Friday July 2 2010

Police arrest top Rwanda genocide suspect

By Tabu Butagira

One of the most wanted suspects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide has been arrested in Uganda after he reportedly slipped in from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Police yesterday identified the suspect as Jean Inshitu, a pastor in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, although his full particulars under ‘wanted persons’ category on Interpol website is Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi.

“I can confirm that we have him and I cannot say anything beyond that,” said Mr Edward Ochom, the director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate.
Other security sources said Mr Inshitu was arrested at around midday on Tuesday in Isingiro District while travelling to Kampala. In his company, in a small car, was an unnamed woman carrying a child and detectives were unsure if she is his wife.

Established links
Mr Inshitu reportedly told the police during interrogation that he was aware international police were on his chase and he decided to settle his family and turn himself in to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This is the UN court established in Arusha, Tanzania to try masterminds of Rwanda’s mass killings.
The fugitive is said to have had established links with local agents and allegedly planned to acquire land in Kamwenge District in western Uganda to settle.

Some 800,000 Rwandans were 16 years ago murdered in 100 days, most of them either bludgeoned with clubs or chopped with machetes, after a plane carrying the country’s President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprian Ntaryamira was shot down over the airport in Kigali. It’s still not clear to this day who was responsible for downing the aircraft.

Second suspect
President Paul Kagame’s Rwanda Patriotic Front government, which captured power after the genocide, has been pressing for accountability and justice for the victims even when many of the key suspects remain at large.

Some of the runaway suspects listed by the Paris-based Interpol include Felicien Kabuga, Augustine Bizimana, Bernard Munyagishari, Protais Mpirinya and Gregory Ndahimana. Others are Charles Sikubwabo, Fulgence Kayishema, Phenaes Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ladislas Ntaganzwa and Charles Ryandikayo.

Last October, Ugandan security forces picked up Ildephonse Nizeyimana, another wanted Rwanda genocide suspect from Exotic Inn in Kisenyi, a Kampala suburb.
It emerged last night that authorities in Kampala would fly Inshitu alias Uwinkindi to face trial in Arusha today, if they did not do so last evening.

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr Frank Rugambage, told this newspaper on Wednesday that some genocide masterminds - he did not name - live in Uganda, an allegation Kampala vehemently denies.

“Every Rwandan living outside Rwanda is free to go back home because it’s a free country,” Mr Rugambage said, citing refugees in Nakivale Settlement Camp who are opposed to their repatriation to Rwanda.

The high commissioner added: “I have no doubt that there are some elements here who are confusing others not to go home.” The Makerere University Law Project says it is incorrect for the UN refugee agency to rush refugees home where they are uncertain about their safety, not offered government jobs and victimised or imprisoned on fabricated charges.