Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana has been delivered to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face charges of murder, torture and rape of Congolese civilians.
The ICC suspects Mbarushimana of five crimes against humanity and six war crimes including murder, rape and torture committed in Congo’s North and South Kivu provinces in 2009.
French authorities arrested him on an ICC warrant in October 2010 in Paris, where he had been living as a political refugee since 2002 and working as a computer technician. His lawyers had tried in vain to block Mbarushimana’s transfer to the ICC, claiming it would result in him being sent back to Rwanda, where they argued he would not get a fair trial.
The 47-year-old will remain at the UN detention centre until his appearance before a pre-trial chamber on Friday to be officially informed of the allegations against him.
The Rwanda government has said that Mbarushimana should also be tried for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide of about 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Well done France. IWCR will regularly be keeping updates on the proceedings.