The former Rwandan Defense Minister, Augustin Bizimana, has died, confirmed on Friday May 22 the Mechanism charged with tracking down the last fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He was charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the war and genocide in Rwanda.
The death of the former defense minister was confirmed by DNA tests. The Hague Mechanism has announced that samples were taken from a tomb in Pointe-Noire in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before being analyzed by the Netherlands Forensic Institute. The former minister is said to have died in August 2000, 20 years ago.
13 counts against him
Augustin Bizimana should have been charged with 13 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was also charged with the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, in the early hours of the genocide, while Hutu extremists were tracking down the moderates. He should also have been held accountable for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Belgian peacekeepers in Kigali. But with the announcement of his death, the case is now closed.
After the arrest of Félicien Kabuga on Saturday May 16, and the confirmation of the death of the ex-Minister of Defense this Friday, the list of fugitives is reduced. Protais Mpiranya is now at the top of the list. The former head of the Presidential Guard has often been spotted in countries in the southern African continent. In November 2019, the prosecutor Serge Brammertz, had also criticized South Africa for not cooperating with its office.