20 December 2018

Rwanda: Belgium Set to Deport Rwandan Convicted for PM Uwilingiyimana Killing

Maj. Bernard Ntuyahaga, the man responsible for the death of former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian peacekeepers during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is expected in Kigali tomorrow.

According to family sources, quoted by Belgian press, arrangements have been made to deport him Friday morning as he has completed his 20-year sentence.

Ntuyahaga was released from a Belgian jail in June but remained in a closed asylum centre as he sought asylum in Belgium. Denmark, where his family lives, had refused to take him in.

On May 29, 1995, the Belgian investigative judge Damien Vandermeersch, submitted an international arrest warrant against Ntuyahaga following a complaint by families of killed soldiers.

He was tried, convicted and sentenced to a 20 year jail term after being found guilty of manslaughter in 2007 over the killing of the Belgian blue helmets.

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye, said: "He is Rwandan. After serving his sentence he should head home. It will reinforce unity and reconciliation. He should come and make his contribution".

"First of all, he himself should be happily looking forward to the opportunity to come home, in spite of the history.

"Whether or not it will happen we don't know, but we trust it will and our expressed opinion is that it should happen".

Who is Ntuyahaga?

Ntuyahaga was born in Mabanza, Kibuye Prefecture (current Karongi District and in 1972, he was commissioned as an army officer after attending a course in a Kigali-based military school.

During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Ntuyahaga held the rank of major in the Rwandan Armed Forces.

On 7 April 1994, the day after the shooting down of former President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane, Ntuyahaga ordered the arrest and withdrawal of the UN military guard of then Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana.

Uwilingiyimana was being protected by members of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).

Ten Belgian para-troopers, who were part of her protection detail, were later killed while Uwilingiyimana and her husband were immediately killed by members of the Ex-FAR's notorious Presidential Guard.

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