Fulgence Kayishema, one of the most wanted fugitives of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi appeared in a court in South Africa, following his arrest on Wednesday, ending 22 years of eluding justice. He had been at large since 2001 when he was listed among the most wanted genocide fugitives.
The 62-year old former head of judicial police known as ‘gendarmes’ was arraigned in court in Cape Town on Friday, two days after he was arrested on May 25, in Paarl, which is about 60kms north of Cape Town, South Africa, where he had been living on a farm under false names.
Kayishema, who is accused of overseeing the massacre of over 2,000 Tutsis at Nyange Catholic Parish in the former Kibuye prefecture, was remanded in custody at Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison ahead of a possible extradition to Rwanda, where he will face charges which include committing genocide crimes, crimes against humanity and conspiracy to commit genocide.
Appearing calm and resigned to his fate after years of evading justice, Kayishema listened as the Judge adjourned the hearing to June 2 when he is likely to learn of his fate.
The appearance came at a time when genocide survivors organisations are calling for his quick transfer to Rwanda, arguing that he deserves to face justice in the country he committed the crimes he was wanted for.
Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of genocide survivors, welcomed the arrest of Kayishema, stating that he committed some of the most heinous genocide crimes, and should be face charges in Rwanda.
Kayishema, who was on the U.S. State Department’s wanted list under the Rewards for Justice Program, with a USD 5 million reward offered for his arrest, is likely to be deported to Rwanda, as soon as South Africa, Rwanda and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) agree on the modalities.
South African Police Service (SAPS) said was arrested in line with an Interpol red notice after a tip off that he had been living under the false name of Donatien Nibashumba.
IRMC Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, said following his arrest, that he hopes Kayishema will be extradited to Rwanda, a development he said could happen in the next few weeks.