KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
The United States government has extradited
Rwandan scholar Leopold Munyakazi, accused of being a key figure
in the 1994 genocide that claimed more than 800,000 majority
ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus lives, to Rwanda.
fugitive arrived at Kigali International Airport on Wednesday
evening aboard a U.S. chartered plane, at 6:00 p.m. (local time)
from the United States. The deportation ends his 12-year stay
considered one of the key ideologues of the 1994 genocide, is
accused of complicity and conspiracy to commit genocide and
murder as crimes against humanity during genocide, according to
Rwanda Public Prosecution Authority (RPPA).
At the airport,
Rwanda police and prosecution authority received Munyakazi, who
had been held at Alabama prison of the United States after he
lost an immigration case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
academician is said to be one of the main intellectuals who
helped design the systematic segregation of ethnic Tutsis in
schools and employment during the genocidal regime.
reporters shortly after the arrival of the genocide suspect,
Faustin Nkusi, a spokesman for Rwanda’s state prosecutor said
that, Munyakazi will be charged with genocide and complicity to
commit genocide as crimes against humanity.
“This is one of the
biggest steps in bringing to books genocide perpetrators. He
will answer all the charges against him. We thank the U.S.
government for being cooperative in this case,” he noted.
prosecution authority, Munyakazi will be held provisionally by
Police for five days at Kicukiro Police Unit as prosecution
concludes his indictment.
In September last
year, the commission wrote to the U.S. government seeking
Munyakazi’s extradition, making it clear their concerns should
be brought to the attention of the U.S. immigration department.
The government of
Rwanda issued two arrest warrants against Munyakazi in 2006 and
He was last year
arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement
department, but it had remained unclear whether he would be
tried in the U.S. or extradited to Rwanda.
The U.S. had
previously extradited or deported four genocide suspects in
total to Rwanda.
Munyakazi arrived in
the United States in 2004 and sought asylum but embraced
genocide denial campaigns with speeches calling the genocide a
fratricide, or just an accidental killing of one’s brother.
He holds a PhD in
linguistics and further advanced degrees in French and African
linguistics. He was a French teacher at University of Delaware
and MontClair respectively.
people accused of committing genocide have been extradited from
Uganda, DR Congo, Canada, United States and the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to stand trial in Rwanda.
The top fugitives
who have eluded justice for nearly two decades now include
Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the Genocide;
Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious
Presidential Guards, and former defence minister Augustin
says Zimbabwe and DR Congo are among the countries still
reluctant to surrender suspected genocidaires.