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The hunt for leader of Rwandan genocide ends at a grave

PROTAIS MPIRANYA, one of the last remaining fugitives sought over the 1994 Rwandan genocide, has been confirmed dead and the case against him has been closed, the prosecutor of the successor court to the UN Rwanda tribunal said on Thursday.

An international investigation concluded that Mpiranya died on October 5th in 2006 in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

He was alleged to have been a senior leader of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi population and was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2000.

Mpiranya was charged with eight counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was also deemed responsible for the murders of, among others, Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian United Nations peacekeepers.

“For the victims of his crimes, Mpiranya was a feared and notorious fugitive”, Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement. “Confirming his death provides the solace of knowing that he cannot cause further harm.”

There are now only five outstanding fugitives under the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT)’ jurisdiction. The IRMCT is still prosecuting the remaining cases in the Rwandan genocide, such as the trial of Felicien Kabuga.

Former U.N. tribunals for war crimes in Rwanda and Yugoslavia have been rolled over into a successor court that has offices in The Hague, Netherlands, and in Arusha, Tanzania.