Home NewsNational Nyange: IRMCT Prosecutor Brammertz Visits Genocide Survivors, Pledges More Efforts To Track Fugitives

Nyange: IRMCT Prosecutor Brammertz Visits Genocide Survivors, Pledges More Efforts To Track Fugitives

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:34 pm

IRMCT Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz is in Rwanda.

The United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Chief Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz is in Rwanda to discuss with genocide survivors and officials on the case of a Rwandan genocide suspect recently arrested.

Brammertz landed in Rwanda this week on an official mission from 24 to 28 July 2023 and will conduct his business where he will meet with the official following the arrest of Fulgence Kayishema on 24 May in Paarl, South Africa.

Kayishema, wanted for committing genocide at Nyange Catholic Church during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is one of the world’s most wanted genocide fugitives – who was arrested in Paarl, South Africa in a joint operation by the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Fugitive Tracking Team and South African authorities.

Kayishema was indicted by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2001 and charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity for killings and other crimes committed in former Kivumu Commune, Kibuye Prefecture during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The indictment alleges that on 15 April 1994, Kayishema, together with other co-perpetrators, murdered more than 2,000 men, women, elderly, and children refugees at the Nyange Church in Kivumu commune. Kayishema directly participated in the planning and execution of this massacre, including by procuring and distributing petrol to burn down the church with the refugees inside.

When this failed, Kayishema and others (like Father Athanase Seromba) used a bulldozer to collapse the church, burying and killing the refugees inside. Kayishema and team then supervised the transfer of corpses from the church grounds into mass graves over the next approximately two days.

Today, Prosecutor Brammertz with survivors and victims and local dignitaries visited the Nyange Parish Genocide Memorial where genocide suspect Kayishema is accused of having played a big role in killing Tutsi who had sought refuge at the church.

The prosecutor will also listen to testimonies of genocide survivors at Nyange Catholic Church.

The Prosecutor will also have to meet with IBUKA representatives in Kigali. These meetings will be an opportunity for the Prosecutor to brief victims and survivors on the arrest of Kayishema and his future trial, the ongoing Kabuga case, and the Office of the Prosecutor’s continued efforts to support more accountability for crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Prosecutor Brammertz said his next stop next week will be South Africa, where Kayishema is detained and facing several charges.

“Next week we [Residual Mechanism] will go to South Africa to thank them for helping us capture Kayishema, and discuss how he will be transferred to Rwanda to be tried,” he said.

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