Ignace Murwanashyaka

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Ignace Murwanashyaka

Ignace Murwanashyaka (14 May 1963 – 16 April 2019) was a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu rebel group that absorbed a number of military people responsible for the Rwanda genocide, and operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The FDLR are responsible for large scale human rights violations and crimes against humanity, including rape on a massive scale.[1][2]


Murwanashyaka was born in Butare and has studied economic sciences in West Germany, including a doctor's degree, and lived there since 1989, on asylum since 2000. He was married to a German woman and has children with her. Since 2001 he had been travelling between Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In November 2005 he was blacklisted by the United Nations for violating an arms embargo aimed at promoting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and subjected to a travel bans and assets freeze.[3]

He was arrested on 7 April 2006 in Mannheim, Germany for immigration violations and released shortly after.[4][5] On 26 May 2006 preliminary investigation were opened against him for "Initial suspicion of involvement in crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo", but the prosecution has since been abandoned.[6] Rwanda indicated it would seek his extradition for alleged crimes committed during the Rwandan Genocide[7] and has issued an arrest warrant.[8]

He was arrested again on 17 November 2009 by the German authorities. The trial for him and his alleged aide Straton Musoni began on May 4, 2011 before the Oberlandesgericht in Stuttgart. They are accused of several counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity according to the German Völkerstrafgesetzbuch. Their trial is the first held in Germany for crimes against this law.[9][10] In September 2015, Murwanashyaka was sentenced to 13 years, Musoni to 8 years, in prison.[11]

On 16 April, Murwanashyaka died in a German hospital after a sudden deterioration in health.[12]


  1. ^ McGreal, Chris (12 November 2007). "Hundreds of thousands of women raped for being on the wrong side". The Guardian. London.
  2. ^ "Reports". Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. ^ Last updated on 6 February 2007
  4. ^ Maciej Konarski. "psz.pl - DRK-Rwanda/ Przywdca FDLR aresztowany w Niemczech". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  5. ^ Maciej Konarski. "psz.pl - Rwanda-Niemcy/ Murwanashyaka wyszed na wolno". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  6. ^ Dominic Johnson. "Bundesregierung duldet Terrorchef: Ruandas Miliz-Führer in Deutschland - taz.de". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  7. ^ JURIST - Paper Chase: Suspected Rwanda war criminal arrested in Germany Archived 2006-04-18 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "www.interpol.com". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Rwanda: Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni tried". BBC. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  10. ^ "Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart (5. Strafsenat) eröffnet Hauptverfahren gegen zwei mutmaßliche Führungsfunktionäre der "Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda" (FDLR )". Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart (in German). 4 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  11. ^ "Conviction of FDLR leaders by German Court". Armed Groups and International Law. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  12. ^ "Ruanda: Mutmaßlicher Kriegsverbrecher in Deutschland gestorben" (in German). Die Zeit. 2019-04-17. Retrieved 2019-04-18.