French law enforcement officials on Wednesday arrested Tite Barahira, a former Rwandan leader, for conspiracy to commit genocide committed during the 1994 genocide in that country. Barahira was arrested [New Times report] pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in Rwanda, in the French city of Toulouse. Barahira was leader of Commune Kabarondo, and is alleged to be connected to the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder] that killed an estimated 800,000 people. It is unclear whether the French will extradite Barahira. To date, French government has refused to extradite prisoners to Rwanda, fearing they will not receive a fair trial. This move follows closely behind a French court's decision this week to order Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan Army Captain, to stand trial [JURIST report] for crimes against humanity committed during the genocide.
Courts in many parts of the world have attempted to try those responsible for the Rwandan genocide. In January, Rwandan genocide suspect Innocent Musabyimana was arrested [JURIST report] in France on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. In December, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] convicted [JURIST report] former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware [case materials], sentencing him to 35 years in prison and concluding the tribunal's final trial. Ngirabatware was found guilty on charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. Also in December, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution [JURIST report] to extend the term of office of five judges of the ICTR. Since its founding in 1994 following the Rwandan genocide, the ICTR has indicted 91 individuals and, thus far, finished 50 trials with 29 convictions.