Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 20:36 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Rwanda

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Rwanda, 30 May 2013, available at: [accessed 18 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Rwanda worked to increase border security and cooperation with its neighbors in the East African Community, and signed new bilateral memorandums of understanding on police cooperation during the year. In early 2012, the Government of Rwanda, in tandem with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), worked to get the DRC-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FDLR), and other armed combatants, to demobilize and reintegrate into Rwandan society. In April, cooperative efforts between Rwanda and the DRC ended when a group of DRC soldiers rebelled and left the Armed Forces of the DRC to form the M23 rebel group, with the stated aim of overthrowing the government of the DRC. The Rwandan government, including Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF), provided assistance to M23 during the year, even though M23 leadership had been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury for its abuses in the eastern DRC and its leader was wanted by the International Criminal Court.

Counterterrorism training for border control officials, police, military, and security forces remained a priority, and relations with the United States on these issues remained strong.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: In 2012, there were several grenade and other attacks in Rwanda that the Rwandan government defined as terrorism, and the FDLR took responsibility for many of them. Grenade attacks consistently targeted busy markets or transit hubs in major urban areas, a pattern seen in Rwanda since 2009. Most attacks also coincided with high-profile Rwandan government events. Attacks that the Rwandan government classified as terrorist included:

  • On January 3, a grenade attack killed two and wounded 16 in a Kigali market.

  • On January 24, a grenade attack in Gitarama injured at least 14 people. Rwandan National Police (RNP) arrested two suspects

  • On March 23, an explosion at Ruhengeri bus station killed one and injured five. There were no arrests.

  • On March 30, two nearly-simultaneous grenade attacks in Kigali markets injured six. Four suspects were arrested by the RNP.

  • On November 27, approximately 120 armed men reportedly crossed into Rwanda from the DRC to attack Rubavu province. The attack was repulsed by the RDF with no civilian casualties.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: On June 14, Rwanda promulgated a new penal code, which increased the Rwandan government's ability to combat terrorism, in accord with relevant international conventions. The law includes new penal provisions for terrorism aboard aircraft or at airports, attacks on internationally protected persons, weapons of mass destruction, and other matters. The new code also expressly forbids exportation of arms, ammunition, and related materials to an area of armed conflict or a country under an arms embargo imposed by the UNSC or by organizations of which Rwanda is a member.

The poor security situation in the eastern DRC put pressure on Rwanda's western borders.

Rwanda has been active in prosecutions of terrorist attacks. On January 13, judges convicted 21 defendants and acquitted eight in relation to several grenade attacks that took place in 2011 and earlier. Prosecutors in this case earlier dropped charges against more than 70 others. On December 6, the High Court in Musanze District convicted 11 of 12 defendants for threatening state security in relation to grenade attacks and other "terrorist acts" that occurred prior to 2012. On December 14, criminal trials started involving defendants charged in the 2012 grenade attacks.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Rwanda is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Rwanda's new 2012 penal code prohibits money laundering and terrorist financing by individuals and entities. The Government of Rwanda continued efforts to implement its 2009 law on the "Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism," which established the legislative framework to adhere to international money laundering standards. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Rwanda is not a member of any regional organization or grouping that carried out counterterrorism activities, but hosted security and terrorism-focused conferences held under the auspices of regional organizations like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization, a sub-regional organization of Interpol.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In January, the Government of Rwanda sponsored an Africa Center for Strategic Studies conference on "Preventing Youth Radicalization in East Africa" in Kigali. Until April, Rwanda worked with MONUSCO and the DRC to encourage the FDLR and other armed combatants to demobilize and reintegrate into Rwandan society. After cooperation with the DRC ended, the Rwandan government continued demobilization and reintegration programs through the Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC). Through November, a total of 1,576 civilian noncombatants who had been living in areas of the DRC controlled by the FDLR rebel armed group returned, according to the RDRC.

The Rwandan government also supported the Musanze Child Rehabilitation Center in Northern Province, which provided care and social reintegration preparation for 58 children who had previously served in armed groups in the DRC. As of September, 18 of the former child soldiers were reunited with their families.

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