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Fulgence Kayishema appears in S. African court over Rwanda genocide

Former Rwandan police officer Fulgence Kayishema, accused of ordering the killing of some 2,000 Tutsis who were seeking refuge in a church during the 1994 genocide, appeared briefly in a South African court on Friday.

Kayishema was remanded in custody at Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison ahead of his possible extradition to Rwanda.

The Cape Town Magistrates’ Court adjourned the case to June 2.

On the run for two decades, Kayishema was arrested on Wednesday May 24 under a false name on a grape farm in Paarl, some 59 km from Cape Town.

He had been a fugitive from justice since 2001, when the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted him for genocide over his alleged role in the destruction of the Nyange Catholic Church in Kibuye Prefecture.

An estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates were killed during Rwanda’s genocide, orchestrated by an extremist Hutu regime and meticulously executed by local officials and ordinary citizens in the rigidly hierarchical society.

Kayishema has been on the U.S. State Department’s wanted list under the Rewards for Justice Program, with a USD 5 million reward offered for his arrest.

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