Arusha, June 4, 2002 (FH) - Close to one hundred Rwandans members of the former Rwandan Armed Forces, and militia of the former presidential party known as Interahamwe are being sought in the Democratic Republic of Rwanda (DRC) for genocide, according to a local Congolese newspaper. On Sunday Le Soft International reported that there are about a hundred hard-core Rwandan combatants, which Rwanda has publicised as wanted in the country or before an International Tribunal such as (ICTR) Arusha.

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The newspaper added that the incomplete report of those presumed guilty of genocide was drawn up meticulously by officers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) following information provided by surrendering or captured combatants during operations carried out in Rwanda or in the DRC. The list comprising 88 names features notably the former chief of staff of the Rwandan Armed Forces, Major General Augustine Bizimungu, former prefect of Kigali Town, Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, former head of the "civil defence", Colonel Athanase Gasake as well as the Commandant of the Presidential Guard, Major Protais Mpiranya. The Rwandan authorities have forwarded the said list to the United Nations Mission in Congo and the Joint Military Commission (JMC) as provided for by the peace accords on the DRC signed in Lusaka in 1999, added the newspaper. Moreover, there are names real and coded, and their military grades as they were in the ex-Rwandan Armed Forces of former President Juvénal Habyarimana or as they are currently in the armed groups. These armed groups include ALIR (Rwandan Liberation Army) and FDLR (Democratic Force for Liberation of Rwanda), according to the newspaper. Last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) accepted a proposition by the DRC government to open an office in the country, which would facilitate in the arrest of as many as possible genocide suspects apparently in Congo, according to the Tribunal Registrar Senegalese Adama Dieng. The Registrar indicated that the proposed office would re-enforce the operational capacity of the ICTR in the investigation, arrest and transfer of suspects as well as the search for prosecution and defence witnesses living in DRC. The ICTR estimates that there are around 60 Rwandan genocide suspects who are living in the DRC. Of these a warrant of arrest has been issued for around 20, according to sources. In February Dieng made an official visit to the DRC and to Congo Brazzaville, seeking the co-operation of these governments in the arrest and transfer to Arusha, of genocide suspects living in the two countries. AT/SW/FH (DRC-0604e)