Officials: suspect among the most wanted for genocide in Rwanda arrested in Congo

Interpol agents arrested a Rwandan with a $5 million bounty on his head who is among the most wanted for the 1994 genocide, officials said Thursday.

Ladislas Ntaganzwa was arrested in the eastern Congo city of Goma late Monday, according to John Bosco Siboyintore, the head of the Genocide Tracking Unit at Rwanda's Public Prosecution Authority and Rwandan Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza.

Ntaganzwa is among the nine most-wanted fugitives in the 1994 Rwanda genocide which killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, Siboyintore said.

The U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sought Ntaganzwa to answer charges related to participation in genocide and incitement to commit genocide. Ntaganzwa allegedly carried out these acts as mayor of Nyakizu. The ICTR closed its proceedings last week after nearly 20 years of pursuing and prosecuting genocide suspects and transferred Ntaganzwa's case to Rwanda.

Muhumuza said the country has started extradition proceedings for Ntaganzwa to stand trial in Rwanda.

According to ICTR's indictment of Ntaganzwa between about 14 and 18 April 1994 he is accused of substantially participating in the planning, preparation and execution of the massacre of over 20,000 Tutsis at Cyahinda Parish.

On April 15 1994 Ntaganzwa armed with a gun, transported gendarmes in the communal vehicle, while Hutu civilians and Burundian refugees he had incited earlier arrived on foot and surrounded Cyahinda Parish to prevent the Tutsis from escaping, the indictment says.

At the Parish he addressed the Tutsi, using a megaphone and told them to lay down their weapons, the indictment said.

He then gave the order for the massacre to begin, "whereupon the gendarmes and communal police shot at the crowd of Tutsis killing and harming many, while the Hutu civilians and Burundian refugees armed with machete and knobkerries also attacked, killed and harmed Tutsis including those who tried to escape from the Parish," the indictment says.

"(He) directed the attack by giving instructions through the megaphone including directions as to who should be killed; and personally shot into the crowd of Tutsis and killed five Tutsis," the indictment said. Ntaganzwa returned to the parish on 16 and 17 April to encourage the militia to kill the Tutsi but on the 18th he came with military men who open fire with automatic weapons at the Tutsi for the final assault.

Ntaganzwa is also wanted for allegedly orchestrating and leading a massacre of thousands of Tutsi in Gasasa Hill, killing of fleeing Tutsi in Nkakwa sector, Tutsi killings in Maraba sector, killings Nkomero Trading Centre, Kigembe commune and ordering rape.

Other top fugitives still at large include Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the genocide, Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious Presidential Guards, and former Defense Minister Augustin Bizimana.

Under the U.S. State Department's Rewards for Justice program, there was a reward of up to $5 million for Ntaganzwa's head for any information leading to his capture.

Ntaganzwa had been on the run for 21 years.