Rwanda Genocide Suspect Bernard Munyagishari Arrested in Congo
Yesterday was a good day for genocide justice. First came the news that former Serbian military commander Ratko Mladic, the “Butcher of Bosnia,” was captured after 15 years on the run. Then came word that Rwandan genocide leader Bernard Munyagishari was nabbed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Of the two, Munyagishari is the least known but has the most blood on his hands. As leader of the Interahamwe Hutu militia, he trained the murderous legions of machete-wielding Hutus who literally hacked to death hundreds of thousands of Tutsis during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. A total of 800,000 Tutsis, along with moderate Hutus, died in 100 days of unimaginable slaughter while the West stood by and did nothing.
According to the BBC, Munyagishari, who was once a teacher and a football referee, did more than just train Hutu militants. He is also accused of commanding a female militia, which his wife headed, to sexually torture Tutsi women before murdering them. He is also believed to have orchestrated attacks on churches in which Tutsis sought refuge.
Munyagishari was captured by the Congolese army, with help from a United Nations tracking team, in North Kivu in the eastern DRC. North Kivu is a haven for many Rwandans who took part in the 1994 genocide. Many of them are terrorizing the local population.
Munyagishari will now stand trial in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania. He’ll be charged with genocide, murder and rape.
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