Rwandan man living in Bedford named in genocide investigation

Ntrama Church Altar, Rwanda
Ntrama Church, Rwanda where 5,000 people seeking refuge were killed. Image: Scott Chacon from Dublin, CA, USA. CC License

A Bedford man has been named as part of an investigation into the 1994 Rwandan genocide after a referral from Rwandan authorities.

The Daily Mirror reported that five men, including one from Bedford, are now being investigated by the Met Police’s war crimes unit.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Relevant documentation to this was assessed by the war crimes unit and officers were also deployed to Rwanda as part of our initial work to scope the allegations.

“As a result, we have subsequently commenced an investigation, which will initially involve a review of all the documentation transferred from Rwanda.

“Given the complexities involved, this is expected to be a protracted and lengthy process,”

The referral was handed to the Met Police in January last year and detectives from Scotland Yard were deployed to the east African country to assist with the investigation.

Part of this was looking at relevant documents from around 1994 when, during a 100-day period from April to July, around 800,000 Rwandans were murdered.

Mostly Tutsis, but some Hutus, were killed by members of the majority Hutu population in a coordinated campaign.

The suspects named in the investigation are:

  • Charles Munyaneza, 61, from Bedford
  • Celestin Mutabaruka, 63, from Kent;
  • Vincent Brown (aka Vincent Bajinya) 59, from London;
  • Celestin Ugirashebuja, 66, from Essex;
  • Emmanuel Nteziryayo, from Manchester

All five suspects deny the allegations against them and any involvement in the genocide.

In July 2017, the BBC reported that five men with the same names, and of Hutu ethnicity, should not be extradited to Rwanda to face accusations of taking part in the country’s 1994 genocide.

Judges in the UK’s High Court agreed that there was a real risk they would not receive a fair trial in Rwanda.

This weekend, Rwanda marked the 25th anniversary of the start of the genocide by starting a week of mourning.

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