By: Angela Garrone, Senior Associate
In early October, Ugandan police officials arrested one of the most wanted suspects in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, Idelphonse Nizeyimana. Nizeyimana was arrested on October 5th while he was entering Uganda by bus from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nizeyimana is accused of organizing the killings of many Tutsi civilians and ordering the killing of a former Queen of Rwanda. As a former Rwandan army captain and senior intelligence officer, he is accused of setting up roadblocks at which Tutsi civilians were slaughtered and providing weapons and transportation to those he knew would be carrying out these attacks. Furthermore, he is accused of preparing lists of Tutsi intellectuals and those in positions of authority, as well as lists ultimately handed over to militia and army officers who killed these individuals. Approximately 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days of violence.
Nizeyimana was arrested in a suburb of the Ugandan capital of Kampala. After his arrest, he was extradited to Arusha in northern Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has been charged with genocide, complicity to genocide, and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Previously, the United States had offered $5 million reward for Nizeyimana’s capture. It is reported that Nizeyimana has spent the last fifteen years fighting for Hutu rebel groups in the forest of neighboring Congo.
Nizeyimana’s arrest marks another milestone in bringing those responsible for the unspeakable violence in Rwanda to justice. In August 2009, Gregoire Ndahimana, a local administrator in Rwanda during the genocide, was also arrested by Congolese troops.