06 - 04
A former gendarme suspected of involvement in the Rwandan Genocide has been arrested in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé.
Philippe Hategekimana, also known as Philippe Manier after being naturalized as a French citizen, was arrested on the basis of an international warrant of arrest issued by a French judge sitting on a panel adjudicating on crimes against humanity.
Hategekimana, who worked as a chief warrant officer in the town of Nyanza in southern Rwanda, is alleged to have “organized and participated in several large-scale massacres committed in Butare region.”
The allegations against him specifically place him in pogroms on Nyamure Hill, where thousands were killed, and Nyamugari Hill, where about 300 people were also killed.
The allegations against him were presented by the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR), an organization established in 2001 to pursue suspected genocidaires in French territory. It has so far resulted in 15 inquiries against such suspects.
It is likely that an extradition request will be made by France so that Philippe Hategekimana can be tried in France, which has since 2014 convicted 3 Rwandans residing in France for their involvement in the 1994 Genocide, in which at least 800,000 people, mostly of the minority Tutsi ethnicity, were killed.
As this arrest demonstrates, the pursuit of suspects of the Rwanda Genocide is unceasing, even if some of the major suspects have proven to be quite elusive.
Meanwhile, Rwandans, and the world at large, prepare to hold the 24th Commemoration of the Genocide this Saturday.