Rwanda genocide suspect arrested after 21 years

One of the most wanted fugitives sought in connection with atrocities committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been arrested after 21 years on the run, the United Nations has announced.

Ladislas Ntaganzwa, 53, was arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is now awaiting transfer to Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) prosecutor told the U.N. Security Council.

Ntaganzwa was indicted by the ICTR for genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

A former mayor and chairman of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), Ntaganzwa is accused of being one of the main instigators of the genocide in his prefecture, where thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered. He is also accused of orchestrating rape and sexual violence against women.

Ntaganzwa was among nine fugitives — along with Felicien Kabuga, Augustin Bizimana, Protais Mpiranya, Fulgence Kayishema, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ryandikayo, and Charles Sikubwabo — for which a $5 million reward is offered for information leading to their capture. The rest of the fugitives remain at large.

In 1994, nearly 800,000 people lost their lives in the three-month killing spree. An estimated 300,000 of the genocide’s victims were children. In addition, 95,000 children were orphaned.

Hutu extremists in Rwanda targeted minority ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, in some cases slaughtering families in their homes and burning down churches with people inside.

The violence erupted after a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu, was shot down on April 6, 1994.

Story highlights

  • Ladislas Ntaganzwa was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • He’s accused of organizing massacres and mass rapes
  • Nearly 800,000 people lost their lives during the three-month genocide

Source: CNN Africa