali later in the same month of April, Sankara was Thursday morning charged before Kacyiru Primary Court in Kibagabaga.
Sankara, who appeared with his lawyer Moise Nkundabarashi among the crimes he faces include those related to attacks by insurgents that took place in southern Rwanda last year in which people were killed, others kidnapped and property looted.
Uganda accused of backing rebels
Prosecution said in March, Sankara was facilitated by a one Major Bertin aka Moses, Burundi’s External Intelligence Officer to meet Uganda’s head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence Brig. Gen. Abel Kandiho.
On the Ugandan side, the meeting between Sankara and Brig Kandiho was brokered by one Captain Sunday Charles and that the accused admitted all charges during the questioning by prosecutors.
While addressing court, Sankara started by explaining circumstances under which the terror outfit to which he was leader attacked civilians in Southern Province last year
“We had given FNL specific instructions that whatever operation they launch, it should be about destroying bridges, ambush military cars, attack sector, district, police and military camps.”
“When I was arrested and showed evidence of what had happened. I was shocked to see that six people were killed and most were women.”
“After I saw the evidence, I made a decision that I would not to hide anything about FNL. I did not give them instructions to kill civilians and I take responsibility of my part in it.”
“I would like to apologise to the President, the injured, the families of the ones that passed away and to Rwandans in general.”
He swore: “From today on wards, I am done with FLN and whatever else they may do is on them not me. I have been working with people from the Intelligence in Burundi but to be specific, the government and military was not involved. They we’re not aware of our clandestine operations.”
He went on: “We have met Ugandan military officials. There was a scheduled meeting with Brig. Gen Kandiho but on the day of the meeting, he had an emergency so he sent a Colonel. We requested for military and diplomatic support from Uganda and we got a positive answer.”
Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of the East African Community, Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, said beyond illegal arrest and torture of a hundred Rwandan citizens in Uganda, “we now learn that this man , Brig Gen Abel Kandiho, Head of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), met with Callixte Nsabimana to plan destabilising Rwanda.”
He added: “two terror suspects living in two different countries; two arrest operations at different times; two terrorist organisations with different backgrounds; two testimonies before the court, backed by material evidence; one point of convergence: support by Uganda.”