Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change

The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (French: Mouvement Rwandais pour la Changement Démocratique, normally abbreviated MRCD or MRCD/FLN), is a coalition of Rwandan opposition groups who mostly reside in the diaspora or in exile.[1][2]

MRCD (Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement Démocratique)
LeaderPaul Rusesabagina
Founded2012[citation needed]

The movement is led by Paul Rusesabagina, a notable Rwandan activist, whose story forms the basis of the critically-acclaimed Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda.[3]


The National Liberation Front (FLN) is the armed wing of political party PDR-Ihumure and the MRCD. In 2018, the group claimed responsibility for two terrorist attacks in Nyabimata, South-West Rwanda, near the border with Burundi.[4][5] The FLN was also suspected by Rwandan security forces of carrying out a fatal attack on a bus in June 2022.[6] Many of its attacks have been carried out from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[7]

2021 trialEdit

In 2021, 21 members of the MRCD/FLN, including Rusesabagina and former spokesperson Callixte Nsabimana (also known as "Sankara"), were put on trial in Kigali in relation to the Nyabimata attacks.[8][9][10] The trial received widespread international attention as a result of the high profile of Rusesabagina and the dubious circumstances leading to his arrest.[11] On 20 September 2021, the judge convicted all of the 21 defendants. Rusesabagina received the longest sentence, of 25 years. Eight members, including Nsabimana received sentences of 20 years, while other defendants were all sentenced to at least 3 years of prison time.[12][13] It is unclear whether the MRCD is resuming operations as a political coalition.


  1. ^ Uwiringiyimana, Clement (2020-10-05). "Rwanda seeks to merge 'Hotel Rwanda' hero's case with that of 18 rebel suspects". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  2. ^ "Rwanda: Rusesabagina Was Forcibly Disappeared". Human Rights Watch. 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  3. ^ Franco-Rwandaise, La Tribune. "Allocution de M. Paul Rusesabagina à l'occasion des assises d'évaluation du parti PDR-IHUMURE". LA TRIBUNE FRANCO-RWANDAISE (in French). Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  4. ^ "Victims of MRCD-FLN attacks in southern Rwanda". The New Times | Rwanda. 2020-10-02. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  5. ^ "MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Rwanda, the case of Paul Rusesabagina". Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  6. ^ "Suspected militants shoot at bus in southwestern Rwanda, kill two". Reuters. 2022-06-19. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  7. ^ "Rwandan rebel leader pleads guilty to terrorism". News24. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  8. ^ Uwiringiyimana, Clement (2020-10-05). "Rwanda seeks to merge 'Hotel Rwanda' hero's case with that of 18 rebel suspects". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  9. ^ "Rwandan court starts trial against prototype of character in "Hotel Rwanda" - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  10. ^ "What happened on the first day of the Rusesabagina trial?". Retrieved 2021-04-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Paul Rusesabagina: Hotel Rwanda hero charged with terrorism". BBC News. 2020-09-14. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  12. ^ "Who got what sentence in the FLN trial?". The New Times | Rwanda. 2021-09-21. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  13. ^ Stephanie Busari and Nina Avramova. "Paul Rusesabagina of 'Hotel Rwanda' fame sentenced to 25 years on terrorism charges". CNN. Retrieved 2021-10-04.