Genocide suspect Jean Paul Birindabagabo, alias Pastor Daniel Bagabo, who was recently arrested in Uganda, was last evening deported to Rwanda to face genocide-related charges.
The 59-year-old suspect, who hails from the former Gisenyi, is said to have been a prominent member of the MRND party in the former Kibungo prefecture, where he resided during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He is accused of planning and executing genocide in Sake, the former Kibungo prefecture (now Kirehe and Ngoma districts) where he is alleged to have directed widespread massacre of the Tutsi.
At approximately 7:30pm, RwandAir 9XR-WF commercial plane carrying Birindabagabo touched down at Kigali International Airport transporting the suspect from Uganda. After the plane landed, Birindabagabo remained on board for about 15 minutes as other passengers were alighting.
Minutes later, Birindabagabo, clad in an orange shirt, grey trousers and holding a black polythene bag full of his personal belongings disembarked from the plane in company of Chris Ongyera, a Ugandan immigration officer.
Ongyera handed Birindabagabo to the Rwandan Immigration officials in the presence of a couple of policemen who handcuffed him and took him to a distant room where the Ugandan and Rwandan immigration officials finalised deportation paperwork.
In accordance with the relevant legal provisions, the immigration authorities handed him to the designated Judicial Police Officer. Under tight guard, Birindabagabo was then led to a waiting Police detainee van.
“Rwanda National Public Prosecution Authority appreciates the efforts invested in by relevant authorities, including the Government of Uganda,” said Alain Mukuralinda, the spokesperson of the prosecution.
Police Spokesperson Chief Supt. Celestin Twahirwa told journalists that after the Genocide, the suspect fled to DR Congo and later crossed to Uganda where he changed his name.
“He was arrested after Rwanda issued a warrant of arrest for him and was put on Interpol red notice. He will be interrogated by the judicial police before being handed over to the prosecution,” Twahirwa said.
Back in Kampala, the Director of Interpol in the Uganda Police, Asan Kasinge, told The New Times that the suspect was “illegally staying in Uganda disguising as a pastor and has been running a church in Buwama, Mpigi District.”
Birindabagabo is said to have entered Uganda ten years ago and settled in Mpigi.
This is not the first time that Ugandan authorities are arresting wanted Genocide suspects. In 2009, Idelphonse Nizeyimana, one of the most wanted Genocide suspects then was arrested in Uganda and extradited to ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. Nizeyimana, commonly referred to as the “Queen Killer” for killing Queen Rosalie Gicanda, the wife of the late King Mutara III, was arrested in a hotel in Kampala.
In 2010, the authorities together with Interpol, arrested Augustin Nkundabazungu and extradited him to Rwanda. He was charged with committing genocide and crimes against humanity.
In the same year, Jean Pierre Kwitonda, alias Kapalata, was arrested by the Uganda police in Lukaya, Masaka District following a red notice issued by Interpol Rwanda.