Netherlands detains former Rwanda officer over genocide
The Netherlands has arrested a former Rwandan paramilitary police officer over his alleged participation in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
Dutch authorities “arrested a 65-year-old Rwandan man” who had lived in the country since 1998 on Wednesday, it said in a statement, without naming him.
He was an “officer in the gendarmerie in Rwanda in 1994”, and Rwandan authorities had demanded his extradition over his alleged “role in massacres in the capital Kigali and in the municipality of Mugina” in the centre of the country in April 1994, it added.
An estimated 30,000 civilians were killed in the Mugina parish massacre between April 21 and 26, 1994, it said.
Rwandan authorities accuse the suspect of having incited others to attack and kill Tutsi civilians, of having supplied weapons to the militias who put an end to their lives, and of having provided fuel to set alight a home where 80 people were sheltering, the prosecutor’s office said.
They also allege that before the massacre, he took part in the murder of the Mugina mayor, who had tried to protect the Tutsis.
The man obtained asylum in the Netherlands in 1999 and Dutch nationality in 2002, but his citizenship was then revoked in 2013 when suspicions arose he might have been involved in the genocide.
The country’s highest administrative court backed him being stripped of his Dutch nationality on Wednesday, opening the way to his arrest and extradition.
An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus perished in 100 days of slaughter in 1994 in which Hutu militiamen massacred Tutsis taking cover in churches and schools.