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1994 Rwandan Genocide: Fugitive Fulgence Kayishema Arrested For Killing 2,000 People In Church

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According to UN prosecutors, one fugitive from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has been apprehended.  The total number of fugitives were four. According to them, authorities arrested former police inspector Fulgence Kayishema on Wednesday in South Africa. In Rwanda, he is anticipated to stand prosecution.

In 2001, charges were brought against Kayishema in relation to an incident that resulted in the deaths of nearly 2,000 Tutsi men, women, and children inside a Catholic church where they had sought refuge. Approximately 800,000 moderate Hutus and Tutsis were murdered in the genocide.

The indictment claims that Fulgence Kayishema had a direct hand in the 15 April 1994 slaughter of refugees who were hiding at the Nyange church in Kivumu, Kibuye prefecture.

According to the report, Kayishema, born in 1961, attempted to burn the church down while the refugees were hiding there. When that didn’t work, they razed it, killing and burying everyone who was sheltering there. Their dead bodies were then put deep down in graves.

The Hague-based International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) praised in a statement the global effort that had made Kayishema’s capture possible.

According to South African police, the man was detained at a vineyard in Paarl, Western Cape province, by an elite squad. He had been using Donatien Nibashumba as the alias.

According to a statement, “The fugitive will remain in custody to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate Court for his first appearance on Friday… pending his extradition to Rwanda.”

More than 60 genocide organizers received sentences from the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), including three for the killing at the Notre Dame de la Visitation church. Athanase Seromba, the priest of the church, was given a life term in jail in 2008.

The MICT took up the ICTR’s remaining cases after it shut down in 2015. Certain cases, like Kayishema’s, have, nevertheless, been sent to Rwanda for trial.

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