27 May 2011

Rwandan genocide suspect arrested

6:30 am on 27 May 2011

The United Nations court for Rwanda says a top genocide suspect has been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bernard Munyagishari, 52, is accused of of being a militia leader who

masterminded the killing of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994.

The BBC reports he was caught on Wednesday in an operation mounted by the Congolese army in collaboration with a tracking team from the UN court trying genocide suspects.

Mr Munyagishari faces charges of genocide, murder and rape. He is expected to be handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a court set up in Tanzania to try the ringleaders.

According to the indictment, he was the leader of the Interahamwe Hutu militia in Gisenyi in the west of the country.

He trained them in the forests of Rwanda and armed them with the aim of wiping out the ethnic Tutsi population.

He is also accused of instigating attacks on churches where people had sought shelter.

Some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in the genocide which lasted 100 days.

Nine others accused of being key perpetrators are still at large.