Recently, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has made commendable efforts to put an end to the terrorism of armed groups which, since 1994, have been spreading terror in its territory. Several of their military leaders have been killed by the Congolese army, including their leader, General Sylvestre Mudacumura; others were captured and hundreds of combatants were sent back to Rwanda. However, most of their political leaders who support them live quietly in the West and continue to support criminals living in the DRC with impunity.
In 2015, two FDLR political leaders, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, were tried and convicted by German courts for crimes committed by the FDLR in the DRC. This initiative should continue to even many other political leaders of the FDLR and other armed groups who threaten peace and security of the Great Lakes Region. Marcel Sebatware, commissioner of the FDU-Inkingi and leader of the P5 is one of them. He should be arrested and brought to justice.
Who is Marcel Sebatware?
In the early 1990s, Sebatware Marcel was the Director General of the Rwanda Cement Factory (CIMERWA), located in former Bugarama Commune, Rusizi district. He hails from Mukingo Commune, Ruhengeri Prefecture, as was the then powerful Minister of Commerce and Industry, Joseph Nzirorera, who appointed him to this prominent post.
Sebatware is also the brother-in-law of General Nsabimana Deogratias who was Chief of Staff of the former Rwandan armed forces (Ex-RAR), who signed a hateful document in September 21, 1992 in which he identified the Tutsi as enemies of the country. In terms of political affiliation, in 1994 Marcel Sebatware was a member of the extremist Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR).
Since his exile in Belgium, Marcel Sebatware has been one of the extremists who hide behind political actions to hide their criminal role in the genocide committed against the Tutsi. He is one of the founding members of a radical FDU-Inkingi group in Belgium, whose president Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was sentenced in Rwanda for genocide denial and incitement to hatred.
Marcel Sebatware is also one of the leaders of terrorist groups (RNC, FDU-Inkingi, PS-Imberakuri, Amahoro People’s Congress, PDP-Imanzi) allied in an organization called P5 which pursues genocidal and denial objectives. It is in particular such criminal groups that the DRC is currently engaged in dismantling on its territory. What is more appalling is that Marcel Sebatware is a notorious genocidaire. He was tried and found guilty of genocide in Rwanda by the Gacaca courts, which makes him a fugitive criminal who has no right to do anything political and no less support for a criminal group like P5
Marcel Sebatware’s Key role of in the establishment of a genocidal line
Upon his appointment as head of CIMERWA, Sebatware Marcel hastened to place in positions of responsibility people from the north of the country, fief of the regime, Ruhengeri and Gisenyi, with whom he shared Tutsi hatred. It was a general strategy used by the regime to place Hutu extremists in key positions of the administration, including state-owned enterprises and tea factories in preparation for the genocide. Renowned public institutions such as SORWALI SAR, UNR, Rwanda Social Fund, National Bank, and many others were used for the genocide.
There are many executives that Sebatware placed at CIMERWA with a plan to prepare for genocide:
- Between 1992 and 1994, out of a total of 20 directors and heads of departments included in CI MERWA, 8 directors and 11 heads of department were from Gisenyi and Ruhengeri, representing 99% of factory managers. Gaspard Kazungu, cousin of Joseph Nzirorera, was in charge of civil engineering. His wife Laurence Mukankaka, who is said to be the daughter of Laurent Semanza (mayor of Bicumbi Commune and close friend of Habyarimana and Nzirorera), worked for the directorate responsible for human resources;
- Mpozembizi Jean-Pierre, originally from Rwerere in Gisenyi, was an electrical engineer. Member of CDR, he was promoted to head of the electricity department;
- Ntibankundiye Assumani, originally from Rwerere in Gisenyi, member of the CDR, was promoted to the Head of the “Machine Maintenance” department;
- Nkusi David Wilson, originally from Nkuli in Ruhengeri, was hired in 1993 as bursar, at the same time, as an informer. He was a cousin of Marcel Sebatware;
- Uwayezu Jean, from Ruhengeri, was an Accountant. Joined CIMERWA on January 1, 1992, he was a member of CDR;
- Ntawumenyumunsi Pascal, was originally from Gisenyi and a member of the CDR. He was hired on January 6, 1992;
- Finally, his brother-in-law Sebageni Theoneste and his wife Claudine.
