April 4, 2020

Army Promises ‘Public Trial’ for Soldiers Accused of Terrorising Kigali Slum During COVID-19 Lockdown

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This Bannyahe slum, meaning “where do they defecate” was scene of terror. As seen from above, it is surrounded by posh neighborhoods

The Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) has vowed to seriously punish soldiers alleged to have spent more than two weeks rampaging in a Kigali slum.

More than 10 women and girls say they were raped, some before their husbands and parents. Property of some was taken by the soldiers.

The incidents happened in Bannyahe slum, located in Nyarutarama, besides posh residences. The information only emerged this week because it was during the COVID-19 government imposed lockdown to control spread of the virus.

No one was moving in or out the slum except for the soldiers and other security personnel who are on 24 hour patrol in this slum, like across Rwanda.

The allegations first began from social media. Local media picked up the allegations on Thursday. The same day, RDF Spokesman Lt Col Munyengango Innocent was quoted in several media as admitting the incidents indeed took place.

He announced that three soldiers had been arrested in connection with the terror. On Friday, military investigators camped in the slum, supposedly collecting evidence in the full glare of the media.

This Saturday afternoon, the Ministry of Defense issued a statement confirming that two more soldiers had been arrested, bring total to five.

“RDF assures the public that justice will take its course. The court hearing shall be held in public at the scene of the alleged crimes,” said the statement.

“RDF strongly condemns any violation of Rwandan law, or RDF ethics and values by its personnel. Justice, security, and support for the affected community are our utmost priority.”

The public trial will be held in the same village, Nyarutarama, Remera Sector, Gasabo District

Military investigators spent Friday interviewing witnesses and victims of the terror in full glare of the media

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