Genocide in Rwanda: Ex-mayor charged and imprisoned in Paris

Pierre Kayondo, a former Rwandan mayor suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide, has been charged and arrested in Paris, AFP learned on Saturday.

Kayondo has been the subject of an investigation in France since the end of 2021 after a complaint from a collective of victims.

According to a judicial source, he was charged with genocide, as well as complicity in genocide, complicity in crimes against humanity and conspiracy to commit these crimes.

According to another source close to the case, he was arrested by gendarmes of the Central Office for Combating Crimes Against Humanity and Hate Crimes (OCLCH) on Tuesday after receiving an arrest warrant from the investigating judge.

Later that day, he was brought before the judge who indicted him. Kayondo was then taken into custody.

The former Rwandan politician was the subject of a complaint filed by the Rwanda Civil Parties Collective (CPCR) in September 2021, which led to the rapid initiation of a judicial investigation.

In its complaint, the KP-KR said that Kayondo, “a former mayor of Kibuye and a former deputy” in Gitarama province, had “actively participated in organizing the massacres in Ruhango and Tambwe in Gitarama province and facilitated the formation of Interahamwe militia groups by supplying weapons and participating in meetings.”

For Alain Gauthier – the emblematic president of the PCCR – Kayondo was “close to personalities convicted of genocide”, including Colonel Aloys Simba and Ephrem Nkezabera, who is notoriously called the “banker of genocide”.

Speaking to AFP on Saturday, Alain Gauthier and his wife Dafroza, co-founder of the CPCR, were pleased that their “complaint was followed by the initiation of an investigation and that the judiciary was interested in Mr. Dafroza.”

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The genocide in Rwanda claimed more than 800,000 lives – mainly members of the Tutsi ethnic group, who were killed between April and July 1994.

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