One of the most wanted suspects in Rwanda’s genocide, a man suspected of orchestrating the killing of more than 2,000 people, has been arrested in South Africa after 22 years on the run, a special tribunal set up by the United Nations said Thursday.
According to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), Fulgence Kayishema was arrested Wednesday in Paarl, a small town in a wine-making region about 30 miles east of Cape Town.
He was captured in a joint operation by the tribunal’s fugitive tracking team and South African authorities, the tribunal said.
More than 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda’s genocide, which took place over the course of three months in 1994 when ethnic Hutus turned on the minority Tutsis, slaughtering them and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them.
Kayishema was indicted by the U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2001 and charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity for killings and other crimes. He had been at large since 2001, the tribunal said.
The tribunal said he is alleged to have organized the killings of more than 2,000 ethnic Tutsi refugees — men, women, and children — at a Catholic church during the genocide.
“Fulgence Kayishema was a fugitive for more than 20 years. His arrest ensures that he will finally face justice for his alleged crimes,” IRMCT chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement