Fugitive arrested in Cameroon was on Rwanda’s most wanted list

Photographs of some of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi hung on a wall at Kigali Memorial Centre in Gisozi. File.

Prosecution has said that a Genocide fugitive who was on Thursday arrested in Yaoundé, Cameroon was one of the most wanted masterminds of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Media reports Thursday indicated that Philippe Hategekimana, alias Biguma, has been living under the name Philippe Manier since his naturalisation as a French citizen.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Faustin Nkusi refuted claims in the media that the suspect was arrested on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by French authorities.

“The suspect in Cameroun has been on Rwanda’s prosecution most wanted key perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi. He was indicted by Rwanda,” he said.

“An international arrest warrant was issued on 25th July 2017. Since then he has been on our wanted list. His arrest therefore, is a result of Rwanda’s arrest warrant”.

‘He shot and killed Tutsi at roadblocks’

According to Nkusi, Hategekimana was born in Rukundo, in the former Prefecture of Gikongoro.

He is charged with two counts: genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Formerly a deputy commander of Gendermerie (police) in the current Nyanza district, Hategekimana is said to have been instrumental in massacres in the former communes of Nyabisindu, Ntyazo and Rusatira all in the former Butare prefecture.

He also participated in killings in Murama and Kigoma in the former Gitarama prefecture, according to the Prosecution.

“In complicity with a one Captain Francois Xavier Birikunzira, they manned roadblocks near Mwima and Rukari (the Kings Palace), deployed militias to killing grounds, supervised killings and participated in killings in different areas in Busasamana Sector,” said Nkusi.

Call for justice

In a separate interview, Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana appealed to Cameroonian authorities to see to it that the suspected genocidaire is brought to book, in light of the charges of genocide he faces.

“Cameroon has a duty to extradite this man to face justice in Rwanda and Rwanda’s Prosecution has a duty to present this man before court,” Mutangana said.

As the country begins the 24th commemoration for Genocide against the Tutsi today, Mutangana calls upon countries where Genocide suspects are still hiding to extradite them to Rwanda or hold them to account for the crimes they committed.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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