UN Police Arrest Rwandan Genocide Suspect in Kosovo
UN police in Kosovo have arrested a Rwandan suspected of genocide and war crimes in his central African country in 1994, the head of the police force in the UN mission here said Thursday.
"A man from Rwanda was arrested at the request of the government of Rwanda on the basis of full legal documents," UNMIK police chief Christophe Albiston said. "The next stage will be to consider the extradition procedure."
He declined to give the man's name or further details, but a UN civil servant, who asked for anonymity, identified the suspect as Callixte Mbarushimana, another UN official.
"Callixte Mbarushimana, suspected of genocide and war crimes, was arrested on Wednesday at Gnjilane, and transferred to the Pristina detention center," the civil servant said.
Mbarushimana, a Hutu, "worked in Kigali offices of the United Nations during the genocide and gave Hutu militia details of where his Tutsi colleagues were hiding out," the UN official charged.
The Tutsis were hunted down and massacred.
Troops of Rwanda's then Hutu army and youth militias known as Interahamwe systematically slaughtered between half a million and 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and July 1994, before the mainly Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) seized power and halted the genocide.
On his arrest, the suspected war criminal was working for the UN Mission in Kosovo, running the data processing department in the southeastern town of Gnjilane.
More than 100,000 people are behind bars in Rwanda awaiting trial on charges connected with the genocide, which led to the virtual collapse of the country's legal system and other state institutions at the time.
A UN court was set up in late 1994 to try those suspected of being the ringleaders of the slaughter and currently sits in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, where it has convicted seven people and seen more than 40 arrested.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Carla Del Ponte, is also chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia -- PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AFP)
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