TOULOUSE - News that a man wanted for Genocide, was arrested in France, and shortly after, released, has angered activists and survivors.
Tito Barahira, the former Bourgmestre (Mayor) of Kabarondo Commune in the former Kibungo Prefecture, was recently arrested in Toulouse, France, but reports from the French capital indicate that he was released and placed under court supervision from April 5.
Jean Pierre Dusingizimana, the president of IBUKA, said: “What happened continues to demonstrate the French’s lack of respect for us. What they have done does not surprise us.”
Alain Gauthier, the head of a Paris-based genocide survivors' advocacy group, said: “Once again, a suspected génocidaire is arrested and released. We can hardly believe it”.
Gauthier, however, hopes that since the suspect is under court supervision, it means that he was indicted and a judicial investigation opened.
“It's a bit more reassuring nonetheless,” he added.
During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Barahira was the head of the state water and electricity utility, Electrogaz, in Kabarondo.
He was also the chairman of the ruling MRND Party in the Commune.
Between April and July 1994, Barahira allegedly collaborated with the then, military and Interahamwe militia, in Kabarondo, to kill the Tutsi.
As the district head of the MRND, he allegedly chaired a number of meetings in Kabarondo, where plans to exterminate Tutsis were hatched.
On April 13, 1994, the suspect allegedly led the Interahamwe militia armed with machetes, and participated in the killing of Tutsi, who had taken refuge at a Kabarondo church.