RDF Officers in ‘Rape’ Case: Three Released, Two Remanded

The military tribunal in Kigali on Friday pronounced its decision on six suspects that are co-accused of taking part in criminal activities including raping three women and beating up residents of Kangondo 1 cell in Remera sector, Gasabo district -Kigali city

The suspects had appealed against provisional detention’s ruling of May 13.

Defendants in this trial are five Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) soldiers- Patrick Ndayishimiye, Fidele Nishimwe, François Gatete, John Gahirwa and Theoneste Twagirimana (all with the rank of Private).

They were arrested in April and have since May 11, 2020 appeared before the military tribunal to battle out five charges leveled on them including rape, theft, abandoning duty, battering civilians, and unwarranted forced entry into civilians’ homes in Kangondo 1.

The court found no reason to hold John Gahirwa, Theoneste Twagirimana, and François Gatete that were accused of concealing information on crimes committed in Kangondo. The court ordered their immediate release.

The court denied Patrick Ndayishimiye and Fidele Nishimwe bail on the ground that there is a probable reason and cause both suspects committed the crime of raping women in Kangondo and assault. The court ruled that they should be jailed for 30 days pending more investigation.

Citing some reasons, the courts said that testimonies from victims allegedly raped by Fidele Nishimwe stated that among the soldiers who raped them, one was short dark-skinned with a gap in his mouth. The court verified and found that Nishimwe has a gap.

The same evidence also applies to Nishimwe on the allegation of assault and theft.

During the detention hearing, it was alleged that  the suspect Patrick Ndayishimiye was keeping guard for co-accused Fidele Nishimwe as he raped the ladies called Chantal Uwamariya and Cyuzuzo on consecutive days from March 12-18, 2020.

Civilian Donat ‘Rajab’ Ntakaziraho didn’t appeal and is serving his 30 days’ detention.

The suspects had been denied bail on May 13, but appealed the ruling on grounds that “there were insufficient evidence and probable cause on all counts.”




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