Former Rwandan colonel to face genocide charges before UN tribunal

18 November 2004

A former colonel in the Rwandan armed forces has been transferred from the Netherlands, where he was arrested earlier this year, to the United Nations war crime tribunal in Tanzania to face charges of his alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Col. Ephrem Setako, 55, is charged with six counts of genocide, or complicity in genocide, murder and extermination as crimes against humanity, and violations of the Geneva Conventions.

According to the Arusha-based UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Colonel Setako is alleged to have planned, instigated, ordered and participated in the killing of Tutsi civilians in Ruhengeri and Kigali-ville prefectures. He also allegedly distributed arms to members of the Rwandan armed forces, the Presidential Guard, the Interahamwe, the Civil Defence Forces, and other soldiers engaged in the killings.

Colonel Setako is alleged to have committed the crimes in concert with others who are also facing charges before the Tribunal.

He was apprehended on 25 February at the request of the Tribunal, and moved yesterday to its detention facility in the Tanzanian capital. His arrest brings to 70 the number of accused who have been taken into custody by the UN court.