[JURIST] The Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) [official profile], the national army of the republic of Rwanda, said Thursday that it has arrested four of its officers in connection with the killings of 13 clergyman and two civilians during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The arrests followed investigations by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] and the Rwandan government. ICTR prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow [official profile] spoke about the investigations in a statement [text] to the UN Security Council last week:
Rwanda has collaborated with us in this process as requested by the Council in its Resolution 1503 (2003). We have together been able to establish a prima facie case that on 5 th June 1994 RPF soldiers killed some thirteen clergymen, including five Bishops and two other civilians at the Kabgayi Parish in Gitarama. Some of the perpetrators of this crime are reported to have died whilst others are now serving within the Rwanda Army. Following inquiries the Rwanda Prosecutor General has communicated to me his decision to shortly indict and prosecute four serving senior military officers of the Rwandan Army with murder and complicity to murder as war crimes in connection with this incident.AFP has more. Kenya Today has additional coverage.
The four suspects were members of the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), the former armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) [HRW backgrounder], which rose to power in 1994. The RPA subsequently became known as the RDF. Reuters reports that the four officers are charged with commanding [Reuters report] the troops who killed the clergymen at a church compound in the city of Gitarama after finding that their own family members had been killed while seeking shelter from Hutu militiamen.