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News > Rwanda

A Fugitive Wanted for Rwandan Genocide is Arrested

  • Remains of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda.

    Remains of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. | Photo: Twitter/ @DailyMonitor

Published 25 May 2023

In 1994, Fulgence Kayishema, together with other co-perpetrators, murdered over 2,000 men, women, elderly and children refugees in Kivumu commune.

On Wednesday, former police inspector Fulgence Kayishema, one of the most wanted fugitives from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, was arrested in Paarl in South Africa.


Remains of 587 Genocide Victims Exhumed in Western Rwanda

He planned and carried out the murder of some 2,000 people at the Nyange Catholic Church during the genocide against Tutsis, said the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (ICTR), the institution that succeeded the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

"Kayishema has been a fugitive for over 20 years. He will finally face justice for his crimes. Genocide is the gravest crime known to humankind," ICTR Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said.

"The international community has pledged to ensure that genocide perpetrators are prosecuted and punished. This arrest is a tangible demonstration that this commitment does not fade and that justice will be served, no matter how long it takes," he added.

"On April 15, 1994, Kayishema, together with other co-perpetrators, murdered more than 2,000 men, women, elderly and children refugees at the Nyange Church in Kivumu commune. He directly participated in the planning and execution of this massacre, including by procuring and distributing petrol to burn down the church with the refugees inside," ICTR recalled.

"When this failed, Kayishema and others used a bulldozer to collapse the church, burying and killing the refugees inside. Kayishema and others then supervised the transfer of corpses from the church grounds into mass graves over the next approximately two days."

Between April and July, 1994, members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, as well as some moderate Hutu and Twa, were killed by armed Hutu militias. The most widely accepted scholarly estimates are around 500,000 to 662,000 Tutsi deaths.

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