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France probes Rwandan genocide suspect 'found hiding in Orléans'

Pictures of Rwandan Genocide victims are displayed at an exhibition at the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 6, 2019.
Pictures of Rwandan Genocide victims are displayed at an exhibition at the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 6, 2019. © Baz Ratner, REUTERS
2 min

France has opened a preliminary investigations into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the former head of Rwanda’s military intelligence during the country’s 1994 genocide, a day after he was reportedly found hiding in France.

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Anti-terrorism prosecutors confirmed the opening on Friday of an investigation into Aloys Ntiwiragabo, who has been described by the UN-backed tribunal for the Rwandan genocide as one of the “architects” of the 1994 slaughter of more than 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis.

On Friday, French investigative website Mediapart published a report saying it had tracked down the former spy chief in the suburbs of Orléans, about 100 kilometres south-west of Paris.

Despite his alleged role in the genocide, Ntiwiragabo is not currently wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, according to a French judicial source quoted by AFP. Interpol, France and Rwanda had also dropped arrest warrants years ago.

The discovery of his purported whereabouts comes barely two months after another suspected genocide architect, Felicien Kabuga, was arrested outside Paris. Kabuga, who evaded police in several countries for 25 years, is accused of financing the genocide.

Kabuga had asked for a trial in France, citing frail health and claiming the United Nations court in Africa would be biased against him, and possibly hand him over to Rwandan authorities. His appeal was dismissed.

France has long been known as a hiding place for wanted genocide suspects and French investigators currently have dozens of cases under way.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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