Rwanda wants Hutu rebel tried for genocide

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The Rwandan rebel who is to stand trial at the International Criminal Court for war crimes in DR Congo must also be tried for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide, Kigali said on Friday.

Callixte Mbarushimana, who is accused of crimes including murder and rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009, is due to be sent to the ICC premises in The Hague by the end of January after a French court this week rejected an appeal against his detention and transfer.

Mbarushimana, a Hutu and executive secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), has also been accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

"We would have prefered him to be transfered to Rwanda to be tried for his role in the genocide," Rwandan Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told AFP.

"We congratulate the ICC for having taken the decision to pursue him for crimes against humanity and war crimes in the DRC. But the genocide is more serious," he said.

"It's essential that he is also tried -- in Rwanda or elsewhere -- for genocide. We hope that one day he'll be tried for the crime of genocide committed in Rwanda," Karugarama went on.

The ICC will charge Mbarushimana with five counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes, notably murder, rape and torture committed in the DR Congo in 2009.

Mbarushimana was placed under investigation in France, where he has lived as a political refugee since 2002, on December 21 for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people, chiefly Tutsis, were killed.

© 2011 AFP

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