Rwanda, remains of the highly wanted genocide Augustin Bizimana identified in Congo: he has been dead for more than 20 years


A few days after the capture of Félicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted superlatants for responsibilities in the Rwandan genocide, here is another excellent name crossed out from the list of wanted. It’s about Augustin Bizimana: his remains have been identified with certainty and he has been dead for more than twenty years.

The announcement came from Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (RMICT), the court charged in 2010 by the United Nations Security Council to continue the essential functions previously due to two special Courts: the International Special Court for Rwanda and the International Court for the former Yugoslavia.

Nothing is known about how we came to find the remains of Bizimana: they were in a tomb in Point Noire, in the People’s Republic of the Congo (capital Brazzaville), over 2000 km from Rwanda. “The confirmation of his death – reads the RMICT press release – is the result of an in-depth investigation by the Prosecutor’s office, which has combined advanced technology with extensive field operations, with the collaboration of the competent authorities in Rwanda, Republic of the Congo, the Netherlands and the United States. ” “At the end of last year – the note continues – the Office ended DNA analyzes on samples of human remains previously obtained from a tomb located in Point Noire. Subsequent DNA surveys and comparative analyzes conducted in recent months concluded that the remains could not be anyone else’s. The Office also carried out further checks regarding the circumstances of Bizimana’s death. He is thought to have died in August 2000 in Pointe Noire. ”

Thus ended a key week in the hunt for the latest fugitives accused of planning and conducting the genocide which between April and July 1994 caused the violent death of at least 800,000 moderate Tutsi and Hutu Rwandans. Bizimana was then defense minister in the interim government. Wanted since 1998, thirteen indictments were hanging over his boss: genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, rape, torture, other inhuman acts, persecution, cruel treatment, outrage of personal dignity. Among the charges, he was charged with the responsibility for the assassination of the then prime minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and ten Belgian peacekeepers.

After the confirmation of his death and the arrest of Kabuga on the outskirts of Paris on May 16, only one man remains to be captured, among the “most wanted” indicted by the International Criminal Court for Rwanda (ICTR): it is of Protais Mpiranya, former commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces. In addition to him, the RMICT is looking for five other fugitives: Fulgence Kayishema, Phénéas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ryandikayo and Charles Sikubwabo. According to the prosecutor, everyone would be in Africa. For their capture, he appeals to all member states for a renewed and intense collaboration (so far in some cases lacking), which brings to justice even the latest perpetrators of one of the most upsetting tragedies of the last century. So that the message that impunity is not contemplated or tolerated is clear. As Brammertz told the New York Times: “We will take you all.”

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