Senior Rwanda genocide suspect arrested

The door of a United Nations aid agency car, lies damaged by shrapnel from an Israeli strike, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. On Tuesday evening residents of the sprawling camp reported intense tank shelling. U.N aid agency worker Mounir Haggar and his brother Bassir who were in the U.N. car were killed and Mounir's son Ibrahim, 12, was wounded. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

One of nine top fugitive Rwandan genocide suspects, a former mayor accused of slaughtering thousands and organising mass rapes in 1994, has been arrested, the UN has said.

Ladislas Ntaganzwa, for whom the US had issued a $US5 million bounty for his arrest, is indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity.

About 800,000 people – mostly members of the minority Tutsi community – were slaughtered in the 100-day orgy of violence, largely by ethnic Hutus.

Ntaganzwa is accused of organising, ‘the massacre of thousands of Tutsis at various locations … he was also alleged to have orchestrated the rape and sexual violence committed against many women,’ the UN-backed Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) said in a statement received on Thursday.

Ntaganzwa, 53, who was arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, is expected to face trial in Rwanda.

The US State Department, which offered the $US5 million bounty for his arrest, said he is accused of being ‘one of the main instigators of the genocide’ in Rwanda’s southern Butare district.

He also allegedly helped ‘establish, train, arm, and direct’ the Hutu Interahamwe militia there.

‘Ntaganzwa is also accused of making speeches calling for the elimination of Tutsis in the region and facilitating the killing of Tutsi refugees,’ the US bounty notice adds.

Ntaganzwa was intially wanted for trial at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

But his case was transferred to Rwanda in 2012, and the MICT prosecutor Hassan Jallow has asked authorities in DR Congo to transfer him to Kigali.

Jallow, ‘thanked the authorities of the DRC for their co-operation and urged them to transfer the accused to Rwanda for trial without delay,’ the statement added.