Just a month after arresting two Genocide suspects, the Belgian Police, this week, arrested another, a move the Rwandan government has described as “positive and promising.”
Mathias Bushishi, 71, a former Magistrate, was arrested by Belgian police following investigations carried out by both Belgium and Rwanda, which uncovered his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Bushishi, a former prosecutor in Butare, in the Southern Province, had an international arrest warrant to his name for war crimes and Genocide.
He is accused of helping to plan the massacre of Tutsis in the southern region and also played a prominent role in the attacks. He was arrested on Monday in Brussels and is now being held in the city’s Forest prison.
In an interview with The New Times, Jean Bosco Siboyintore, the Acting head of the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit (GFTU), said that Bushishi’s arrest was a welcome move because he was one of the “key figures” still on the run.
“He has been on the list of top most wanted Genocide fugitives for quite some time. We had informed Belgian authorities about him.”
“Both the Rwandan and Belgian police have been carrying out investigations. They (Belgian) set up a committee, which was here last year and earlier this year to carry out investigations,” Siboyintore said.
He noted that Belgian authorities have arrested a number of suspects in recent months, which sends a positive signal that the country is determined to arrest and prosecute Genocide suspects seeking haven on its soil.
“It is definitely good news, but a lot remains to be done. We welcome the arrests and they should continue. This is like a drop in an ocean because there are still many suspects hiding in Belgium,” added Siboyintore.
The detention of Bushishi, who has an Interpol Red Notice on his name, follows the arrest in late March of two other suspects.
Ernest Gakwaya alias Camarade and Emmanuel Nkunzuwimye alias Bomboko are awaiting trial.
Siboyintore said that more details about Genocide suspects have been sent to European countries to ensure that they are apprehended and brought to justice.