Rwanda’s prosecutors on Tuesday accused terror suspect Callixte Nsabimana a.k.a Major Sankara of encouraging ‘dangerous acts’ since he was enrolled at University and said the defendant has been for long “fomenting domestic rebellion” against the institutions of government.Among other charges, Nsabimana faces include the formation of an illegal militia group; taking part in terrorist activities, conspiring and sensitizing people towards joining terrorism, killing, kidnapping, denying and undermining the genocide against the Tutsi, among others.
According to the prosecutor, his journey began when he was expelled from a government university in Rwanda, then reappeared in South Africa as a member of the group led by former Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) chief of General staff Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa. He also spent time in Indian Ocean island of Comoros.
In the wee hours of June 19-20, 2018, an armed gang carrying crude weapons and guns attacked Nyabimata sector, in Nyaruguru district. The sector borders directly with Burundi, and a large portion of it is covered by Nyungwe forest national park.
Witnesses said at the time that the assailants were over 30. They stormed the home of Nyabimata executive secretary Nsengiyumva Vincent. They left him fighting for his life, set his house on fire and torched his car. The attack killed two people.
Then about two weeks later around 11pm on July 1, which is the uncelebrated Independence Day in Rwanda, another attack took place in the same area. The Assailants came from the direction of Nyungwe forest, fired sporadically – which forced all to stay inside their homes.
The gang forced their way into homes, looted food, clothing, animals and money. They fled back to the forest, which is barely two kilometers away.
About three weeks later on July 20, a statement appeared on Facebook of a group calling itself ‘National Liberation Forces (FLN)’. It had a logo of ‘Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD)’.
At the bottom of the statement was signed ‘Maj Callixte Sankara’, as 2nd deputy for MRCD and spokesman of FLN. MRCD was founded by Paul Rusesabagina, the personality whose story that claims saving people during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, was dramatized in Hollywood’s “Hotel Rwanda”. He lives between France and U.S.
NLF is a military wing of a Rwanda opposition political party, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change led by Rwandan dissident Paul Rusesabagina, known for protecting people during 1994’s Rwandan genocide as a manager of Hotel des Mille Collines.
For the second consecutive day, the trial was conducted digitally due to COVID-19 measures where all the parties made submissions through a live video link.
The former rebel leader also spent time in Indian Ocean island of Comoros.
For years, since he began dissident activities in South Africa with the Rwandan National Congress (RNC) of Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, Sankara always appears in dark sunglasses.
On capture before his extradition to Rwanda, Sankara was found with Lesotho passport under the names Kabera Joseph, born from Masisi, DR Congo. It was acquired in 2013. Sankara paid 5,000 South African Rands ($ 300 USD). Prosecution says it is a fake passport.