Arusha, October 06, 2009 (FH) - A former officer of the Rwandan Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR) wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was arrested on Monday in Uganda, a spokesperson of the ICTR announced, Tuesday, in Arusha (Tanzania).

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Charged by the ICTR with genocide and crimes against humanity, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana was at the time under consideration, in 1994, deputy commander of the Non Commissioned Officers School (Ecole des sous-officiers, ESO) in Butare (south of Rwanda).

"He is in the custody of the ICTR", said ICTR spokesman Roland Amoussouga during a press conference on Tuesday. However, he refused to make clear if the defendant had already arrived in the Arusha based Detention Center of the international jurisdiction.

According to the indictment, Nizeyimana allegedly ordered his men, on April 20 1994, to kill Rosalie Gicanda, the widow of the last but one king of Rwanda, Mutara III Rudahigwa.

Queen Gicanda was a much revered symbolic figure for the Tutsis, the ethnic minority group to which the Rwandan sovereigns belonged.

Moreover, on April 30 1994, Captain Nizeyimana is accused of having led an attack against a convent in the outskirts of Butare.

The prosecutor alleges that Nizeyimana drew up lists of Tutsi intellectuals to be killed. Soldiers and Interahamwe militia were provided with these lists when tasked with murder.

According to expert witnesses called upon by the prosecution, Nizeyimana never liked Tutsis.

In her book Leave None to Tell the Story, published in 1999, late American historian Alison des Forges wrote: "Well-known leader of the hardliners among the Butare based soldiers, Nizeyimana was praised in local songs for his burning hate of Tutsis".

Eleven other suspects wanted by the ICTR, most of them allegedly hiding in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), are still on the run.


© Hirondelle News Agency