One of Rwanda’s Major Genocide Fugitives Augustin Bizimana Confirmed Dead

Thirteen counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, rape, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity,… Augustin Bizimana, one of the major fugitives alleged to have been a senior leader of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi has been confirmed dead.

His death was confirmed on Friday by the International Residual Mechanism Criminal Tribunal’s Prosecutor General Serge Brammertz.

“The Mechanism Office of the Prosecutor confirms today the death of Augustin Bizimana, one of the major fugitives alleged to have been a senior leader of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This confirmation is based on the conclusive identification of Bizimana’s remains in a grave site in Pointe Noire, the Republic of the Congo,” read the communique from IRMCT.

According to the communique, as the Minister of Defence in the Interim Government during the genocide, Bizimana was indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1998.

He was charged with thirteen counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, rape, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, all in relation to crimes committed during the 1994 genocide.

The Alleged killer of Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana

According to the prosecution, among the crimes charged, Bizimana was alleged to be responsible for the murders of former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and ten Belgian United Nations peacekeepers, and for the murder of Tutsi civilians throughout Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Butare, Kibuye and Cyangugu prefectures.

Confirmation of this death took several efforts and according to the prosecutor, it is a result of an exhaustive investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor combining advanced technology with extensive field operations and involved exceptional cooperation with partner authorities in Rwanda, the Republic of the Congo, the Netherlands and the United States.

“Late last year, the Office conducted DNA analysis on previously-obtained samples of human remains from a grave site in Pointe Noire, the Republic of the Congo. Subsequent investigations and comparative DNA analysis by the Office over the last several months ruled out that the remains were those of any other person,” reads part of the statement.

“The Office further verified additional evidence concerning the circumstances of Bizimana’s death. Accordingly, the Office confirms today that Augustin Bizimana is deceased. It is believed that he died in August 2000 in Pointe Noire.”

With the arrest of Félicien Kabuga last Saturday and today’s confirmation, the Office of the Prosecutor said, it has now accounted for two of the three major fugitives indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The remaining major fugitive is Protais Mpiranya, former commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces, and the Office continues to actively pursue him. The Office is also actively pursuing the five other fugitives indicted by the ICTR, Fulgence Kayishema, Phénéas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ryandikayo and Charles Sikubwabo.

 




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