After decades of searching, a key suspect in the Rwandan genocide is detained in South Africa, says the Prosecutor’s Office

(CNN) — Fulgence Kayishema, the most wanted fugitive still at large for alleged responsibility for the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was arrested in Paarl, South Africa, according to the chief prosecutor at the court in charge of the remaining fugitives of the Rwandan genocide.

The arrest occurred this Wednesday afternoon in a joint operation between the South African authorities and the fugitive search team of the prosecution.

Kayishema allegedly orchestrated the killing of more than 2,000 Tutsi refugees – women, men, children and the elderly – at the Nyange Catholic Church during the genocide. She has been on the run since 2001.

“Fulgence Kayishema has been a fugitive for more than 20 years. His arrest ensures that he will finally face justice for his alleged crimes,” said Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz of the United Nations Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.

“Genocide is the most serious crime known to humanity. The international community has pledged to ensure that its perpetrators are prosecuted and punished. This arrest is a tangible demonstration that this commitment does not waver and that justice will be done, sooner or later. that late,” Brammertz said.

In recent years, the IRMCT prosecutor has complained about the lack of cooperation from the South African authorities and there have been a number of cases in which Kayishema has come close to being captured. But this Thursday, Brammertz praised the cooperation and support of the South African government.

The Rwandan genocide

The events in Nyanga (Rwanda) were one of the most brutal of the genocide: an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed over a ninety-day period.

The court alleges that Kayishema was directly involved in the “planning and execution of this massacre.” According to the indictment, he purchased and distributed gasoline to burn down the church while refugees were inside. Kayishema and others are also accused of using a bulldozer to demolish the church after the fire, while the refugees were still inside.

The IRMCT office says the research has been carried out in several countries in Africa and other regions. The US War Crimes Rewards Program has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information on Kayishema and the other fugitives wanted for carrying out the Rwandan genocide.

Kayishema is scheduled to appear in court in Cape Town this Friday.

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Written by Editor TLN

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