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Rwandan war crimes suspect arrested in Belgium - UN tribunal

Rwandan war crimes suspect arrested in Belgium - UN tribunal

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda announced today that a member of the Akazu - the inner circle of former President Juvénal Habyarimana - was arrested yesterday in Belgium, at the Tribunal's request.

In a statement issued in The Hague, the Tribunal said Protais Zigiranyirazo, a brother of the President's wife, Agathe Kanziga, was arrested on charges of extermination or alternatively, with murder, as crimes against humanity.

Known as "Mr. Z," Mr. Zigiranyirazo allegedly joined others including Hassan Ngeze, Joseph Nzirorera and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza (who are already in the custody of the Tribunal) in the planning and ordering of the massacres during the genocide in Rwanda. He is accused of having facilitated the killings between April and July 1994 by collaborating with regional and local officials in the distribution of arms, the ordering of roadblocks and subsequent murders.

During May 1994, the accused allegedly ordered his son, Jean-Marie-Vianney Makiza, to kill three police officers who had been detained at a roadblock located opposite his residence in Giciye.

Mr. Zigiranyirazo, born in 1938, will be transferred to the UN Detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania, as soon as legal formalities in Belgium have been completed.