The prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Courts (MTPI), Serge Brammertz, confirmed on Friday that the remains found in a grave in the Democratic Republic of the Congo belong to former Rwandan Defense Minister Agustin Bizimana, accused of genocide.RELATED
Bizimana was allegedly responsible for the murders of former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, of ten Belgian Blue Helmets and of Tutsi civilians in Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Butare, Kibuye and Cyangugu prefectures.
DNA samples were collected late last year from a tomb in Pointe Noire, in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The MTPI Prosecutor’s Office made comparative analyzes to rule out that the remains belonged to someone else and concluded that Bizimana died in August 2000 in Pointe Noire, Brammertz said in a statement.
The prosecutor expressed “special thanks” to the Netherlands Forensic Institute and the DNA Identification Laboratory of the United States Armed Forces “for their important technical support and assistance.”
Bizimana served as Minister of Defense between July 1993 and July 1994 and, according to the indictment, he urged members of the Rwandan Armed Forces and Hutu militias, such as the Interahamwe and Impumuzamugambi, to commit crimes.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), created by the UN Security Council, accused him in 1998 of thirteen charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, rape, torture, other inhuman acts, persecution and cruel treatment. . All crimes were allegedly committed between April 6 and July 17, 1994.
The confirmation of Bizimana’s death comes a week after the businessman Félicien Kabuga was arrested in France, who will be tried for his role in financing the genocide.
The main fugitive from the ICTR is now Protais Mpiranya, a former commander of the Rwandan Armed Forces Presidential Guard.