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Rwandan Genocide Suspect Faces Multiple charges in South Africa

Fulgence Kayishema

Fulgence Kayishema, a wanted man for allegedly taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, is facing more accusations from South African authorities as of Friday.

A prosecutor claims that Mr. Kayishema, who had been missing for 20 years, was captured on May 24 on a grape farm in South Africa because refugees employed there turned him in.

Outside of a Cape Town court, prosecutors’ spokesman Eric Ntabazalila stated that he now faces 54 unique counts in South Africa for fraud and immigration offenses, up from five earlier.

Since the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) charged Mr. Kayishema with genocide in 2001 for purportedly ordering the killing of 2,000 people who were hiding in the Nyange Catholic Church, he has been on the run from the law.

However, he expressed “sorry” for the 1994 killings while denying any involvement during a court hearing on May 26.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa claims that Mr. Kayishema applied for asylum and refugee status in South Africa under a fictitious name. In court, Mr. Kayishema has not reacted to the South African accusations.

To give Mr. Kayishema’s defense team time to consult, the matter was postponed until June 20. At that time, he could submit a bail application.

According to Mr. Ntabazalila, some of the local charges might result in Mr. Kayishema serving up to 15 years in prison.

Mr. Kayishema is also anticipated to be extradited to Rwanda to stand trial for the ICTR’s genocide accusation.

During Rwanda’s genocide, which was planned by an extremist Hutu administration and painstakingly carried out by local authorities and regular residents in the tightly hierarchical society, an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates were slain.

Only three of the fugitives included in the international tribunal’s indictment remain at large after Mr. Kayishema’s capture.


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