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UN: Rwanda Genocide Suspect Arrested

FILE - Family photographs of some of those who died hang in a display in the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, April 2014. Officials said Rwandan Ladislas Ntaganzwa was arrested by Interpol agents in Congo, Dec. 7, 2015.

One of the top fugitive suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United Nations said that Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a former mayor accused of orchestrating the deaths of some 20,000 ethnic Tutsis in Nyakizu commune, was arrested in Congo Wednesday.

The U.N.-backed tribunal for Rwanda has charged Ntaganzwa, 53, with two counts of genocide and three counts of crimes against humanity.

The United States had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Ntaganzwa's arrest.

According to the U.S., he was "one of the main instigators of the genocide in Rwanda's Butare Prefecture" and helped to "establish, train, arm and direct the Interahamwe" militia group in the region.

1994 indictment

According to his indictment, on April 15, 1994, Ntaganzwa instructed ethnic Hutus to massacre Tutsis who had sought refuge on the grounds of a local church.

Prosecutors say he personally directed the opening attack, shouting directions through a megaphone as Hutus fired into the crowd.

They say in the following days, Ntaganzwa led other attacks at the church and local areas where Tutsis had congregated trying to escape the violence. He is also accused of organizing mass rapes.

The announcement of his arrest came from a U.N. body that assists the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. An official thanked DRC authorities for their cooperation and urged that Ntaganzwa be transferred to Rwanda for trial without delay.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has arrest warrants for eight other top suspects in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates during a three-month killing spree.