Prosecutors say that Bernard Munyagishari was the leader of an ‘Interahamwe’ militia group that massacred ethnic Tutsi civilians in the town of Gisenyi on the Rwanda/Congo border during the 1994 genocide in which perhaps 800,000 were killed in just three months.
Munyagishari, 52, has been in hiding for 17-years and on the run for six of those since an arrest warrant was issued in 2005. He was finally tracked down in the town of Kachanga in eastern Congo and arrested by the Congolese army.
He will be extradited to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), a UN-backed court established to try genocide suspects.
Hassan Bubacar Jallow, the ICTR prosecutor, says that Munyagishari “recruited trained and led Interahamwe militiamen in mass killings and rapes of Tutsi women in Gisenyi and beyond, between April and July 1994.”
Munyagishari’s indictment lists five counts including genocide, murder and rape. It says that he was once a school teacher and national football referee.
Earlier this month Augustin Bizimungu, commander in chief of the Rwandan army during the genocide, was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in jail. The court says that nine fugitives are still at large.