18 April 2019

Rwanda: Genocide Fugitive Nzigiyimfura Resurfaces in U.S., 10 Years After He Was Located in Malawi

Photo: New Times
Family and friends lay wreaths on the graves of victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi (file photo).

Vincent Nzigiyimfura, a man accused of masterminding the Genocide against the Tutsi in different parts of Southern Province, has been located in a town in the State of Ohio in the United States.

Nzigiyimfura, or the Butcher of Nyanza as he is known in the areas around the current Nyanza District is now a free man, in a town called Dayton.

He was first sighted in Malawi exactly 10 years ago and a story published by The New Times in April of 2009, indicated that he was at a time running a successful business in the southern African country.

The story was basing on an extensive dossier by an organisation called African Rights.

At the time, an indictment and his warrant of arrest were sent but he apparently disappeared and has since resurfaced in the United States.

According to prosecution, an amended indictment has since been sent to the United States, calling for arrest of the former businessman in Nyanza town, who is responsible for the death of thousands in that area.

Speaking to survivors from Nyanza and the former Gitarama Prefecture, where Nzigiyimfura is born, he is said to have used his vast wealth to facilitate massacres in the area.

Before and during the Genocide, he owned a string of businesses in Nyanza and was a powerful government contractor, and a leader of the extremist MDR Power.

Born in 1962, he specifically had close ties to the military, whom he supplied beef in different barracks, according to witness accounts.

"He himself set up a number of roadblocks, including one right in front of his house in what was called Kavumu Sector in the former Kigoma Commune where several Tutsi were killed," said a Genocide survivor from Nyanza on condition of anonymity.

He is also accused of having provided his vehicles to ferry Interahamwe militia as they went on killing spree in different areas, especially remote parts where he thought the local militia were not doing enough to exterminate the Tutsi.

Speaking to The New Times on Wednesday, Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana confirmed that they have already been in touch with their counterparts in the United States, over the fugitive.

"We have requested our counterparts in the US to take up the matter, if indeed the man is on their territory. We have furnished them with all the necessary evidence to ensure he is held accountable for the atrocities he committed in Southern Province," said Mutangana.

He added that they are ready to help their American counterparts during the investigations, if called upon.

"There is overwhelming evidence to attest to the man's role in the Genocide against the Tutsi, especially in the current Nyanza District where he operated his string of businesses," he added.

The New Times could not immediately establish the immigration status of the fugitive.

Despite the fact that the US has never directly extradited a Genocide fugitive to Rwanda, several of them have been arrested and deported on a crime called immigration fraud, under the American legal system.

Many are arrested on grounds that they lied during their quest to acquire documents allowing them to stay in the US, by covering up on their role in the Genocide.

Others have been tried and convicted on similar charges, and are serving prison sentences in the US.

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