UN tribunal transfers case of former Rwandan mayor to national authorities


The United Nations tribunal trying key suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda today transferred to Rwandan authorities the case of Aloys Ndimbati, a former local government official charged with crimes against humanity.

Ndimbati, who was the bourgmestre [mayor] of the Gisovu commune from 1990 until the end of July 1994, currently remains at large, according to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

He has been charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, as well as with murder, extermination, rape and persecution as crimes against humanity. It is alleged that Mr. Ndimbati, along with others, was involved in the planning and execution of the systematic attacks directed against the Tutsi civilian population in the Gisovu commune during the Rwandan genocide, UN News Service reports.

In its ruling, the ICTR Referral Chamber ordered that the case of Mr. Ndimbati be referred to the authorities of Rwanda, which will then refer the case to the High Court of Rwanda.

In its decision, the Referral Chamber expressed its hope that Rwanda, in accepting referrals from the Tribunal, “will put into practice the commitments it has made about its good faith, capacity, and willingness to enforce the highest standards of international justice.”

Ndimbati’s case is the seventh case to be transferred to Rwanda by the ICTR. The previous six cases involved Jean Uwinkindi and Bernard Munyagishari whose transfer decisions were issued in June 2011 and June 2012, respectively, and of fugitives Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikuwabo, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, and Ryandikayo, whose cases were referred to Rwanda for trial from February onwards this year.

Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during three months of bloodletting that followed the deaths of then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira when their plane was brought down over the capital, Kigali on 6 April 1994.