Georges Henri Yvon Joseph Ruggiu, a Belgian national who was a journalist and presenter on the radio station, Radio Television Libres des Mille Collines (RTLM) in Rwanda in 1994 has been arrested by Kenyan authorities at the request of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and transferred to the Tribunal's detention facilities in Arusha, Tanzania, today.
Mr. Ruggiu is believed to have made numerous broadcasts in French inciting violence and hatred against the Tutsis, moderate Hutus and Belgian nationals during the massacres in Rwanda in 1994. He is the first non-Rwandese to be arrested in connection with the genocide in Rwanda.
"We again thank the Government of Kenya for its cooperation with the Tribunal in arresting and transferring suspects believed to have committed crimes of genocide in the territory of Rwanda in 1994 ", the Registrar, Dr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali, said today.
He expressed the hope that this cooperation will continue and that other African countries will accord the Tribunal similar assistance.
The detention of Mr .Ruggiu brings to eight the number of persons arrested under the operation code-named "NAKI” (standing for Nairobi-Kigali) which was launched by the Tribunal last week.
Others who were arrested and transferred to Arusha last week are Jean Kambanda, former Prime Minister; Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister of Family Welfare and Advancement of Women, her son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali; Sylvain Nsabimana, former Prefect of Butare; Hassan Ngeze, former Editor in Chief of the Kangura Newspaper; Gratian Kabiligi, a Colonel, and former staff officer within the Rwandan Army; and Aloys Ntabakuze, a former Commander of the Para-Commando Battalion. This latest arrest brings to 20, the number of suspects and accused persons currently being detained in the Tribunal's Facility at Arusha.
The Deputy Prosecutor, Mr. Bernard Muna said he was happy with the arrest of Mr. Ruggiu adding that it was a result of close cooperation between his office and that of the Registrar. "It further confirms that our new operational strategy is working", he added.
Currently, three trials are already underway; the trials of Georges Anderson Rutaganda, the Vice President of the Interahamwe Militia, and of Jean Paul Akayesu, the former Bourgmestre of Taba, as well as the joint trial of Clement Kayishema, the former Prefect of Kibuye, and Obed Ruzindana, a businessman from Kibuye.
Efforts are continuing to apprehend others believed to have been involved in the 1994 massacres in Rwanda.