By Jonathan Ambaye
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa
ARUSHA, Tanzania – After 15 years of being on the run from Rwandan authorities, former Mayor of the small Rwanda town of Kivumu, Gregoire Ndahimana, was finally arrested this past August. Much talk has been made about the eventual detainment of a man who is alleged to have been the primary executor of a plan leading to the deaths of 2000 Tutsi’s in a small church in Kivumu, Rwanda. After fleeing Rwanda for the neighboring country of the DR Congo many in Rwanda feared Ndahimana, and many others involved in the Genocide who also fled to the Congo, would never be brought to justice.
In a surprise move thought to be an encouraging sign of reconciliation between Rwanda and the Congo, the Congolese deported Ndahimana to Arusha, Tanzania where the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda is located, and where he will be tried. Ndahimana’s deportation is hoped to lead to both countries releasing rebels who have fled to each respective country. The Congolese specifically hope for the transfer of Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda who is believed to be currently under house arrest in Rwanda.
On the verge of trial, Ndahimana claims his innocence and denies any involvement in the genocide and denies all charges brought against him. As prosecutors continue their investigation and prepare their case, many are hoping new witnesses will step forward. In hopes to encourage the forwarding of information regarding Ndahimana’s case, a five million dollar reward has been offered by the United States, and has yet to be collected.
If Ndahimana is convicted it will be a huge victory for many invested in the situation because he is thought to be one of the last major offenders involved in the 1994 genocide.
For more information, please see:
BBC – Ex Mayor Denies Genocide Charges – 29 September 2009
MSN-UK – Accused Denies 1994 Rwanda Genocide – 28 September 2009
BBC – DR Congo Deports Genocide Suspect – 20 September 2009