The trial of FDLR leaders, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, who are accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on Congolese territory, will begin on May 4th in Germany.
Murwanashyaka is the president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Musoni its vice president.
For, Luneno Jason, president of the north Kivu civil society group, the trial of the FDLR leaders will have had a negative effect on the group, still active in his region, although considerably weakened.
He added that efforts were still being made to bring to justice other FDLR members who are still at large. The president of the South Kivu civil society, Cyprien Biringirwa , is less optimistic about the impact the trial will have on activities by the FDLR on the ground and calls for the complete eradication of the group that was blacklisted, by the UN, as a terrorist entity.
In June 2002, Germany introduced a new International Penal Code to deal with the crime of genocide and other crimes against humanity and terrorism. Under this law, German prosecutors can try a civilian for commanding responsibility over atrocities committed outside Germany.
Germans Prosecutors arrested Murwanashyaka, 47, and Musoni, 49, in November 2009 and indicted them in December 2010 for 26 crimes against humanity and 39 war crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.