Court documents show alleged Rwandan soldier in Burundi is Fake
Family members and local community in eastern Rwanda are in shock after Burundi government released images of a person alleged to be Rwandan soldier yet they know him as a mentally unstable local boy.
A community at a village in Bugesera district of Rwanda narrates that they know Cyprien Rucyahintare as a child who has refused to listen to his parents. Neighbours and close family members say his absence in recent months was a relief as he had become a known thief who had become a burden to the community.
Last week, Burundi paraded Rucyahintare before local and foreign media which was told he had confessed to being a Rwandan soldier. The Bujumbura government claimed he had revealed details of his mission in Burundi to destabilise the government.
Rucyahintare claimed he had entered Burundi in May 2015 to help extract the plotters of a failed coup and then in November 2015 to gather intelligence for attacks on VIPs.
But this week, news reached his family in rural Bugesera district. The father Estalase Nsabimana contacted local media expressing shock at the information coming from Burundi.
His family members said Rucyahintare had escaped from home after a community court charged him with burglary. He has been missing from home and Â his father did not know where the son was.
Meanwhile, local media in Rwanda also obtained the community court verdict in which Rucyahintare was charged and sentenced for theft.
However, instead of serving out his punishment, Rucyahintare escaped to Burundi with a fake story he sold to Burundian security agencies. The allegations from Rucyahintare could have come as God-sent information for which the Burundi agencies immediately called a news conference.
According to the court verdict (in photo scan), Rucyahintare was charged with stealing goats and other property from his village. However, on several previous occasions, his father bailed him and had reportedly vowed never to do it again. But for the case of the recent theft of goats, Rucyahintare may have decided to run away instead.
The father says he had also given his son a piece of land from his large plot so that his son can begin cultivating instead of stealing. He said: â€œI told him if he was caught again stealing, he would be responsible.â€
His father reportedly laughed at journalists when they suggested to him that maybe his son had joined the army without his knowledge.
â€œHe is just a common thief; he has never even dreamed of being in the military,â€ said the father.
The family home is in Batima village of Rweru sector in Bugesera district, eastern province, a few miles away from Rwanda-Burundi border.
For the Rwanda army, the allegations were as shocking as they were for the family.
On the other hand, Burundi had alleged, the arrested â€œsoliderâ€ was number 284,049 in the Rwandan army; a statement the Rwanda Military Spokesperson refuted as â€œfalse and unfortunate accusations.â€
â€œRDF does not have any soldier with such names, no kind of matriculate exists in RDF,â€ said Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita.