Uganda will move to claim up to US$5m reward issued by the United States of America for the arrest of one of the most wanted Genocide fugitives, Ildephonse Ndahimana.
The Ugandan State Minister for Regional Cooperation Isaac Musumba yesterday told the press that “Uganda would welcome any form of payment” for Monday’s arrest of Nizeyimana in Kampala.
The money paid under the United States Rewards for Justice Program to support the pursuit of criminals accountable for the most serious violations of international humanitarian law during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, is paid to whoever leads to the arrest of a wanted fugitive.
Nizeyimana who was jointly arrested by the Ugandan Police and Interpol in a motel in a Kampala suburb after sneaking into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the second person to be arrested of the 13 top genocide fugitves who have $5m bounties on their heads.
A few months ago, Gregoire Ndahimana was arrested in the DRC but his extradition to the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal (ICTR) was delayed to almost a month-and the ICTR threatened to report DRC to the United Nations Security Council for the delay.
It later emerged that the DRC deliberately delayed the extradition supposed to be effected in 72 hours to negotiate the bounty payment.
Efforts to ascertain whether the payment was effected or not, were fruitless. But reports abound that the money was paid before Ndahimana was finally handed over to ICTR.
Rwanda is happy with the US for this initiative which motivates countries to carryout arrests and consequently cash-in on the bounty.
According to the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, Rwanda is never informed whether the payment was done or not as it is between the US Government, the ICTR and the particular states that carried out the arrest.
“I don’t know anything to do with the payment. All I can tell you is that we know this money motivates countries to apprehend genocide fugitives that could be hiding in those particular countries.” Ngoga “This is a positive project, we believe it is working.” Ngoga added
Several of the key perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who have been indicted by the ICTR remain at large, and in an effort to capture them, the U.S re-launched its Rewards for Justice Program for ICTR fugitives.
The programme offers up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of ICTR indictees. However the payment process is so discreet and the names of the beneficiaries are kept a top secret.
Nizeyimana, is alongside other top genocide fugitives, including Felcien Kabuga, Augustin Bizimana, Fulgence Kayishema, Protais Mpiranya, Bernard Munyagishari, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Charles Ryandikayo, Charles Sikubwabo and Jean Bosco Uwinkindi who have the bounty on their heads.