Minister of Justice/Attorney General Hon. Karugarama Tharcisse
The US has announced new cash rewards for information leading to the capture of six suspected perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who are still at large.
The US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, Stephen J. Rapp, made the announcement on Tuesday while visiting the ICTR headquarters in Arusha,Tanzania.
“There will be some cash prizes but not necessarily $5 million as has been the case with Kabuga and others,” Rapp is quoted as telling reporters in Arusha.
Justice Minister and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, Wednesday, welcomed the move saying cash rewards for arrest of Genocide fugitives outs pressure on both suspects and host countries.
“There are many reasons why this is good, and one reason is that this ‘reward for justice’ keeps pressure on these guys, wherever they are hiding around the world. It keeps them on tenterhooks,” Karugarama told The New Times, yesterday.
“The reward has worked in the past. Even though it didn’t lead to the capture of Kabuga, it helped in the apprehension of some other suspects. It is really a good investment in justice”.
The six are Pheneas Munyarugarama, Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikuwabo, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Charles Ryandikayo and Aloys Ndimbati, whose files were referred to Rwanda for trial by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The most wanted fugitive, Felicien Kabuga, and three others have a US$5 million bounty on each of their heads.
As the ICTR winds up, the files for Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana will be handed over to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which will take over ICTR operations.
The head of Rwanda’s Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit (GFTU), John Bosco Siboyintore, urged individuals with leads to come forward.
“We will first verify it and, if the information is good and it leads to the apprehension of these people, then the individual who provided it is rewarded,” Siboyintore said, adding that informants may be eligible for protection of their identities and relocation with their families.
Kayishema was Inspector of police in Kivumu commune in the Kibuye prefecture during the Genocide.
Born in 1960, in Kivumu, he faces charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination (crimes against humanity).
Among other acts, Kayishema allegedly ordered the killing of the Tutsi inside Nyange church, and brought fuel for use by the Interahamwe militia in an attempt to burn down the church. An estimated 2,000 civilians died in this attack alone.
Ntaganzwa’s case was referred to Rwanda on May 8. Born in 1962, in Gasharu, in the Muhambara sector in Commune of Nyakizu – in the then prefecture of Butare in southern Rwanda, Ntaganzwa’s was head of the then ruling MRND party in Nyakizu during the Genocide.According to the ICTR indictment, Ntaganzwa’s alleged crimes include the fuelling of racial hatred and violence, training and arming paramilitary units, and the compilation of lists of people to be eliminated. Ntaganzwa allegedly organised and ordered massacres and personally participated in them.
While in Arusha, Rapp reportedly described Munyarugarama as a most wanted suspect because of his role in the Genocide.At the time of the killings he held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan army and was the highest-ranking officer at a military camp near the capital Kigali.Munyarugarama is alleged to have been directly involved in the planning and execution of the systematic attacks directed against the Tutsi civilian population at various sites.
Sikubwabo, a former mayor of Gishyita in the western Kibuye prefecture, like the rest, is charged with genocide or complicity in genocide, as well as conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.
Born in the early 1950s, Ndimbati, as mayor of the Kibuye commune Gisovu, was allegedly present at the scene of and participated in the killings of the Tutsi across Kibuye.He is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, as well as with murder, extermination, rape and persecution as crimes against humanity. The ICTR referred his case to Rwanda in June 2012.
Ryandikayo, a former restaurant manager in the Mubuga Sector of the Gishyita Commune, is charged by the ICTR with war crimes, crimes against humanity, conspiracy with a view to commit genocide, and genocide.He is accused of playing a leading role in the systematic extermination of the Tutsi in different places throughout Kibuye prefecture in 1994.In April 1994, he allegedly helped organise and took part in an attack by police, Interahamwe militia, and armed civilians on a church in Mubuga, where refugees fleeing the violence had sought shelter. The attack lasted several days and resulted in thousands of deaths.