A Rwandan doctor wanted by Kigali for his alleged involvement in the 1994 massacre of Rwanda’s Tutsi population is in the process of being extradited from France.
A Rwandan doctor wanted by the authorities in Kigali for his alleged involvement in the 1994 massacre of Rwanda’s Tutsi population is in the process of being extradited from France, a judicial source said on Thursday.
Eugene Rwamucyo was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Sannois (Val-d'Oise) in France. The doctor, aged in his 50s, was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Kigali and was on an Interpol watch list. Rwandan authorities accuse him of planning and carrying out atrocities in the country’s southern Butare region.
Rwamucyo was also wanted in Paris in connection with a complaint filed by the families of genocide victims for crimes against humanity. He was dismissed from his hospital post in northern France last month.
France’s ‘changed’ attitude
The prosecutor's office in Rwanda on Thursday welcomed the doctor’s arrest and said France was making progress in bringing to justice those responsible for the dark days of the Rwandan genocide.
"We are pleased,” Rwanda's Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said on national radio. “We've noticed in the past few days that France is committed to prosecuting alleged ‘genocidaires’ who have taken refuge there."
"France's attitude on the question (of genocide) has changed recently," he continued.
Rwamucyo's arrest comes nearly three months after French police detained Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of Rwanda's former Hutu president and one of the alleged masterminds of the Tutsi genocide. Her husband’s death when his plane was shot down helped spark the ethnic unrest that led to the massacre of some 800,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis, between April and July 1994.
Rwamucyo’s arrest also follows President Nicolas Sarkozy's landmark trip to Kigali in March during which he said France would do everything possible to ensure that "all those responsible for the genocide are found and are punished".
Sarkozy is scheduled to welcome Rwandan President Paul Kagame to Nice next week as one of some 40 African leaders invited to a France-Africa summit.
Rwamucyo denied the allegations of genocide in an interview with AFP in October and accused the Tutsi-led government in Kigali of singling him out and waging a campaign against him.