Top Genocidaire, founder of FDLR militia found in France

Genocide fugitive Aloys Ntiwiragabo, 71, is reported to be quietly staying northern France. Net photo

An investigative french media house has located, after seven months of careful investigation, a man who allegedly played a central in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, hiding in a city in north-central France.

'Maj Gen' Aloys Ntiwiragabo, 71, who is hiding in the suburbs of Orléans, did not only play a part in the massacres of the Tutsi 26 years ago.

 

Over two decades ago, when he was a Colonel, the idea to form the terrorist FDLR militia was his along with Hyacinthe Rafiki, another genocidaire and former Minister of public works.

 

Mediapart, the French media house, reports that the former Rwandan spy and one of the alleged architects of the 1994 Genocide was not about to be arrested since the international justice system gave up on his prosecution. 

 

The revelation of his whereabouts comes barely two months after another top Genocide architect, Félicien Kabuga, was arrested on May 16 in Asnières-sur-Seine, in France.

Extremely discreet

Theo Englebert, the author of the story by Mediapart, on Friday, July 24, told The New Times that "Ntiwiragabo is extremely discreet."

Englebert added: "It took us several days of observation to understand his routine. The approach is not easy because he is very suspicious, even on the two-minute journey between his home and the church."

By going through the reports of Rwandan associations founded in France one by one, Mediapart first found the trace of Catherine Nikuze, his wife, who it said first set foot in France on March 3, 1998 and obtained asylum on September 22, 1999.

The following year, it is noted, the wife moved with her two children to a dismal suburb of Orleans where, without making waves, she quickly took part in the activities of extremists in exile. Catherine Nikuze was naturalized in 2005 and took the name Tibot.

As reported, outside the HLM building in the suburbs of Orleans where Ntiwiragabo took refuge, only the name Tibot appears on the intercom. But on the couple's letterbox in the hall, three names appear: Nikuze, Tibot and Ntiwiragabo. 

Englebert told The New Times that they do not yet have more information on the real situation of Ntiwiragabo in France. 

What they know, he said, is that "he lives in the modest apartment of his wife, who was naturalized as French in 2005, and that he has identity documents in his name."

"What is extremely disturbing is that Major-General Ntiwiragabo has visited diplomatic representations of France on several occasions without encountering any difficulties and that he met French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière two months after one of those visits."

"When this happened, the foreign affairs minister was Hubert Védrine. He was the secretary-general of the presidency in 1994. Did he know anything about any of this?"

Genocide survivors call for arrest, justice

Etienne Nsanzimana, the president of Ibuka- France, on Friday issued a statement calling on authorities in France to arrest the man.

Nsanzimana then also told The New Times that on July 4, French President Emmanuel Macron assured President Paul Kagame of his "efforts to ensure that all suspected Rwandan genocidaires are prosecuted". 

Nsanzimana added: "Ibuka France asks that these words finally find their translation in real  acts and awaits an official speech of truth on the implication of France in the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi."

Ibuka France also asks that the many outstanding questions finally get clear answers. For one, they wish to understand how could Ntiwiragabo obtained official French identity documents.

They also demand to know why, while he was wanted by the ICTR, was he not handed over to international justice in 2001, when he went to the French consulates in Khartoum and Niamey to apply for a residence visa in France.

Ibuka-France's statement also asks why so many suspected genocidaires on the run find peaceful asylum in France, just like Ntiwiragabo or Félicien Kabuga "Why have so few of these people faced French justice for twenty-six years?"

Ntiwiragabo belonged to the most extremist circles and commanded the gendarmes of Kigali until 1993. He was part of the inner circle of power often nicknamed "Akazu" which orchestrated the 1994 Genocide.

In 1993, Ntiwiragabo was head of military intelligence (G2) and deputy chief of staff of the genocidal army. During the Genocide, Ntiwiragabo is alleged to have, among others, taken part in daily Genocide planning meetings of the staff of the then Rwandan armed forces. 

He also allegedly availed a police station in Kigali to Interahamwe militiamen to torture, rape and execute the Tutsi.

In July 1994, when many genocidaires fled to Zaire (now DR Congo), Ntiwiragabo was one of them. In 1996, he moved to Kenya. Later, it is reported, he took refuge in South Sudan, until he maneuvered up to France after some time.

Nothing in their research, it is noted, enabled Mediapart to establish the date on which Ntiwiragabo settled on French territory. 

Englebert said that his wife and members of his family paved the way and obtained asylum in France at the end of the 90s. 

"And when Sudan implemented a genocidal policy against the people of Darfur, the media became interested in this country and the African Union sent a military force in which Rwanda participated," he said.

"The presence of General-Major Ntiwiragabo became embarrassing for the authorities in Khartoum. This may have precipitated the migration project of Aloys Ntiwiragabo who had been planning to come to France since 2001."

Englebert told The New Times that they will "publish more information about Aloys Ntiwiragabo's support network soon."

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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