United Nations prosecutors have announced that Hutu militiaman and genocide suspect Fulgence Kayishema was arrested in Paarl, South Africa, on Wednesday.
Kayishema is accused of ordering and taking part of the mass killing of 2,000 Tutsi men, women, and children at a Catholic Church in Kivumu, Rwanda, in 1994. The church was set on fire, but later demolished by bulldozers with survivors still trapped inside. The bodies were later buried in mass graves nearby.
In a statement by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the tribunal said that “Fulgence Kayishema – one of the world’s most wanted genocide fugitives – 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.”
“Genocide is the most serious crime known to humankind. The international community has committed to ensure that its perpetrators will be prosecuted and punished. This arrest is a tangible demonstration that this commitment does not fade and that justice will be done, no matter how long it takes.”
“Today is a day to think of the victims and survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. While twenty-nine years have passed, they continue to bear the physical and mental scars of their suffering. My Office reaffirms that we will not rest in our efforts to secure justice on their behalf, and by carrying out our mandate contribute to a more just and peaceful future for the Rwandan people.”
Kayishema faces an array of charges including genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity.