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Who is Ignace Murwanashyaka?

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Ignace Murwanashyaka was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 17 in Karlsruhe, Germany. He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Eastern Congo, German prosecutors said.

Murwanashyaka is the 46-year-old self-proclaimed president of the Rwandan Hutu rebel movement, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (known by its French acronym, the FDLR). The FDLR are made up of former Rwandan army members and members of the radical militia Interahamwe, who are blamed for the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which killed 800,000 Rwandans, most of them members of the Tutsi minority.

Before 2005, Murwanashyaka traveled between Germany – where he had residence with his German wife – and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) city of Lubumbashi, where he served as president of the newly formed FDLR. Travel bans placed on him by the United Nations, for violating arms embargoes into the DRC, prevented Murwanashyaka from traveling back to Germany, although he did manage to return to Germany in 2006 with the help of a newly acquired Ugandan passport.


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