Arusha, 20 July 2007 (FH)- A Rwandan former prefect and a priest sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide were arrested Friday in France, according to the local media.

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Prefect of Gikongoro (southern Rwanda) in 1994, Laurent Bucyibaruta is accused of massacres of Tutsis in his prefecture. He lived in Aube in North-Eastern France.

Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka was, for his part, priest at the Sainte-Famille parish in Kigali. The ICTR Prosecutor alleges that he took part in the massacres of refugees in his parish and also committed rape. He resided in Eure in northern France.

The two men were indicted in 2005 but itwas only last month that their indictments were revealed.

The ICTR Prosecutor would like them to be tried in France. The ICTR president, Dennis Byron, recently designated a chamber to examine this motion filed by the Prosecutor. The judges have not rendered a decision yet.

The Rwandan government and associations of survivors, however, have declared that they will not cooperate with French courts if the two men are tried in France.

Kigali accuses Paris of having played a part in the genocide of Tutsis by politically and militarily supporting the former Hutu regime.

Rwanda broke off diplomatic ties with France in November 2006 after a French investigating judge issued arrest warrants against persons close to current President Paul Kagame.

The anti-terrorism Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere suspects them of having planned the attack against the plane of the former President Juvénal Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, thus sparking the genocide.

© Hirondelle News Agency