Rwandan genocide suspect arrested in France

26th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

French police on Wednesday arrested a Rwandan doctor accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide, the latest suspect forced by Paris to answer allegations of atrocities.

Eugene Rwamucyo, who last month was dismissed from his hospital post in northern France, is wanted by Kigali for allegedly planning and carrying out atrocities in the Butare region of southern Rwanda.

The doctor, aged in his 50s, was on an Interpol watch list and wanted in Paris in connection with a complaint filed by the families of genocide victims for crimes against humanity.

His arrest came nearly three months after police detained Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of Rwanda's assassinated ex-president, and one of the alleged masterminds of the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

It also follows President Nicolas Sarkozy's landmark trip to Kigali in March during which he said France would do everything possible to ensure that "all those responsible for the genocide are found and are punished."

Sarkozy is to welcome Rwandan President Paul Kagame to Nice next week as one of the forty-odd African leaders invited to a France-Africa summit.

A judicial source told AFP that Rwamucyo was detained in Sannois, north of Paris, after attending the funeral of another Rwandan convicted of war crimes by the Tanzania-based international tribunal.

Rwamucyo lived in Belgium with his family and until last month worked as a doctor in a city hospital in Maubeuge, northern France.

In an interview to AFP in October, Rwamucyo had denied the allegations of genocide and accused the Tutsi-led government in Kigali of waging a campaign against him.

"They are trying to make people believe that all of the Hutus who held any position of responsibility at the time were thinking about killing Tutsis," Rwamucyo said.

"I am accused of killing patients that I was treating at the Butare university hospital, of helping Mrs Habyarimana do her dirty work and of taking part in meetings to plan the genocide," he said.

"This is a campaign by Rwandan authorities and the (governing) Rwandan Patriotic Front which has been chasing me for the past 15 years," he said.

Rwanda had repeatedly accused France of allowing genocide suspects to live comfortable lives in French towns and villages and turning a blind eye to calls for them to face justice.

France has transferred three Rwandan suspects to Tanzania to face prosecution before the international tribunal, but judges have so far refused to extradite genocide suspects to Kigali.

In recent cases, French courts have ruled that the suspects cannot expect a fair trial in their homeland.

An estimated 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred over the course of about 100 days from April to July 1994.

© 2010 AFP

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