Once again, a major fugitive suspect of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has died for years. Army commander Phénéas Munyarugarama died in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the beginning of 2002 due to a natural cause. This was announced by a special tribunal in The Hague. He was suspected of, among other things, genocide and crimes against humanity.
Last week, another major suspect, Protais Mpiranya, also appeared to have died years ago. Mpiranya died in 2006 in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, where he had fled after the genocide.
One hundred days
In 1994, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in Rwanda by violent militias over a hundred days. The movement was stopped by the Tutsi rebel movement Rwandan Patriotic Front, led by Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda.
At the request of the new government, the United Nations established the Rwanda Tribunal for the prosecution of those involved in the genocide in 1994. A total of 93 suspects were charged. The Rwanda Tribunal completed its work in 2015, but not all suspects had been tracked down at that time.
The so-called International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) still deals with outstanding cases. Now that the fate of Munyarugarama is known, four fugitives are still being sought. The main fugitive suspect is currently Fulgence Kayishema, says IRMCT prosecutor Serge Brammertz. It was last spotted in South Africa.