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Home Dutch News Rwanda genocide fugitive Protais Mpiranya died in 2006: prosecutor

Rwanda genocide fugitive Protais Mpiranya died in 2006: prosecutor

Published on May 12, 2022
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The last major fugitive wanted for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Protais Mpiranya, died in Zimbabwe back in 2006, UN prosecutors probing the case said on Thursday.

Charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Mpiranya at the time of the genocide commanded Rwanda’s presidential guard, a feared outfit accused of targeted assassinations during the 100-day massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

“Following a challenging and intensive investigation, the OTP (office of the prosecutor) has determined that Mpiranya died on October 5, 2006, in Harare, Zimbabwe,” the Mechanism of International Criminal Tribunals announced in The Hague.

It said Mpiranya was the “last of the major fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and alleged to have been a senior leader of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”

He was the key remaining wanted figure following the arrest of Felicien Kabuga in France two years ago.

“There are now only five outstanding fugitives” wanted by the UN tribunal, based in The Hague and Arusha, it said.

Mpiranya was allegedly among those who ordered the murder of then prime minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, 10 Belgian soldiers protecting her, and several other leading politicians and their families on April 7, 1994, in the early hours of the genocide.

After an indictment was issued against him, Mpiranya fled to Zimbabwe in late 2002, where he resided until his death in 2006, the tribunal said.

“Mpiranya’s presence in Zimbabwe, and later the fact of his death, were deliberately concealed by the concerted efforts of his family and associates, including up to the present,” the MICT said, adding it would ask judges to close the case.

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.

“Accounting for the last of the major… fugitives, Protais Mpiranya, is an important step forward in our continued efforts to achieve justice for the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,” chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said.