Arusha, 24 September, 2009(FH) - Genocide-accused Gregoire Ndahimana, who was arrested last month in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will make an initial appearance on Monday before the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the UN Court's Spokesman, Roland Amoussouga, confirmed Thursday.

1 min 26Approximate reading time

He said that the accused would be represented by a duty counsel, Bharat Chadah from Tanzania, pending appointment of full-time attorney.

Meanwhile, the ICTR Prosecutor ICTR, Justice Hassan Jallow, has commended the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for arresting and swiftly transferring genocide accused Gregoire Ndahimana to the UN Tribunal's headquarters to face a trial.

Ndahimana was brought aboard a special UN plane on Sunday.

‘'I'm pleased that the DRC authorities effectively arrested and transferred Ndahimana ,'' Justice Jallow told Hirondelle Agency, adding that he looked forward for further co-operation from Congo, where some more fugitives are allegedly holed up.

Ndahimana, who was Mayor of Rwandan town of Kivumu in 1994, was arrested on August 11 during operations against Rwandan rebels in North Kivu in the eastern Congo. He is wanted for helping organize the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

According to the ICTR indictment, he is responsible for the deaths of at least 2,000 Tutsis, most of whom were killed when Hutus bulldozed a church where they had sought refuge.

His wife and five children will be sent to Rwanda, according to AFP news agency.

Ndahimana is among 13 most wanted fugitives for the 1994 slaughter, for which the United States government has offered a bounty of $ five million for information leading to their arrests.

Most of the former Rwandan military and Interahamwe militia members responsible for the genocide fled to Rwanda's giant western neighbour, Congo, after Tutsi rebels, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), came to power in July 1994 and ended the carnage.

The ICTR has been tasked to try key suspects of the genocide, which according to UN estimates, claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and July, 1994.

The UN Court since its establishment in November 1994 by the UN Security Council, although it started its operations only two years later, has so far convicted 36 persons and acquitted six.

Currently trials are underway for 11 accused in nine cases. The UN has directed the ICTR to complete all first instance trials by deadline of December 2010. 


© Hirondelle News Agency