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Rwanda killings suspect held in Belgium

Published on 29/03/2004

29 March 2004

BRUSSELS – A former senior officer in the Rwandan army is being held in custody in Belgium on suspicion of killing 10 Belgian soldiers during the genocide that swept through the central African state ten years ago.

Bernard Nthuyahaga, a former army major, arrived in Belgium on Saturday after having been held for five years in Tanzania, which had refused to extradite him to Belgium.

According to reports by the Reuters news agency, Belgian magistrate Live Pellens said the army officer chose to come to Belgium after being realised from custody in Tanzanian.

His alternative would have been to face court proceedings in Rwanda, the magistrate added.

The 10 Belgian soldiers were killed in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, on 7 April 1994 during a violent killing spree that spread across the city.

Nthuyahaga could be charged with war crimes over his alleged role in the incident.

After the killings Belgium withdrew its 400 troops who were serving with a UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda.

Hundreds of thousands of people died during the Rwandan genocide, most of them ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news