January 19, 2022

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Rwanda genocide fugitive died 20 years ago, DNA test shows

Certainly one of Rwanda’s most wished fugitives within the nation’s genocide died 20 years in the past, the worldwide tribunal overseeing justice efforts introduced Friday, lower than every week after one other high-profile fugitive was arrested in France.

Affirmation of the demise of former Rwandan defence minister Augustin Bizimana got here when a DNA take a look at on stays in a grave in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, positively recognized him, the Worldwide Residual Mechanism for Prison Tribunals mentioned. It isn’t but recognized how he died.

Rwandan authorities say Bizimana was a key participant within the 1994 genocide by which greater than 800,000 Tutsi, and Hutus who tried to guard them, have been killed.

The identification, “is the result of an exhaustive investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor combining advanced technology with extensive field operations, and involved exceptional co-operation with partner authorities in Rwanda, Congo Brazzaville, the Netherlands and the United States,” the United Nations mechanism mentioned.

Some survivors discovered uncomfortable closure.

“I wish he lived to face justice in court for his inhuman crimes before his death,” mentioned Denis Nsengiyumva, who comes from Bizimana’s village.

“But even in his death, Bizimana will not rest in peace.”

Information in regards to the demise got here days after the arrest of Felicien Kabuga, one other key genocide suspect who’s accused of supplying machetes to killers and broadcasting propaganda urging mass slaughter.

Kabuga, a rich businessman, was arrested on Saturday outdoors Paris after 26 years in hiding. He appeared earlier than a French courtroom Wednesday, however a choice on his destiny was delayed till subsequent week. His lawyer mentioned the 84-year-old Kabuga needs to be tried in France, citing well being causes, however didn’t give particulars.

Bizimana was indicted in 1998

The United Nations tribunal’s prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, mentioned a request had been launched for Kabuga’s switch into UN custody, and he might initially be held at The Hague fairly than in Africa due to coronavirus journey restrictions.

Bizimana, who got here from the identical area as Kabuga, was appointed defence minister in 1993, months earlier than the genocide began. He’s accused of ordering the killing of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian UN peacekeepers, and of supervising the killing of Tutsis within the provinces of Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Butare, Kibuye and Cyangugu.

Uwilingiyimana was meant to be performing president after President Juvenal Habyarimana’s airplane was shot down over the capital Kigali, sparking the 100-day genocide.

Bizimana was indicted by the UN Worldwide Prison Tribunal for Rwanda in 1998, going through 13 counts together with complicity in genocide, extermination, homicide, rape and torture.

With the arrest of Kabuga and the affirmation of Bizimana’s demise, the Workplace of the Prosecutor has now accounted for 2 of the three main fugitives indicted by the tribunal.

The remaining one is Protais Mpiranya, former commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces.

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