Rwandan captured rebel publicist pleads guilty to terror-related charges

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Rwandan rebel group the National Liberation Front (FLN), publicist Callixte Nsabimana alias Sankara who was arrested recently on Thursday pleaded guilty to 16 charges at Kacyiru Primary Court in Gasabo district.

Nsabimana faces charges of terrorism, murder, kidnap, armed robbery, genocide denial, arson, forgery among other charges.

Prosecutors claim Nsabimana was facilitated by Burundian security officials to link up with Uganda’s security officials in search of military and diplomatic support.

Nsabimana, who hails from Nyanza district in the Southern Province in a statement on March 19, had claimed his rebel group had taken control of some Rwandan regions near Nyungwe forest, areas bordering Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru districts in Southern Province.

But President Paul Kagame at a press conference on April 8 dismissed the talks of overrunning some places in the country as “just a passing story.”

In December 2018 at least four Rwandans were killed and eight others injured when unidentified attackers torched three passenger vehicles in Nyamagabe district, near the border with Burundi, some of the crimes which were allegedly committed by insurgents under Nsabimana.

During the hearing on Thursday, Nsabimana, who was accompanied to court by his lawyer Moise Nkundabarashe, admitted to meeting Burundian and Ugandan military officials in search of military and diplomatic support.

He said he entered a guilty plea to save court’s time and because he is aware prosecution has gathered enough evidence for the case.

He expressed remorse, asking for forgiveness from the president and families of people who lost their loved in insurgence activities of his rebel group. He also said he had discarded FLN.

Nsabimana asked for bail. But prosecution prayed court to remand him because of the grave nature of his crimes. Court will announce its ruling on bail application on May 28.

The government first announced the arrest of Nsabimana on April 30.

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