KIGALI - Reports from the US indicate that Rwanda’s ex-envoy to the UN – Jean Damascene Bizimana, who vanished after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, is living in Alabama, a state
located in the south Eastern region of the United States.
According to media reports, Bizimana lives in Opelika, Alabama, a few miles from Auburn University and works for a plastics company - Capitol Plastics Products. He is believed to have American citizenship.
Theodore Simburudali, the head of IBUKA – the umbrella body of Genocide survivors, however, said that he did not have sufficient information on Bizimana.
“I don’t particularly know much about him but even if he later obtained American citizenship, that shouldn’t stop investigations about his possible role in the Genocide,” Simburudali said Sunday.
“He was active in the UN Security Council and you should note that even though he was not here at the time, and did not directly participate in the killings like others, there is a category of people who fanatically played other roles in the genocide.”
The Washington Post notes that at the peak of the Genocide in 1994, Bizimana – the then regime’s man at the United Nations defended a genocidal regime and assured world diplomats that his government was not to blame.
It is noted that then, Rwanda held one of 10 rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council at the time, giving Bizimana a place at the table for the council’s private deliberations where he blamed the escalating violence in Rwanda on the advancing Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) forces.
Bizimana is blamed for “misleading council members about conditions on the ground and for keeping the regime’s leaders informed of the council’s discussions.”
Before he disappeared in 1994, Bizimana is accused of having stripped Rwanda’s UN mission in New York bare.