RWANDA’s major terror suspect Callixte Nsabimana popularly known as “Major Sankara” accused of ‘fomenting rebellion’ has been jailed for 20 years in prison in Rwanda.
Sept. 20, 2021
3 min read
Fake Mosotho jailed for 20 years
RWANDA’s major terror suspect, Callixte Nsabimana (in shades)
- “I ordered attacks on public infrastructure, security personnel”
- He acquired Lesotho passport and used it to travel to Ireland
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A Rwandan citizen, Sankara, who was a spokesman for the National Liberation Front (FLN), the armed wing of Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), a group opposed to Kagame's rule, had his journey beginning 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.
According to The New Times his counts included fraudulent acquisition or production and the use of forged documents and papers issued by competent authority, and receiving and distribution of proceeds for a terrorism act.
On the former, Sankara explained that he would go by the name of Joseph Kabera, and chose to lie that he was born in D.R. Congo so as to easily acquire a Lesotho passport and later travel to Ireland.
The principal accused in marathon terrorism trial, reported Reuters, was 'Hotel Rwanda' film hero Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, who was also found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The 2004 film depicted him risking his life to shelter hundreds of people as manager of a luxury hotel in the Rwandan capital Kigali during the 100-day genocide, when Hutu ethnic extremists killed more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Cheadle was nominated for an Oscar for the role and Rusesabagina received the Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian award - from President George W. Bush in 2005.
Rusesabagina used his fame to highlight what he described as rights violations by the government of Kagame, a Tutsi rebel commander who took power after his forces captured Kigali and halted the genocide.
Rusesabagina’s father was Hutu and his mother and wife were Tutsi. He became a Belgian citizen after the genocide and lived in exile in the United States until last year.
In a video posted on YouTube in 2018, Rusesabagina called for armed resistance, saying change could not be achieved by democratic means. The year before, Kagame had won re-election with 99% of the vote.
The Sankara group, according to The New Times, faced terrorism-related charges, after being involved in attacks that hit the south-western part of the country between 2018 and 2019, and claimed the lives of nine people, leaving many others injured.
Since 2019 when he first appeared before the court for the first time, Sankara pleaded guilty to 17 counts related to terrorism.
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Other charges included complicity to intentional assault or battery, complicity to arson, and complicity to armed robbery, maintaining relations with a foreign Government with intent to wage a war, genocide denial, and genocide minimization.
Concerning genocide denial and genocide minimization, Sankara said that he committed both crimes using several media outlets, and would promote double genocide agenda. “The same agenda is used by all anti-Kigali groups,” he added.
According to The New Times, Rwanda’s prosecutors accused Sankara of encouraging ‘dangerous acts’ since he was enrolled at University and said the defendant had been for long “fomenting domestic rebellion” against the institutions of government, including 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.