Related topics

Belgium Wants Rwandan Arrested

March 20, 1999

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AP) _ Belgium has asked Tanzanian authorities to arrest and extradite a Rwandan accused of killing 10 Belgian peacekeepers, the Internews press agency reported Saturday.

Bernard Ntuyahaga was freed Thursday by the U.N. tribunal in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha that is prosecuting crimes related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

``We stressed that he should be arrested immediately,″ said Peter Gijsels, an adviser to the Belgian Justice Ministry.

Belgium issued an international arrest warrant for Ntuyahaga in 1995 and lodged a formal request for extradition last year, Gijsels told Internews in a telephone interview from Tanzania’s capital, Dar-es-Salaam.

Rwanda also said it would request his extradition.

Prosecutors at the U.N. Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda had asked that the charge of crimes against humanity be dropped against Ntuyahaga and that he be handed over to Belgium for prosecution. However, the three-judge panel released him after ruling it did not have the authority to turn him over for prosecution in another country.

Ntuyahaga, who is free to go, has said he fears for his life and has chosen to remain in the custody of the tribunal.

Ntuyahaga, 47, was accused of arresting and disarming the 10 Belgians guarding Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana. She was later killed by Rwandan soldiers and militiamen.

He is alleged to have taken the Belgians to a military camp in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, worked the soldiers there into a frenzy and then stood by as they killed the Belgians.

The Belgians were killed on the first day of the 90-day genocide in which at least half a million minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were slaughtered on orders of the extremist Hutu government.

Update hourly