Brussels, 4 July 2008 (FH) - Brussels, 3 July 2008 (FH) - Belgium has expressed interest in trying fugitive former head of the Rwandan presidential guard during the 1994 genocide, Protais Mpiranya who is widely believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe, reports Hirondelle Agency. Mpiranya is in the list of 13 most wanted persons by the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) still on the run.

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In attempts to arrest them, the US-government has offered a bounty of five million dollars for each fugitive.
Responding a question from Commission of Foreign Affairs, the Belgium Foreign Minister, Karel De Gucht, said that he was not sure whether Mpiranya was hiding in Zimbabwe, as was reported recently by the British weekly The Sunday Times.
The newspaper further claimed that Mpiranya was sheltered by close associates of President Robert Mugabe, who were jointly running ventures, including plundering resources of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We are not aware of the fact that he is in Zimbabwe. We did not receive confirmation from the Tribunal in Arusha nor from our intelligence services” he told the legislators.
The head of Belgian diplomacy said that he was “fully aware of the involvement of Mpiranya in the murder of ten Belgian peacekeepers on 7 April 1994, and in the planning of the genocide”.
The Rwandan genocide resulted in more than 800 000 deaths according to the UN.
Belgium sentenced in 2007 Major Bernard Ntuyahaga to 20 years in prison for his role in the murder of Belgium peacekeepers, charged with protecting the then Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was also killed.
De Gucht reminded that his country had on 4 June, at the UN Security Council, asked all member countries concerned to cooperate with the tribunal to arrest the fugitives.