A man wanted for genocide in Rwanda and allegedly responsible for the deaths of 2,000 people in 1994 has been apprehended by the Congolese government and transferred to the international criminal tribunal to stand trial, according to news sources.
Gregoire Ndahimana was a local administrator in the town of Kivumu during the 1994 genocide when 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed. According to the indictment prepared by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Ndahimana was involved in planning the extermination of the Tutsi population in his town and the surrounding areas. Ndahimana and his co-conspirators allegedly gathered Tutsis in the local parish ostensibly for protection but in reality to facilitate the killing operation being carried out by local militias. Over three to four days, the refugees inside the church sought to fend off the militias, but the attacks culminated in the bulldozing of the church.
Prosecutors at the ICTR estimate that at least a third of the region’s Tutsi population perished in the church massacre. By the time the most intense period of the genocide ended three months later, no Tutsi were known to live in Kivumu and the surrounding area.
Ndahimana was apprehended last month during operations by the Congolese military to root out members of the FDLR rebel group from eastern Congo. The FDLR, whose ranks includes many of the leaders who orchestrated the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, is notorious for committing widespread abuses against the local Congolese population. Many of those responsible for the Rwandan genocide fled over the border to Congo to escape justice or retaliation and have lived among and preyed upon Congolese communities for the past 15 years.
Twelve genocidaires wanted by the ICTR are still at large.
Photo: A survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda prays over the bones of victims. (AP/Sayyid Azim)