Rwanda

Rwandan rebel admits terrorism charges

Jean Claude Mwambutsa

BBC Great Lakes, Kigali

Callixte Nsabimana
Getty Images

Callixte Nsabimana "Sankara" - the captured spokesperson for the rebel group the National Liberation Front (FLN) - has admitted terrorism charges before a court in the country's capital, Kigali, on Thursday.

Mr Nsabimana was arrested last month in Comoros and was secretly handed to Rwandan authorities.

He was charged with multiple criminal counts relating to terrorism - including starting an illegal militia and co-operating with foreign states in an attempt to topple the Rwandan government.

Mr Nsabimana had previously declared war on the Rwandan government and admitted FLN responsibility for last year's deadly attacks in south-western Rwanda.

RwandAir debunks viral WhatsApp video

Rwanda's national carrier, RwandAir, has tweeted a note of clarification alerting viewers to a viral video appearing to show an Ebola patient on one of its planes that it isn't quite what it may seem:

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The clip doing the rounds on WhatsApp shows a uniformed flight attendant informing passengers:

On behalf of RwandAir we would like to inform you that there is a passenger showing signs of Ebola infection. We ask you not to panic because we have trained doctors on board."

The flight attendant speaks to passengers on board the RwandAir plane
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Here's the moment the flight attendant alerts passengers over the tannoy

But what many of the people sharing the video by WhatsApp haven't realised is that it was filmed as a drill for broadcast on state television.

"The reporter clearly says: 'This is a drill' halfway through the video," Prudent Nsengiyumva from the BBC Great Lakes service explains.

"Then the fact that the passenger is so calm, the camera crew are already on board the plane, plus the reference made later on in the video to former Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho all make it clear that it was filmed in the past."

Was the idea to film such a video misguided?

"It's weird to use real people, although it was well-intentioned to reassure the public of Rwanda's preparedness for Ebola," our reporter says.

At the time the video was filmed in 2015, the West Africa Ebola outbreak was at its height.

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