Arusha, 23 May, 2008 (FH) - Colonel Faustin Sebuhura, a member of the Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who was repatriated Wednesday to Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had surrendered voluntarily Tuesday to the UN Mission (MONUC), reported Radio Okapi Friday.

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According to the Kinshasa-based UN sponsored radio, the officer surrendered voluntarily Tuesday near Nyabyondo, Masisi, north-west of Goma, the provincial capital of North-Kivu.

Nicknamed "Minani", Sebuhura was the political adviser of the leader of the armed wing of FDLR, General Sylvestre Mudacumura.

Members of FDLR are accused of having taken part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which claimed lives of about 800,000 mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Some of them are wanted either by Rwanda or the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.

Sebuhura, who was regarded as belonging to the FDLR hardliners, chose to peacefully lay his weapons and to voluntarily return to his country despite charges which weigh against him for crimes of genocide.

In 1994, he was an officer of gendermerie in Gikongoro ,southern Rwanda, and allegedly had taken part in the massacre of thousands of ethnic Tutsis in Gikongoro and Butare.

According to the pro-government Rwandan newspaper, The New Times, Sebuhura is currently hospitalized in Gisenyi, northern Rwanda, close to the border with the DRC.

The London-based African Rights Organisation claims that Sebuhura was also general coordinator of the training programs of the officers and warrant officers of FDLR.

Radio Okapi reported that MONUC considered the surrender as important as other high ranking officers of the military branches of FDLR can now follow suit.

The FDLR movement is regarded as one of the leading causes of the insecurity in the Great Lakes region.

The American State Department stated recently the majority of the 13 persons indicted by the ICTR who are still at large, are believed to be hiding in eastern DRC.


© Hirondelle News Agency