Montreal, 11 December 2007 (FH) - Five Rwandans who have been the subject of extradition requests from Kigali and Interpol since the end of August 2007 are still living freely in Canada. Little information in connection with the five men is available. According to Canadian media, such as the Montreal newspaper La Presse, which recently devoted a special investigation to it, they would be living peacefully at the four corners of the country, sometimes under a false identity.

1 min 55Approximate reading time

Firstly, there is Vincent Ndamage, suspected of having directed an Interahamwe militia. This former mason would have made speeches calling for the massacre of Tutsis. According to Rwandan authorities, he would have taken part in several attacks, including the massacre of 30 children. His place of residence in Canada remains unknown.

A former minister (of the environment and tourism) is also sought by Kigali: Gaspard Ruhumuliza. According to Canadian media, he is one of the masterminds of the genocide which, after the death of President Juvénal Habyarimana, proceeded to eliminate political opponents. His whereabouts are also unknown.

Évariste Bicamumpaka, for his part, would currently be residing in the Vancouver area (British- Colombia, Pacific coast). This former sub-prefect of Butare is suspected of having directed bloodthirsty Interahamwe militias, giving them weapons.

Another senior civil servant from Butare would also be hiding in Canada: Pierre Célestin Halindintwali. Also suspected of having directed Interahamwe militias, he was at the time of the genocide (April-July 1994) director of public works of this prefecture, would have used mechanical shovels to dig mass graves. Kigali suspects him, moreover, of having massacred an entire family. After having lived a long time in Quebec, he would be living in the Ottawa area, the federal capital.

Lastly, there is Leon Mugesera, a particular case. In November 1992, this former professor of the National University of Rwanda, made a public speech inviting "to exterminate the Tutsi cockroaches ". In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada judged that there had been obvious incitement of hatred, genocide and crimes against humanity; consequently, expulsion was necessary. But Ottawa could not complete this procedure, the death penalty being in place in Rwanda.

But if today the death penalty has been abolished in Rwanda, enough dangers would threaten Mr. Mugesera's life, so Canada can not risk extraditing him.

This enrages a part of the Rwandan exiles in Quebec. "He still seeks to pass for a good guy, well integrated, implicated in his religious community!", stated recently in the La Presse Joachim Mutezintare, a pastry chef in Quebec. This Tutsi told of his surprise when, in June 2007, as he attended a mass, he noticed the choir leader: Leon Mugesera.

"There are hundreds of suspects in Canada, not only five", stated to the AFP in August 2007, Jean Bosco Mutangana, spokesperson for the prosecutor general of Rwanda. This is confirmed by many sources in Canada.

To flush out these alleged génocidaires, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (federal police) has a special "Rwanda" division composed of three full-time investigators.

© Hirondelle News Agency