Rwanda: One of the most wanted fugitives for his alleged involvement in the genocide had in fact been dead for 16 years

Protais Mpiranya was notably accused of having had the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana killed.

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For more than 20 years, justice considered him on the run. Protais Mpiranya, the most wanted Rwandan fugitive for his alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide, where he then commanded the very powerful presidential guard, had in fact been dead for 16 years, announced Thursday, May 12, UN prosecutors.

The team investigating the case in The Hague announced that“Following a difficult and intensive investigation, the Office of the Prosecutor was able to determine that Mpiranya died on October 5, 2006 in Harare, Zimbabwe”.

Accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Hutu Major Mpiranya was considered the most important of the six figures still at large and indicted by the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The one who preceded him on this list, Félicien Kabuga, regularly presented as the financier of the genocide, was arrested in May 2020 in France and handed over to international justice.

Protais Mpiranya was notably accused, along with others, of having killed on April 7, 1994 – in the early hours of the genocide which caused the death of 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis – the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, as well as ten Belgian blue helmets responsible for its protection and several leading political figures.

“His presence in Zimbabwe, and later his death, was deliberately concealed through the concerted efforts of his family and associates, including up to the present.”can we also read Thursday in the press release of the UN prosecutors.

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