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Rwanda: Four top military commanders arrested

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KIGALI – Rwanda has arrested four top Military officials, accusing them of illegal business dealings across the border in the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo, an army spokesman said on Wednesday.

“They are under investigation for acts of indiscipline with respect to getting involved with civilians in business dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Colonel Joseph Nzabamwita, a spokesman for the Rwanda Defence Force told the media

“They have been suspended from duty and placed under house arrest,” he said.

A senior diplomat said the detentions might be linked to the publication of a U.N. report last month on illegal smuggling of minerals between Congo and Rwanda using illegal border crossings.

Nzabamwita named the four as Lt. Gen. Fred Ibingira, the reserve force chief of staff, Brig Gen. Richard Rutatina, Military intelligence chief, Brig Gen. Wilson Gumisiriza who was western province Division commander and Col. Dan Munyuza, the external intelligence boss.

These are among the most high profile military arrests since two generals were arrested for corruption and misconduct in April, 2010. Other top brass and officials have fled into exile after falling out with President Paul Kagame.

The U.N. report said Rwanda’s recorded level of domestic production of tin, tungsten and tantalum ores was higher than industry analysts believed actual production to be, suggesting material from Congo was being smuggled into Rwanda and then labeled as Rwandan.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. gaha

    January 19, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    Let the Generals be given a break. Illegal wealth is rampant in Rwanda although people should not use their position to amass wealth. The problem with Rwanda is that such an anomaly has not been democratized. It is pracised by just a few who are protected by the mightiest in the land.
    This abrasion in the highest ranks in the military will in the end result in a coup d’état.
    Rwanda should help the Congolese State to finally emerge out of chaos and not perpetuate it. I see annexing the Eastern DRC to stop the mayhem there a more noble goal than stealing its minerals. Kagame should use his generals to that end instead of hauling them in every time he sees dust on the shoes. Generals ought to be people of integrity and valor; otherwise they shame the nation. Kagame must act quickly and decisively or he will lose the momentum.

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