Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rwanda / Genocide Tribunals

"[Hutu] Refugees from Rwanda in Goma, DRC, after the genocide in 1994." (Jon Jones/Sygma/Corbis)
Rwandan Genocide Mastermind Captured in DRC
By David Smith
The Guardian, May 26, 2011
"A mastermind of the Rwandan genocide has been captured 17 years later in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, a United Nations court has announced. Bernard Munyagishari, a former Hutu militia leader, is wanted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape, the Tanzania-based international criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said. The fugitive, who had previously been a school teacher and football referee, was arrested by the Congolese army and an ICTR tracking unit 'in difficult terrain.' Munyagishari, 52, featured in the US state department's Rewards for Justice programme, with a reward of up to $5m (£3m) offered for his capture. The ICTR said Munyagishari was arrested in Kachanga, North Kivu in an operation involving the Congolese army and the ICTR's tracking unit. He was being held in Goma awaiting transfer to the court in Arusha, Tanzania. 'The prosecutor [Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow] hailed the DRC authorities for their co-operation in executing the warrant of arrest despite the hurdles encountered in tracking down the fugitive in difficult terrain,' the court said. Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus over 100 days between April and June 1994. The victims were frequently described as 'cockroaches.' The ICTR indictment says Munyagishari helped prepare and plan the genocide (pdf). From 1992-94 he was secretary general of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development for Gisenyi city and president of the Interahamwe militia for the Gisenyi prefecture. Munyagishari is accused of co-founding and training the Interahamwe group in the Gisenyi region, distributing weapons to them, and exercising authority over them as they operated roadblocks in the city of Gisenyi and slaughtered Tutsis. He also allegedly created an arm of the Interahamwe with a mission of raping and killing women as a weapon of war. [...]"

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