In a bizarre legal development, Laurent Nkunda has decided to sue the Government of Rwanda. Nkunda’s official complaint: Rwanda ‘wrongfully arrested’ him in January because the war crimes he committed were obviously in a different country and you can’t just arrest rebel leaders in other countries for prosecution. His case is currently being heard in the lovely vacation spot Gisenyi.
Rwandan Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama told VOA that the political ramifications of the case must be taken into consideration and that the:
“The peace in eastern Congo is very, very important. But that raises political questions,” he said. “The fate of Nkunda therefore has both legal and political connotations, both for the justice system and for the political questions posed in eastern Congo. We think that there is a need, while we are treating this matter, to examine the effect, or the impact of whatever decision that will be taken on the peace process in eastern Congo.”
Reading between the lines, Karugarama’s comment really means that Rwanda ‘let’ Nkunda bring a case against the government ‘asking’ to be extradited to the DRC so that Rwanda can ‘possibly’ establish that shipping Nkunda back to the Congo poses security threats to the Great Lakes.
This way, Rwanda gets to keep Nkunda in a remote location where he can’t expose Rwanda’s military involvement with the CNDP public and play the Bashir-indictmen- debate their way claiming they chose peace and security over top-down justice. It’s a win-win situation for Rwanda and this way Nkunda will most likely get to keep sipping margaritas from an undisclosed safe location.