• World - Africa
  • Updated: May 26, 2023

Rwanda: Genocide Fugitive To Appear In Court After 22 Years On The Run

Rwanda: Genocide Fugitive To Appear In Court After 22 Years

Genocide suspect: Fulgence Kayishema was arrested on Wednesday after 22 years on the run.

Two days after being arrested following 22 years on the run, Fulgence Kayishema, one of the fugitives wanted for their role in the Rwanda genocide of 1994 was due in a court in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. 

He is accused of taking part in the slaughter of approximately 2,000 Tutsis who were seeking safety in a church, which was one of the genocide's bloodiest episodes.

"He will make his first appearance" on Friday, a spokesperson for South Africa's National Prosecution Authority, Eric Ntabazalila, told AFP. 

A prosecutor will read the charges against him, and "the state is likely to request a postponement... to establish some facts surrounding the accused."

He emphasized that extradition would not be discussed on Friday.

The former Rwandan police inspector was reportedly captured on Wednesday at a vineyard in Paarl, kilometres0 kilometres (35 miles) north of Cape Town, according to UN investigators.

He is referred to as "one of the world's most wanted genocide fugitives" by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the court that replaced the United Nations court that found hundreds of notable defendants guilty.

Allegations against him include genocide, crimes against humanity, and participation in the conspiracy to commit genocide.

More than 2,000 men, women, and children who sought safety in a Catholic church in Nyange, a neighbourhood of Kivumu, are said to have been slaughtered by Kayishema and others.

“Kayishema directly participated in the planning and execution of this massacre, including procuring and distributing petrol to burn down the church with the refugees inside,” the MICT said on Thursday while announcing his arrest.

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