U.N. tribunal seizes Rwandans on genocide charges
July 18, 1997
Web posted at: 2:23 p.m. EDT (1823 GMT)
NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kenyan police have arrested the
former prime minister of Rwanda and nine others in Nairobi on
genocide charges stemming from the 1994 civil war.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said those
arrested Thursday "are all notable figures who are believed
to have participated in the genocide, crimes against humanity
and violations of the Geneva Conventions, committed in Rwanda
More than 500,000 men, women and children, mainly ethnic
Tutsis, were killed by Hutu extremists between April and July
1994. A number of members of the Hutu government fled to
Kenya after the civil war.
Tribunal: Ex-premier failed to stop massacres
Jean Kambanda, the prime minister in the hard-line Hutu
government during the four-month war, was the first of the
group to be arrested. The tribunal alleges that Kambanda did
nothing to prevent the massacres. Rwandan state TV footage
from 1994 allegedly shows the then-premier inciting people to
participate in the massacre.
Others arrested included:
- Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the former minister of Family
Welfare and the Advancement of Women.
- Nyiramasuhuko's son, former militiaman Arsene Shalom
Ntahobali. He and his mother are accused of genocide and
crimes against humanity at the Commune of Butare.c
- Sylvain Nsabimana, a former mayor of the southern town of
- Army officers Gratien Kabiligi and Aloys Ntabakuze, both
accused of engaging in massacres of Tutsi civilians.
Tribunal 'without sleep' for week
Bernard Muna, the tribunal's deputy prosecutor, said he and
other tribunal officials had worked on the case in the Kenyan
capital "without sleep" for seven days. Thirty tribunal
officials worked with 36 Kenya police officers and armed
police to make the arrests, he said.
"Basically we waited around their buildings until day dawned
and doors were opened. There was no violence. These people
have been in hiding," Muna said. He said one suspect,
Nsabimana, ran off into the forest and had to be pursued by
After arresting the suspects, Kenyan police handed them over
to U.S. security forces. Ntahobali and Nsabimana were
indicted; the rest were served with warrants of arrest and
requests for extradition by the tribunal. The suspects were
being moved to tribunal headquarters in the northern
Tanzanian town of Arusha.
Before Friday's indictments and seizure of suspects in Kenya,
a total of 21 people had been indicted by the tribunal, which
has 12 suspects in detention in Arusha.
The U.N. tribunal was set up in November 1994 to bring to
justice leaders of the genocide of an estimated 800,000
Tutsis and some moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Its maximum
penalty is life imprisonment.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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