Press Statement: Transfer of Ladislas Ntaganzwa to Rwanda by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (24.03.2016)
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, March 24, 2016 – Mark C. Toner, Deputy Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, March 23, 2016:
The United States welcomes the transfer of Ladislas Ntaganzwa by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to face trial in Rwanda for several crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity, pursuant to an arrest warrant by the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT). This transfer is a positive example of regional judicial cooperation and took place as a result of close coordination and consultation by the DRC government and the MICT, as well as other diplomatic partners. Ntaganzwa is the sixth individual indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda who has been arrested by the Government of the DRC and transferred for trial.
Ntaganzwa’s apprehension is a welcome step toward justice for the victims of the Rwandan genocide. Ntaganzwa is accused of abusing his position of power as a mayor to help plan, prepare, and carry out the massacre of over twenty-thousand Tutsis at Cyahinda parish—many of whom had gathered to take refuge from massacres in the surrounding countryside—as well as thousands of killings elsewhere in Rwanda. As a reminder of the brutal way in which sexual and gender-based violence is often used as a tactic of war, Ntaganzwa is also charged with giving direct orders for women to be brutally, and repeatedly, raped.
We commend the efforts of those involved in Ntaganzwa’s transfer and whose actions made it possible for Ntaganzwa to face justice, and we encourage continued efforts to bring to justice those responsible for genocide and other atrocities in Rwanda. Eight individuals charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda remain at large, and the United States remains committed to supporting their apprehension – and to showing the survivors of atrocity crimes around the world that the pursuit of justice knows no expiration date. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the remaining fugitives is encouraged to contact the War Crimes Rewards Program at state.gov/warcrimesrewards orWCRP@state.gov.