Fulgence Kayishema, one of four remaining fugitives sought for their role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, has been arrested in South Africa, UN investigators said on Thursday.
“Yesterday afternoon, Fulgence Kayishema -– one of the world’s most wanted genocide fugitives -– was arrested in Paarl, South Africa in a joint operation,” the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) said in a statement.
Around 800,000 Rwandans, most of them ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered over 100 days at the hands of Hutu extremists.
Kayishema, a former police inspector, faces charges of genocide, complicity in and conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity.
He has been on the run since July 2001, according to the MICT website, which gives his year of birth as 1961.
He and others allegedly murdered more than 2,000 Tutsi men, women and children who had taken refuge in a Catholic church in Nyange in Kivumu district.
“Kayishema directly participated in the planning and execution of this massacre, including by procuring and distributing petrol to burn down the church with the refugees inside,” the statement said.
“When this failed, Kayishema and others used a bulldozer to collapse the church, burying and killing the refugees inside.
“Kayishema and others then supervised the transfer of corpses from the church grounds into mass graves.”
– Support network-
South African police said a “Rwandan fugitive,” whom it did not name, had been arrested at a grape farm at Paarl, about 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Cape Town, in response to an Interpol red notice.
The suspect, who had been living under the false name of Donatien Nibashumba, will appear in a Cape Town court on Friday “pending his extradition to Rwanda”, police spokeswoman Thandi Mbambo said.
The MICT in 2015 took over the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), set up by UN after the genocide.
The swoop in Paarl was carried out by MICT’s Fugitive Tracking Team and South African police, MICT said.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman said the arrest “sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed such crimes cannot evade justice and will eventually be held accountable, even more than a quarter of a century later.”
What do you think about this Article?