During his initial appearance today before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Yussufu Munyakazi pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him by the Prosecutor that he participated in the1994 Rwanda genocide.
Munyakazi pleaded not guilty to Count 1 in the indictment charging him with genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide. He also pleaded not guilty to Count 2 charging him with extermination as a crime against humanity. He entered his plea before Judge Sergei Alekseevich Egorov of Trial Chamber I.
Munyakazi is accused of leading the Interahamwe militia of Bugarama commune in the Rwandan province of Cyangugu. The militia killed thousands of civilian Tutsi in Cyangugu and Kibuye provinces between 6 April and 17 July 1994. According to the indictment, he is alleged to have planned, instigated, ordered, participated in and otherwise aided and abetted the killing of Tutsi civilians who took refuge in several churches in Cyangugu and Kibuye during the Rwanda genocide.
Munyakazi was arrested on 5 May 2004 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and transferred to the UN detention facility in Arusha on 7 May 2004.
Born in 1935 in Kibuye, Munyakazi was a businessman and farmer in Cyangugu Province.