Where Are they Now? The 1000 Genocide Suspects On the Run

Protais Mpiranya, one of the most wanted fugitives

It has been twenty eight years since the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi where over 1 million innocent Tutsi were massacred within one hundred days.

Hundreds suspected masterminds and perpetrators who had been brainswashed by the government of hate through decades were prosecuted and sentenced by local and international courts, but several others are still on the run.

Neighboring countries, including Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania have the biggest numbers of the suspects who first posed as refugees in the wake of the 1994 Genocide.

The massive repatriation of Rwandan refugees since middle 1990s exposed the suspects who used to make the refugees their shield. They thus scattered to Western countries.

The lead suspects of whom the United States of America has placed a $5 million bounty include Protais Mpiranya who was commander of Presidential guard during the genocide, Fulgence Kayishema who was inspector of the judicial police and Aloys Ndimbati, the former Bourgmaster of Gisovu commune, then Kibuye prefecture.

Also under this bounty is Phenias Munyarugarama who was senior officer in the former Rwanda Armed Forces, Ex-FAR and commander of Gako military camp-Bugesera district.

Other names featuring on this list include Charles Ryandikayo who was a civil servant in Gishyita Commune, Kibuye Prefecture and Charles Sikubwabo, once Bourgmester of the same commune.

A part from these suspects under bounty, the Genocide Suspects Tracking Unit of National Public Prosecution Authority indicates that 1,147  genocide suspects across the world are still on the run.

DRC which hosted nearly 3 million refugees in the aftermath of the Genocide has been the biggest shelter of the suspects with now 408 suspects, followed by Uganda with 277 suspects as the table below indicates.

Indictment by country-figures from National Public Prosecution authority

According to Faustin Nkusi, the spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority “some countries that host the Genocide suspects lack political will to arrest them for prosecution while they are signatory to international treaties related to genocide crimes.”

Nkusi reminded that the genocide is an international crime that is not subject to any statute limitation.

Other challenges that impede arrest of the suspects include their hiding tactics, changing their identities and the time laps which has changed their figures.

After changing their identities, some suspects forge address in their host countries and pretend to be their nationals, a general case in DRC, Uganda and Burundi.

Nkusi said, that in some cases, traces of the suspects happen to lack due to their constant movement.

On a positive note however, several countries have cooperated with Rwanda and sent the suspects to be tried in Rwanda or were prosecuted and sentenced in the host countries. On this list features 10 African countries out of 30 countries on the continent which are still hosting suspects.

Rwandan efforts to conclude all Genocide related cases yielded results whereby an estimate 2 million cases were tried under community participatory justice-Gacaca in ten years against 61 cases tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) and its residual mechanism.

Additional reporting by Anne Marie Niwemwiza and Syldio Sebuharara




Leave a Comment