The Rwandan government announced on Monday the deaths of two suspected National Liberation Front (FLN) militiamen following the group’s attack from Burundian territory late on Sunday.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that “some of the enemy FLN attackers crossed the Ruhwa River from the Mabayi community in Burundi and entered Rwandan territory at Bweyeye about 100 meters”.
“The enemy attackers were intercepted by the Rwandan armed forces,” he said before adding that “two attackers died instantly” and that weapons, explosives and ammunition and uniforms from the Burundian army were confiscated during the operation.
He also stressed that “the enemy attackers have withdrawn to Burundi via the Ruhwa River in the area that separates the Ruhororo area in Mabayi community and the Bweyeye sector in Rwanda”. “They have returned to the Kibira forest, where they have bases,” he said.
Regarding the FLN as a terrorist organization, Rwanda is currently trying 21 people for its alleged links to the group, including Paul Rusesabagina, known worldwide as the hero whose story is told in the movie “Hotel Rwanda”.
Authorities have charged Rusesabagina with terrorism and terrorist financing for its links with the FLN, the armed wing of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRDC), of which he was president despite refusing to appear at the hearings in which he argued The process won’t be fair.
The trial is based on the deaths of nine civilians in a series of attacks by the armed group on several Rwandan cities near the Burundi border between 2018 and 2019.
Rusesabagina himself recognized his connections with the FLN in late September 2020, despite claiming that his role was only “diplomatic” in nature. He said that the MRDC created the FLN “as an armed wing, not a terrorist organization, as the prosecutor claims”. “I do not deny that the FLN committed crimes, but my role was diplomacy,” he said.
Rusesabagina is known worldwide after its story was recorded in the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. As deputy manager of the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali, he managed to protect more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus within the establishment during the 1994 genocide.