Last Updated on May 25, 2020

Bizimana Augustine’s Remains Found in the Republic of Congo


A UN war crimes prosecutor has announced that the remains of Augustin Bizimana have been identified in a grave in the Republic of Congo. Bizimana, wanted over Rwanda’s 1994 genocide was a former Rwandan defence minister has said.

Serge Brammertz said Bizimana, is believed to have died in Pointe Noire, in Congo, in 2000. He was indicted on 13 charges, including genocide, murder, and rape. His remains were identified by DNA testing.

“Bizimana was alleged to be responsible for the murders of former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian UN peacekeepers. Also, for the murder of Tutsi civilians” in five Rwandan regions, Brammertz said in a statement on Friday.

Based on the conclusive identification of his remains in Congo, Bizimana is believed to have died around August 2000. This is according to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).

Felicien Kabuga, fellow war crime suspect arrested in Paris

The announcement of Bizimana’s death follows the arrest in Paris last week of 84-year-old Felicien Kabuga. Kabuga is another prominent suspect from the Rwandan genocide who had been on the run for more than 20 years.

On Wednesday, in his first appearance in public in more than two decades, Kabuga was brought into a French courtroom in a wheelchair. He was dressed in jeans and a blue jumper and wearing a face mask.

Related: Mass Graves: More Than 6,000 Bodies Found in Burundi

The court’s three judges, who are due to decide whether to transfer Kabuga to the UN tribunal – adjourned the hearing to May 27. Kabuga’s lawyers said he wanted a trial in France and accused the country’s chief public prosecutor of trying to rush the legal process.

Brammertz said a request had already been launched for Kabuga’s transfer into UN custody. He further said that he could initially be held in The Hague rather than Africa because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Kabuga has been indicted by UN prosecutors for genocide and incitement to commit genocide, among other charges. He is accused of bankrolling and arming the ethnic Hutu militias which killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda conducted 50 trials before closing its doors in 2015.

Brammertz is the prosecutor of a successor UN court with dual offices in Arusha, Tanzania and The Hague, Netherlands. His office continues to function for remaining suspects and appeals. The office continues to pursue Protais Mpiranya, former commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces, and five other Rwandan suspects.

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