One of the most-wanted suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide will soon be transferred to the Congolese capital for questioning, the Congolese army spokesman said Friday.
Ladislas Ntaganzwa's arrest in eastern Congo comes more than two decades after the genocide in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by extremist Hutus. Many of the Rwandan perpetrators fled across the border into Congo and have been blamed for destabilizing the region ever since.
Rwandan authorities now want Ntaganzwa extradited to stand trial. He is accused of participating in the planning and execution of the massacre of more than 20,000 Tutsis over a four-day period, according to the indictment.
In one case, authorities say Ntaganzwa personally gave the order for a massacre to begin in Cyahinda Parish on April 15, 1994, and then incited others to kill those who tried to escape.
Congolese authorities have given few details about how they found Ntaganzwa, other than to say he was arrested in Rushihe on Dec. 7 after a military operation dismantled the local headquarters of his rebel group, known by its French acronym, the FDLR.
“The army did not encounter any resistance during this operation,'' Gen. Richard Kasonga, spokesman for the Congolese army, told The Associated Press.
Ntaganzwa is being held by security services in the eastern town of Goma, awaiting a transfer to the capital of Kinshasa, Kasonga said.
There was no immediate word on who, if anyone, would receive the $5 million bounty that had been placed on Ntaganzwa's head as one of the nine most-wanted fugitives still at large in connection with the Rwandan genocide.
The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has sought Ntaganzwa to answer charges related to participation in genocide and incitement to commit genocide. The ICTR closed its proceedings last week after nearly 20 years of pursuing and prosecuting genocide suspects and transferred Ntaganzwa's case to Rwanda.
Other top fugitives at large include Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the genocide; Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious Presidential Guards; and former Defense Minister Augustin Bizimana.