A week after the arrest of Bernard Munyagishari in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congolese authorities are yet to transfer him to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.
Munyagishari’s transfer is taking longer than expected like that of Gregoire Ndahimana who was arrested by Congolese authorities in August 2009 but wasn’t transferred for weeks until ICTR threatened to take DRC to the UN Security Council.
Usually, the transfer process takes time for fugitives arrested in the West, where arrests are followed by long legal battles but those arrested in African countries are normally transferred within days.
Munyagishari, 52, was arrested on May 25 near Goma town. He is the former President of the Interahamwe in former Gisenyi prefecture in present-day Rubavu district of the western province. He is wanted by the ICTR on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape.
He is alleged to have recruited, trained and led Interahamwe militiamen in mass killings and rapes of Tutsi women in Gisenyi and beyond, between April and July 1994.