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Leading Rwandan fugitive arrested on genocide charges in DR Congo

The police in DR Congo have arrested Ladislas Ntaganzwa, suspected of organizing a massacre that killed thousands during the Rwandan genocide, officials said. The US had offered a $5 million bounty on his head.

Ntaganzwa is facing accusations of incitement to commit genocide and distributing weapons to government militias during the 1994 slaughter, Rwandan Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza said on Thursday.

"He is now in custody in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), and we are waiting for his transfer," Muhumuza added.

The 53-year old Ntaganzwa served as a mayor of Rwandan Nyakizu commune in Rwanda during the conflict. He is one of the last suspects sought by the

International Criminal Tribunal

for Rwanda.

The former Hutu leader is suspected of personally ordering a massacre of over 20,000 Tutsi civilians who sought refuge in a church, as well as orchestrating "the rape and sexual violence committed against many women," according to the UN-backed tribunal.

Ntaganzwa fled to Congo shortly after the mass execution.

Eight fugitives to go

The US State Department has listed Ntaganzwa as "one of the main instigators of the genocide" in the region and offered $5 million (4,6 million euros) for information leading to his arrest.

On Thursday, president of Rwanda's genocide survivors' association Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu said that Ntaganzwa must now face trial in Rwanda.

"We are pleased that he was arrested," he said, adding it should be an example to other nations where remaining fugitives are still hiding.

"We think if there was the political will of the countries where these people are, they would all be arrested," he said.

There are eight main suspects still at large in relation to the

Rwandan genocide.

The Rwandan tribunal has indicted 93 people so far.

Forces of ethnic Hutus killed over 800,000 people, mostly members of the Tutsi minority and Hutu moderates, in the 100-day long genocide.

dj/jil (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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