DRC Transfers Ladislas Ntaganzwa to Rwanda
Ladislas Ntaganzwa, one of nine ICTR fugitives wanted for trial for crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was transferred yesterday by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Rwanda for trial, pursuant to an international warrant of arrest issued by the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).
A former mayor of Nyakizu Commune in the Butare Prefecture, Ladislas Ntaganzwa was indicted in 1996 by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for genocide and crimes against humanity for the massacres of thousands of Tutsis at various locations, including Cyahinda Parish and Gasasa Hill, during the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsis, during which moderate Hutus and others who opposed the genocide were also killed. He is further alleged to have orchestrated rape and sexual violence committed against many women. In 2012, his case was referred by the Prosecutor of the ICTR to Rwanda for trial, as were the cases against five other ICTR fugitives.
The Security Council of the United Nations under Resolution 2256 (2015) had urged the Democratic Republic of the Congo to transfer Ladislas Ntaganzwa to Rwanda for trial without delay.
The Prosecutor of the MICT, Mr. Serge Brammertz, praised the decision of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to transfer Ladislas Ntaganzwa to Rwanda, and noted that by doing so, it had adhered to its international obligations under Security Council Resolutions 1966 (2010) and 2256 (2015). In particular, the Prosecutor thanked the Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr. Alexis Thambwe-Mwamba, for his personal involvement in this matter. Prosecutor Brammertz stated, “The Democratic Republic of the Congo had a long history of cooperation with the ICTR which it has now continued with the MICT.” The Prosecutor further noted, “The case of Ladislas Ntaganzwa is only the most recent among a long list of arrests and transfers of Rwandan genocide fugitives by the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Eight other ICTR fugitives remain at large, including the three top fugitives earmarked for trial by the MICT, Felicien Kabuga, Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya. Prosecutor Brammertz called upon the international community and States to provide full support to the MICT in securing the arrest and transfer of these remaining fugitives.