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An Alleged Mastermind Of Rwandan Genocide Faces Long List Of Charges

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An Alleged Mastermind Of Rwandan Genocide Faces Long List Of Charges

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An Alleged Mastermind Of Rwandan Genocide Faces Long List Of Charges

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host: A mastermind of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has also been arrested. He's charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape, for his role in the slaughter of some 800,000 Rwandans.

NPR's Jackie Northam has that story.

JACKIE NORTHAM: Bernard Munyagishari was a school teacher and a sports referee, but the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda accuses the 52-year-old ethnic Hutu of also being a leader of a deadly militia known as Interahamwe that helped plan and prepare the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The tribunal says Munyagishari recruited, trained and distributed weapons to other ethnic Hutus to carry out mass killings and rapes of mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The U.S. State Department placed a $5 million bounty on Munyagishari's head. He was finally apprehended in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Stephen Rapp is the U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes. He says Munyagishari's arrest helps bring justice to the families of the victims in Rwanda.

Ambassador STEPHEN RAPP (U.S. War Crimes Ambassador): The message that there are consequences and even if they're not the ones that have the machetes themselves, but that set in motion these evils that result in the death of hundreds of thousands, that they face consequences. It's as important now as it was in 1994.

NORTHAM: Munyagishari is awaiting transfer to the tribunal court of Arusha, Tanzania. Nine other senior leaders of the Rwandan genocide still remain at large.

Jackie Northam, NPR News, Washington.

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