Accessibility links

Nkunda’s Family Challenges Rwanda’s ‘Illegal’ Detention

  • Peter Clottey

Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the Falco site, Betou in the Republic of Congo, Nov. 2009, to escape inter-ethnic violence in recent weeks in neighbouring DRC

Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the Falco site, Betou in the Republic of Congo, Nov. 2009, to escape inter-ethnic violence in recent weeks in neighbouring DRC

The nephew of former Congolese renegade army General Laurent Nkunda says his family will challenge his “illegal detention” in Rwanda’s Supreme Court Wednesday.

The nephew of former Congolese renegade army General Laurent Nkunda says his family will challenge his “illegal detention” in Rwanda’s Supreme Court Wednesday.

Gustav Tombola says the family expects the Supreme Court to make “the right judgment.”

“Today at 8 o’clock, there is a trial at the Supreme Court of Rwanda. Then we (will) be waiting to see what will happen,” he said.

Former CNDP rebel Leader Laurent Nkunda.

Former CNDP rebel Leader Laurent Nkunda.

Laurent Nkunda, the former Tutsi leader of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) rebel group, was captured after he tried to resist a joint military operation of Congolese and Rwandan forces.

Last year, about 4,000 Rwandan troops reportedly entered the Democratic Republic of Congo under an agreement with Kinshasa to hunt down rival Hutu rebel forces formed after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Nkunda was arrested early last year shortly after crossing into Rwanda, and has not been seen in public since.

Gustav Tombola said Nkunda’s family has so far been prevented from having any contact with the former rebel leader.

“I have not got contact with him. The family (hasn’t been in contact with him),” Tombola said.

Nkunda’s family filed a suit against General James Kabarebe, the Chief of Defense Staff of the Rwandan Army, and Rwanda’s government for “illegally” detaining the former rebel leader without trial.

Tombola said he has confidence in Rwanda’s justice system despite Nkunda’s “illegal” detention.

“Yes, we are confident in the judicial system in Rwanda. Rwanda is a democratic country – is a country of laws. We have confidence,” Tombola said.

Kinshasa still has an arrest warrant against Nkunda after accusing him of committing war crimes in South Kivu province, which his CNDP forces captured in June 2004.

Tombola said he is unaware of the charges against the former rebel leader.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t know the charge (against him) up to now,” he said.

XS
SM
MD
LG