S.Africa rejects Rwanda bid to extradite officer


South Africa has turned down a request to extradite exiled Rwandan army general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa to his home country, but is considering similar requests from Spain and France, said a minister.

Former liberation hero Nyamwasa, who has fallen out with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, has been accused of being behind a string of deadly grenade attacks in the capital Kigali last year. Nyamwasa has denied the allegations.

He was granted refugee status by South Africa following an attempt to assassinate him in Johannesburg in June 2010, after he had fled from Rwanda, Reuters reports.
“Requests for the extradition of General Nyamwasa were received from Rwanda, Spain and France. The department concluded not to grant the request from Rwanda as he had already been granted formal refugee status,” Jeff Radebe, the Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, said in a written response to questions in parliament.

Nyamwasa is wanted by France and Spain for killings in the 1990s. He fought with Kagame in the 1994 war that halted the genocide by Hutu militia, who killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days.
“With regard to the requests from Spain and France, the department is currently considering these requests,” Radebe added.

In June this year, Rwandan police arrested suspects they described as terrorists linked to Nyamwasa and used as a conduit to finance activities intended to destabilise the country 17 years after the genocide.