Arrest of Bernard Munyagishari

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 27, 2011

The United States commends the May 25 arrest of Bernard Munyagishari in Kitchanga, North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Munyagishari is alleged to have recruited, trained, and led Interahamwe militia groups in the mass killings of civilians and rapes of Tutsi women in northwest Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. While the arrest of Munyagishari cannot replace the lives that were tragically claimed during the 1994 genocide, we hope his trial will provide a measure of justice and accountability for those who survived.

With this arrest, there are still nine fugitives facing arrest warrants from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) who are accused of bearing the greatest responsibility for the Rwandan genocide. The cooperation of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with ICTR sends a strong signal that there is no refuge for the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity. We encourage the Congolese authorities to proceed expeditiously and fairly with the processing of this case and the transfer of the accused to the ICTR.

PRN: 2011/847