The President of the Republic of Cameroon, HE Paul Biya has signed decrees authorizing the transfer from Yaounde to the Tribunal's Detention Facilities in Arusha of two accused, Laurent Semanza and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, accused of participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The indictments against the accused, who are detained in Cameroon were confirmed in Arusha by Judge Lennart Aspegren on 23 October 1997. The Tribunal is presently making arrangements to transfer them to Arusha to stand trial.
The Registrar of the Tribunal Dr. Agwu Okali thanked the Government of the Republic of Cameroon for the cooperation it has extended to the Tribunal in this case. "It should be remembered that four other accused currently in Arusha, namely Ferdinand Nahimana, Theoneste Bagosora, Anatole Nsengiyumva and Andre Ntagerura, were also arrested there and transferred to Arusha on 23 January 1997 with the cooperation of the Government of Cameroon," said the Registrar.
Laurent Semanza who was Burgomaster of Bicumbi commune in Rwanda for 20 years before becoming President of the party, Mouvement Républicain National pour le Développment et la Démocratie (MRND) in greater Kigali area, is facing seven counts charging him with Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and Serious Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.
He is alleged, among other allegations, to have chaired meetings to incite, plan and organise massacres of Tutsis, participated in distribution of weapons and training of lnterahamwe militiamen and assisted in organising and executing the massacres of Ruhanga and Musha church in Gikoro commune, as well as those in Bicumbi commune.
Jean Bosco Barayagwiza was Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a member of the Comité d'Initiative of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines and a senior officer involved in the administration of its radio station in Kigali. He is facing seven counts charging him with Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, Complicity to Commit Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.
He is alleged, among others, to have presided over several meetings to plan the killing of Tutsis and certain Hutus, distributed weapons and money, and instigated and ordered killings and acts of violence against Tutsis.
The transfer of the two to Arusha will bring to a total of 23 the number of persons in custody in the Tribunal's Detention Facility. The only accused in custody out of Tanzania is Elizaphan Ntakirutimana who is presently detained in the United States of America.