International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals: Confirmation of the Death of Fugitive Phénéas Munyarugarama by the Prosecutor.
Grace ATALUI MOKANGO
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
In a press release released on 18 May 2022, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminals Tribunals Prosecutor's Office announced and confirmed the death of Phénéas Munyarugarama, who was until now one of the last fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and a notorious figure in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. Indeed Munyarugarama was a lieutenant-colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces and was thus indicted in 2002 by the tribunal for crimes against humanity, genocide, direct and public incitement to commit the genocide committed in 1994. A total of eight counts in all.
This death marked the end of the proceedings against the deceased, The Prosecutor had thus made a statement in these terms highlighting some important considerations: "This result is yet another important step in my Office's efforts to secure justice for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and complete our mandate. For the victims and survivors of Munyarugarama's crimes in the Bugesera region, we hope this result brings some closure".
Finally, there are still four fugitives involved in the genocide under the jurisdiction of the Mechanism, namely Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikubwabo, Charles Ryandikayo, and Aloys Ndimbati.
Source and further reading
Office of the Prosecutor, IRMCT Prosecutor Confirms Death of Fugitive Phénéas Munyarugarama, Press Release, ( 18 May 2022), from: https://www.irmct.org/en/news/irmct-prosecutor-confirms-death-fugitive-pheneas-munyarugarama