Congo Siasa

Arrests of CNDP members

As readers of this blog will know, the Rwandan government has been cracking down against ex-CNDP members in their country. There could be several reasons behind this: Rwandan security sources suggest that ex-CNDP members may be linked to the recent grenade attacks in Kigali and could also be in contact with General Kayumba Nyamwasa. Members within the CNDP close the Laurent Nkunda has also been protesting the general’s continued detention in Rwanda and are not happy with the leadership of ICC-indictee Bosco Ntaganda.

So who has been arrested?

We don’t know anything for sure. But this is what several sources indicate:

  • Sheikh Idi Abbas (Tutsi) a former leader of the CNDP, was arrested in Gisenyi (Rwanda) by security officials in March this year. According to several sources, he was called in by members of the security services and hasn’t been seen since. He was very close to Laurent Nkunda.
  • Patrice Habarurema (Hutu, Masisi): A former cabinet member of General Laurent Nkunda, he launched a dissident movement within the CNDP in protest of Bosco Ntaganda in May. He was arrested only a few days later by members of the Rwandan security services in Gisenyi.
  • Denis Ntare Semadwinga (Tutsi, Ruthsuru): A former Mobutist cabinet official and Nkunda’s civilian chief of staff, he was murdered in his house in Gisenyi in June. I have not heard whether Rwandan police have launched an investigation, but Semadwinga’s neighbors say that they called for help but the police, stationed nearby, didn’t show.
  • Robert Ndengeye (Tutsi): This self-proclaimed general was not officially a member of Nkunda’s CNDP, but was close to him and the Rwandan government. In early 2007, he led several hundred CNDP soldiers to join the Congolese army in Kinshasa after striking a deal with General John Numbi. He later returned to Kigali. He was reportedly arrested in Kigali in March this year, although the Rwandan security services say they don’t know anything about it. His family is still looking for him.
  • Claude Nsengiyumva: A major in the CNDP, he was called to Rwanda by the security services in May and arrested. Nothing has been heard of him since then.
  • A source within the CNDP says that numerous other former CNDP officials or people close to Nkunda have been arrested in Rwanda and Congo, but I haven’t been able to confirm this with other sources.