Rwanda genocide fugitive Fulgence Kayishema, accused of killing 2,000 in church massacre, arrested

Johannesburg — One of the world’s most wanted fugitives was captured Wednesday in South Africa after 29 years on the run, according to United Nations investigators. Fulgence Kayishema is accused of masterminding the brutal murder of 2,000 women, men and children in a Rwandan church during the 1994 genocide in the central African country.

He was. Indicted He was arrested by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2001 and has since been on the run under various aliases and disguises. The attack on the Bare Church is seen as one of the most brutal acts during the 100 days. The Rwandan Genocide.

A photo of Rwandan genocide suspect Filgenes Keshima from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda shows a mass grave and, in the background, the ruins of the Notre Dame de la Visitation church in Nyenge, Rwanda, where approximately 2,000 people are present. Tutsi women, men and children were killed in a massacre allegedly orchestrated by Kaishi.

Getty/ICTR/CBS News

According to a statement by the United Nations International Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), Kaishima was arrested in the town of Paarl in South Africa’s Western Cape in a joint operation by the United Nations and South African authorities.

Investigators said Kaishima initially denied his identity, but within hours he admitted he had long anticipated his own arrest.

The U.S. War Crimes Program offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Kaishima and other suspects in the ongoing genocide.

IRMCT Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement, “Fulgenes Keshima has been a fugitive for more than twenty years. His arrest ensures that he will finally face justice for his alleged crimes.” “

Rwandan women are rebuilding their country after the genocide.


His arrest is another success for the ICTR, whose Office of the Prosecutor’s Fugitive Tracking Team has captured five of the most wanted genocide suspects since 2020.

“This arrest is concrete evidence that this commitment does not end and that justice will be served, no matter how long it takes,” Brammertz added in his statement.

Kaishima was indicted by a Rwandan tribunal on charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and other crimes committed during the Rwandan genocide.

The indictment alleges that on April 15, 1994, Keshima and others directly planned and executed the murder of 2,000 people. He allegedly obtained gasoline to burn down the Nenge Church in Kiwomu commune with the people inside.

When his attempts to start the fire failed, Kaishima allegedly used a bulldozer to demolish the building, burying and killing the people inside. He was then charged with overseeing the transfer of bodies from church grounds to mass graves over the following days.

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