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Alleged Mastermind of Rwandan Genocide Captured in Congo

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Alleged Mastermind of Rwandan Genocide Captured in Congo

Posted by Victoria Bosselman on August 14, 2009

Reports are coming out that after 15 years in hiding, a former Rwandan mayor wanted for committing genocide has been captured and arrested in eastern Congo. 

Gregoire Ndahimana had been fighting with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, when Congolese forces in eastern Congo’s North Kivu Province arrested him.  According to a spokesman for the Congolese army, Ndahimana was found while he was searching for food.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania considered Ndahimana a Category 1 suspect and a chief planner and executer of the Rwandan genocide. Almost all of the 6,000 Tutsis in Kivumu, where Ndahimana was town administrator, were killed during the genocide.  His warrant states that he orchestrated the massacre of over 2,000 Tutsi seeking refuge in a church and that the parish priest and other officials assisted him in his endeavor, bulldozing the church with the refugees still inside.

Reuters notes that twelve others indicted by the ICTR remain at large, but Ndahimana’s arrest is a positive step toward justice. As Rwanda’s justice minister, Tharcisse Karugarama, said “He’s one of the big ones.  But others are still out there.”