Rwanda genocide suspect captured in South Africa …after 22 years on the run

One of four remaining fugitives from the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been captured, United Nations (UN) prosecutors say.

Fulgence Kayishema was arrested in Paarl, South Africa, on Wednesday, the UN court which has been trying the genocide suspects announced.

Mr Kayishema was charged in 2001 over an incident during which more than 2,000 Tutsi men, women and children were burned inside a Catholic church. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide.

In a statement, The Hague-based tribunal – known as the International Residual Mecha­nism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) – hailed the international operation which had made it possible to apprehend Mr Kayishema.

It said an international operation involving many countries had made it possible to arrest the man, who had used a number of aliases and false documents.

According to the indictment, Fulgence Kayishema directly participated in the plan­ning and execution of a massacre of refu­gees hiding at the Nyange church in Kivumu, Kibuye prefecture, on April 15, 1994.

It says Mr Kayishema and others tried to burn the church down with the refugees inside. When this failed, they bulldozed it, burying and killing all those hiding there.Their corpses were then buried in mass graves.

The Tanzania-based ICTR sentenced more than 60 ringleaders of the genocide, including three over the Notre Dame de la Visitation church massacre.

The church’s priest, Athanase Seromba, was sentenced to life in prison in 2008. The ICTR closed down in 2015, with the remain­ing cases being taken over by the MICT.

In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting mem­bers of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin. —BBC

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