Arusha, October 31, 2000 (FH) - Former Rwandan military leader and genocide suspect Tharcisse Muvunyi was on Monday transferred from Britain to the prison of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, official sources said. According to an ICTR press release, Muvunyi will "shortly appear before a trial chamber of the Tribunal to answer to five counts charging him with genocide or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape".

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Muvunyi was commander of the military school in Butare, southern Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide which left some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead. He has been detained in Britain since February 5th this year, on an international arrest warrant from the UN tribunal. His transfer comes after Muvunyi earlier this month dropped a bid to block deportation. The BBC reported that he did so "after assurances that he would be protected once he is back in Africa and that he could return to the UK if acquitted". Muvunyi had been living as a refugee in south London on benefit since 1998. The ICTR is expected to try him with other suspects whose identity has not yet been revealed. JC/FH (MV%1031E)