Rwanda genocide suspect arrested in Uganda

[JURIST] Ugandan police announced Friday that a former Rwandan pastor accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity relating to the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] was taken into custody Wednesday. Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi [Hague Justice profile], indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] in 2001, has been charged [indictment, PDF] with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The indictment alleges that Uwinkindi collaborated with the extremist National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) party in order to kill Tutsis. He allegedly led a group of Hutus to look for and kill a group of Tutsi settlers and conspired with members of the militia to kill Tutsis who sought protection in the church where he was the pastor. According to the indictment, approximately 2,000 bodies were found near the church where the violence occurred. Uwinkindi had been one of the ICTR's most wanted suspects, with a $5 million reward being offered [BBC report] for information leading to his capture. Uwinkindi will be transferred to the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, where he will stand trial.

Ugandan officials apprehended another highly-sought genocide suspect last October when they arrested [JURIST report] former Hutu intelligence chief Idelphonse Nizeyimana [BBC profile; case materials]. Nizeyimana, who has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report], was charged [indictment, PDF] with four counts of genocide, or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity, and is still awaiting trial. Nizeyimana was one of four top accused sought by the ICTR in order to complete its mission. In July 2009, the UN Security Council [official website] extended the terms [JURIST report] for ICTR judges until December 31, 2010, or until they complete their cases. In March 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon pledged his ongoing support [JURIST report] for the ICTR and stressed that the international community must continue to combat genocide. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died.

 

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