Rwandan genocide fugitive Protais Mpiranya confirmed dead

For more than 20 years, the justice system considered him to be on the run. But Protais Mpiranya, Rwanda’s most wanted fugitive for his alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide, when he commanded the powerful presidential guard, had actually been dead for 16 years.
On Thursday, U.N. prosecutors investigating the case in The Hague announced that “following a difficult and intensive investigation, the Office of the Prosecutor has been able to determine that Mpiranya died on 5 October 2006 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Hutu Major Mpiranya was considered the most important of the six remaining fugitives indicted by the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The person ahead of him on this list, Félicien Kabuga, regularly presented as the financier of the genocide, was arrested in May 2020 in France and handed over to international justice.
Protais Mpiranya was accused, along with others, of having had the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana killed on April 7, 1994 – in the early hours of the genocide that caused the death of 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis – as well as ten Belgian peacekeepers responsible for her protection and several prominent political figures.
According to the Zimbabwean press and reports in Rwanda, he was later sent to Zimbabwe on behalf of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), composed in part of former genocidaires and accused of exploiting minerals in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“His presence in Zimbabwe, and later his death, were deliberately concealed as a result of concerted efforts by his family and associates, including until now,” the UN prosecutors’ statement said Thursday.