Arrested in South Africa one of the last suspects in the genocide in Rwanda

Arrested in South Africa one of the last suspects in the genocide in Rwanda

The Hague (AFP) – Fulgence Kayishema, one of the last four fugitives wanted for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was arrested Wednesday in South Africa, UN prosecutors investigating the case announced Thursday.

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“One of the world’s most wanted genocidal fugitives (…) was arrested in Paarl, South Africa,” as part of an operation with South African authorities, a United Nations court said in a statement.

He had been missing since 2001, specified the International Residual Mechanism of Criminal Tribunals, in charge of concluding the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The indictment alleges that on April 15, 1994, Kayishema and others murdered more than 2,000 refugee men, women, elderly people and children at Nyange Church in Kivumu commune.

The former fugitive, whose age must be around 60, would have “directly participated in the planning and execution of this massacre,” the court specified, “especially obtaining and distributing gasoline to burn down the church with the refugees inside.”

“When this failed, Kayishema and others used a bulldozer to tear down the church, burying and killing the refugees inside,” it said.

Kayishema, accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, plotting to commit genocide and crimes against humanity, used multiple pseudonyms and false documentation to hide his identity and not be found, the entity added.

The ICTR has sentenced 62 people. Others, like Augustin Bizimana, one of the main masterminds of the massacre, died without having been brought before international justice.

The UN judges in March suspended the process of Félicien Kabuga, alleged treasurer of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, to decide if his state of health allowed him to be in the defendant’s bench.

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