Arusha, March 8, 2000(FH) - Former Rwandan Minister of Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda has been transferred from France to the detention facility of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania. .

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According to an ICTR communiqué, Kamuhanda arrived in Arusha on Tuesday. He was arrested in the French town of Bourges on November 26th, on a warrant from the ICTR. This was the first such arrest in France and the first time the French authorities have transferred a suspect to the ICTR. Kamuhanda was a minister in the Rwandan interim government which presided over the 1994 genocide. He is charged with genocide, or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide, direct incitement to genocide; and crimes against humanity. According to the indictment, Kamuhanda organized killings in Gikomero Commune (Kigali-rural prefecture) in April 1994. He is also accused of distributing firearms, grenades and machetes to militias to enable them to "kill all Tutsis and fight the RPF [Rwandese Patriotic Front -- Tutsi guerilla army]". The ICTR press release says Kamuhanda is also accused of personally leading attacks by soldiers and Interahmwe Hutu militias against Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge in the parish compound at Gikomero and in the school attached to it. Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, 47, was born in Gikomero commune on March 3rd, 1953. He was advisor to the Rwandan interim president Théodore Sindikubwabo before being appoinhted as Minister for Culture and Higher Education. Before that, he had been a longstanding cultural advisor to former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana. He was also a high-ranking member of Habyarimana's MRND political party in Kigali-rural prefecture. Since Kamuhanda's arrest, France has also arrested another Rwandan genocide suspect,François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, at the request of the ICTR. Nzuwonemeye was commander in Kigali of the reconnaissance battalion, an elite unit of the Rwandan army. He has not yet been transferred to Arusha. Kamuhanda is the eleventh member of the former interim government to be held in the UN prison. The interim government had nineteen members in total. AT/JC/FH (KH%0308e )