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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Rwandan genocide fugitive arrested at Paarl grape farm after being on the run since 1994

Cape Town – Rwandan’s most wanted man, who has been on the run since 1994 in connection with genocide in the east African country has been arrested in Paarl.

Fulgence Kayishema, 61, is alleged to have orchestrated the killing of 2 000 women, men and children at a church in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

He was arrested on Wednesday after he had been placed on the Interpol Red Notice.

“At the time of his arrest at the grape farm in Paarl, he was living under a false identity of Donatien Nibashumba,” Hawks national spokesperson, Brigadier Thandi Mbombo said.

Mbombo added that he was arrested by SA Operational Task Team (OTT) comprised of Crime Intelligence, Home Affairs, International Relations, Interpol, the NPA and the Hawks (DPCI).

“The investigation conducted by OTT led to the arrest of the fugitive in Paarl. The fugitive will appear before court on 26 May 2023 for immigration laws and Interpol Red notice.”

“This came after the OTT received fugitive whereabouts and pictures from the IRMCT that led to the identification of the fugitive who was wanted since 2002.

“According to the arrest warrant issued and IRMCT indictment, the fugitive was the Police Inspector in Rwanda who allegedly played a significant role in the planning and execution of genocide where more than 2000 people were killed in 1994,” Mbombo said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Prosecutor for the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Serge Brammertz, said Kayishema’s arrest “ensures that he will finally face justice for his alleged crimes.”

“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,” he said.

The National Head of the Hawks Godfrey Lebeya commended the team for their excellent work and he said that the arrest of the fugitive demonstrates the power and effectiveness of international co-operation between police worldwide in obtaining information in relation to the identification, location and apprehension of fugitives around the world.

“It proves that however long it takes, the law enforcement community will keep on searching for fugitives until they are located and arrested.

“This operation is a credit to law enforcement officers and agencies in South Africa and Rwanda.

“The fugitive will remain in custody to appear in the Bellville Magistrate Court for his first appearance on Friday at the disposal of South African judicial authorities pending his extradition to Rwanda,” Lebeya added.

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