Phénéas Munyarugarama, a fugitive of the Genocide against the Tutsi has been confirmed to have died from natural cause in 2002, according to a UN prosecutor. A former military officer in Ex-FAR, Munyarugarama is one of the five suspects still at large, whose indictments were referred to Rwanda by the now-closed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). According to a statement from the chief prosecutor of the Residual Mechanism of International Criminal Tribunals (RMICT), following “a comprehensive and challenging investigation” they have determined that Munyarugarama died on 28 February 2002 in Kankwala, DR Congo. He was buried in the same area. A former Commandant of Gako Military Barracks in Bugesera district, Munyarugarama, who held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, is responsible for killings in Bugesera, including thousands killed at Ntarama and Nyamata Catholic churches. “This result is yet another important step in my Office’s efforts to secure justice for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and complete our mandate,” the Mechanism’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement. He added: “For the victims and survivors of Munyarugarama’s crimes in the Bugesera region, we hope this result brings some closure.” Munyarugarama was indicted on eight counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, rape, murder, and crimes against humanity among others. He fled Rwanda to Zaire where he joined ex-FAR military forces regrouping in that country to continue fighting the Rwandan Government even after the genocide. The prosecutor commended the institutions that contributed to the investigation. “With four fugitive cases closed in the last two years, my Office is now fully focused on accounting for the final four fugitives who remain at large,” he added. Brammertz revealed that the main priority now is Fulgence Kayishema, who has previously been located in South Africa. All the four fugitives at large were referred to Rwandan courts as part of the tribunal’s completion strategy, but the UN court still has the mandate to hunt them down. Munyarugarama’s death is being confirmed few days after investigators of the UN tribunal confirmed the death of Protais Mpiranya, who was found to have died in 2006 and buried in Zimbabwe under a pseudo name. Others who in recent years were found to have died include former Defence Minister Augustin Bizimungu, who was confirmed dead in 2020, the same year in which Felicien Kabuga was arrested. Kabuga, Mpiranya and Bizimungu were considered ‘Big Fish’ by the UN court.