Only two executives were from Cyangugu, but they were recognized extremists of the same caliber as Sebatware. These are:
- Casimir Ndolimana who was the head of all the engineers, originally from Gisuma (Cyangugu), who was a formidable extremist member of the CDR. He had been at CIMERWA since 1984;
- Paul Ndacyayisenga, from Gafunzo (Cyangugu) who was an engi neer in charge of the laboratory.
This is how, under the responsibility of Marcel Sebatware, the CIMERWA factory had become sanctuary of extremists from Ruhengeri and Gisenyi, members of the extremist parties MRND and CDR. This clique collaborated with the notorious members of Interahamwe including Bandetse Edouard, trader in Nyakabuye Commune and treasurer of the MRND at the level of the Prefecture of Cyangugu; Bakundukize Elias, trader in Kamembe and Bugarama; Munyakazi Yusufu, also a trader in Bugarama.
Participation in genocide preparation meetings
Sebatware Marcel was a very influential and charismatic person, not only in Bugarama Commune in which CIMERWA was located, but also at the level of Cyangugu Prefecture. He participated in various meetings in which the genocide against the Tutsi was planned and implemented the decisions taken therein relating to the extermination of the Tutsi. Various witnesses affirm that if Sebatware Marcel had not supported the genocide committed against the Tutsi in CIMERWA and its surroundings, there would have been a large number of survivors, because many of them, hunted by the killers, were refugees in the factory, until they were flushed out and massacred there with his blessing.
Recruitment, training and arming of lnterahamwe killers
Sebatware Marcel also participated in the recruitment of Interahamwe militia, the organization of their paramilitary training, their equipment and the preparation of lists of Tutsi who were to be systematically massacred. Witnesses report that since 1993 Sebatware Marcel, along with other extremists, actively participated in the mobilization of H utu youth to encourage them to join the Interahamwe militia. Training was regularly organized on the CIMERWA football playground. A former CIMERWA agent, witness to these facts, said;
“One evening in 1993, I worked at SEBATWARE’s home. A car honked. I went to see. I did not recognize the driver. I asked him who he was. He told me his name was Lieutenant-Colonel Singirankabo, but he was dressed in civilian clothes. He told me he had an appointment with the director general of CIMERWA. I went to inform the reception as it was the norm. I was told I could let him in. I was with another youth, Alphonse, Sebatware’s little brother, who was there. Sebatware asked us to take the crate that was in the car and bring it inside the house. It was about 1:00 p.m. I went back to the entrance of the gate to continue monitoring the house. Alphonse joined me there at around 2:30 p. m. He told me that the crate we carried from the car inside the house contained guns. At around 3:00 p.m., people arrived at the house, they all went inside and took away these cases of rifles and ammunition.”
Clearly, these weapons were intended for the Interahamwe of the region. It should be noted that Lieutenant-Colonel Claudien Singirankabo was responsible for the civil self-defense program throughout the Cyangugu prefecture, which included, among other things, training the militias and providing them with weapons for the purpose of committing genocide.
Persecution of CIMERWA Tutsi Staff
The heads of CIMERWA departments persecuted the Tutsi who were part of the staff, arguing in particular that they were accomplices of the Inkotanyi. During the judgment in absentia of Sebatware Marcel before the Gacaca court in Muganza, on January 3, 2008, these facts were adequately documented. For example, witness Bapfakurera Jean, a former CIMERWA employee, explained before the Court: “When the genocide against the Tutsi started in 1994, Tutsi members of the CI MERWA staff were already a shadow of themselves , as the extremist members of the factory management persecuted them; their ordeal culminated in the genocide committed against the Tutsi of which they themselves were the victims, with the active participation of their Directorate, which had drawn up their list in order to easily track them down and send them to death.”
Another witness who worked in the CIMERWA canteen said in the Munyakazi trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that he regularly saw Interahamwe militiamen from Bugarama, in uniform and armed, both with firearms and swords. He had notably seen the great militia leader of Bugarama Munyakazi Yussuf. It was these same Interahamwe from Bugarama who attacked CIMERWA on April 16, 1994 and exterminated the Tutsis who had taken refuge there. On September 28, 2011, the ICTR Appeal Chamber sentenced Yussuf Munyakazi, an accomplice of Sebatware Marcel, to a sentence of 25 years in prison after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination).
Belgium should comply with its international obligations to extradite Sebatware Marcel to Rwanda instead of letting him continue to spread his hatred with impunity.