The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) on Saturday condemned the recent incident in which some of its personnel were involved in criminal misconduct, after reports emerged that they were involved in assaulting civilians.
According to a statement from the RDF, military prosecution has so far arrested five suspects who are being investigated for criminal misconduct against residents of Kangondo 2 and Kibiraro 1, in Remera Sector, Gasabo District.
The area is commonly known as Bannyahe.
These soldiers, who according to witness accounts were conducting regular patrols in the area, allegedly worked with local security personnel to physically assault civilians by beating, robbery and also allegations of rape have been made.
"The RDF strongly condemns any violation of Rwandan law, or RDF ethics and values by its personnel, Justice, security, and support for the affected community are our utmost priority." reads part of the statement.
On Friday, April 3, officers from RDF military prosecution were on the scene of crime where they interviewed several witnesses and victims to determine the veracity of the allegations.
The interviews which according to officials were carried out in observance of the measures in place to avoid the coronavirus pandemic, took place at Groupe Scolaire Remera, a public school in Kangondo 2.
Speaking to the media earlier to the defence and military spokesperson Lt Col Innocent Munyengango, when it comes to trial the case will be prosecuted at the scene of crime and it will be an open session.
It is not clear the context in which these crimes were committed but according to area residents, the accused were regular visitors to the area that is renowned as Kigali's largest slum, and were known to many of the residents.
According to sources, among those in custody are soldiers and local patrol (Irondo) personnel who worked with them to commit the crimes.