Genocide suspect Mikaeli Muhimana (alias Mika), formerly a councilor in a sector of Gishyita Commune, Kibuye Prefecture, was arrested in the early hours of the morning of Monday 8 November in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The arrest was effected by Tanzanian authorities acting on a warrant issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 26 October 1999.
Muhimana was born in 1950 in Gishyita Commune, Kibuye Prefecture. He was a trader in Gishyita until 1988 when he was elected as Councillor of Gishyita Sector in the same Commune. He held that office until July 1994 when it is believed he fled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).
The indictment upon which the arrest warrant was based, the first to be issued by the ICTR Prosecutor, was confirmed on 28 November 1995. It includes 25 counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions against Muhimana and seven other accused. Two of the latter, Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana, have already been convicted by the Tribunal.
Muhimana is charged, in particular, with having conspired with others to kill Tutsis in Kibuye prefecture and to have participated in attacks on Bisesero hill where, from about 9 April 1994 to 30 June 1994 thousands of predominantly Tutsi men, women and children had sought refuge. At various times during April, May and June 1994 Muhimana and his co-accused are charged with having brought to the area of Bisesero armed members of the Gendarmerie Nationale, communal police, Interahamwe militias and civilians and directed them to attack the people seeking refuge there. He is also charged with having personally taken part in the attacks in the area of Bisesero and killed persons seeking refuge there.
Muhimana has been transferred to the ICTR Detention Facilities in Arusha. The Office of the Prosecutor in Kigali has thanked the Tanzanian authorities for their efficient and effective co-operation.