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wanted fugitive arrested in South Africa

One of the last four fugitives wanted in the 100-day genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu opponents was arrested on Wednesday in South Africa. He will be brought to justice for the crimes of which he is accused.

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Sweepstakes in South Africa. One of the last four fugitives wanted for their role in the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 was arrested on Wednesday in South Africa and will be tried, announced Thursday, May 25, UN prosecutors investigating the case.

Fulgence Fulgence Kayishema is notably accused of having murdered, with other individuals, more than 2 000 men, women, elderly and child refugees in the Nyange church around or on April 15, 1994.

He “was arrested yesterday afternoon”, said the prosecutors of the International Mechanism called to exercise the residual functions of the criminal tribunals (the “Mechanism”), responsible for completing the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). .

Participation in the “planning and execution” of the “massacre”

Wanted for his role in the 100-day genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu opponents, Fulgence Fulgence Kayishema had been on the run since 2001, they said in a statement.

A former police inspector born in 1961 according to the court, he was charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.

The suspect was apprehended at a wine farm in Paarl, about 60 kilometers from Cape Town, and was living under the false name of Donatien Nibashumba, South African police said in a statement.

The accused “directly participated in the planning and execution” of the “massacre” of the church of Nyange, in the commune of Kivumu, “in particular by procuring and distributing gasoline to burn the church with the refugees inside,” according to prosecutors.

“When that failed, Mr. Fulgence Kayishema and others used a bulldozer to collapse the church, burying and killing the refugees inside,” they said.

In the days that followed, the accused and other people allegedly supervised the transfer of the bodies from the church to mass graves.

“Genocide survivors have tried to show his crimes and call for his arrest,” said Naphtali Ahishakiye, executive secretary of the umbrella association of survivors Ibuka, to AFP.

He hopes the arrest sends a clear message to other fugitives and masterminds of the genocide, “that they can never escape justice.”

Brought to justice

The arrest of Fulgence Kayishema “guarantees that he will be brought to justice for the crimes of which he is accused”, greeted the prosecutor of the Mechanism Serge Brammertz, quoted in a press release. “Genocide is the most serious crime known to humanity,” he added.

Fulgence Kayishema used numerous aliases and false documents and relied on “a network of trusted supporters” to conceal his identity and presence, prosecutors say.

Among these supporters were members of his family, members of the former Rwandan Armed Forces and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, “as well as supporters of the genocidal ideology of Hutu Power”, they said.

Serge Brammertz praised the cooperation of the South African authorities and indicated that he had also received “vital” support from the Rwandan authorities and other African countries, in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Mozambique.

Many Rwandans have been sentenced by the justice of their country, international justice or that of Western countries for acts related to the genocide of the Tutsi in 1994.

The ICTR sentenced 62 people, notably inflicting 30 years’ imprisonment on former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware.

The hope of exemplary justice

Mechanism prosecutors say they have found traces of five fugitives since 2020. Among them are Augustin Bizimana, one of the main architects of the massacre, as well as Protais Mpiranya and Phéneas Munyarugarama, who died without facing justice. international.

The trial of alleged genocide financier Félicien Kabuga opened in September 2022 but was suspended in March while it was decided whether he was healthy enough to remain in the dock.

Fulgence Kayishema will appear in Cape Town Magistrates Court on Friday May 26 pending extradition to Rwanda, South African law enforcement officials have said.

“We hope that his trial will be expedited and that the machinery of justice will not experience the kinds of delays that the Kabuga trial has experienced,” said the executive secretary of the Ibuka survivors’ umbrella association.

Only three fugitives remain under the Mechanism’s jurisdiction today, according to the court.

With AFP

France 24-Trans

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