Essex resident 'wanted for genocide'

A FOREIGN ambassador has called for a Walton-on-the-Naze churchgoer to be arrested on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide.Claver Gatete, Rwanda's ambassador in London, told the East Anglian Daily Times that Celestin Ugirashebuja, who lives in Garden Road, was on his country's list of 100 most wanted suspects for the 1994 genocide.

By Roddy Ashworth

A FOREIGN ambassador has called for a Walton-on-the-Naze churchgoer to be arrested on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Claver Gatete, Rwanda's ambassador in London, told the East Anglian Daily Times that Celestin Ugirashebuja, who lives in Garden Road, was on his country's list of 100 most wanted suspects for the 1994 genocide.

Mr Gatete claimed that Mr Ugirashebuja, 55, was involved in the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda that left 800,000 people dead.


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The campaign of murder shocked the world as the dominant Hutu tribe attempted to wipe out their Tutsi rivals.

The ambassador claimed Mr Ugirashebuja, who denies all allegations of wrongdoing, was mayor of the rural area of Kigima, close to the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

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Mr Ugirashebuja is accused of directing and inciting the slaughter of hundreds of Tutsis.

Most of the victims of the Rwandan genocide were butchered with machetes as depicted in the major film Hotel Rwanda.

Mr Ugirashebuja is understood to have fled Rwanda shortly after the Hutus were defeated and has since moved to Walton.

Five months ago the Government of Rwanda issued a list of 100 people it believes should be brought to trial for genocide to the Home Office and Scotland Yard via Interpol.

Mr Ugirashebuja was number 93 on the list, said Mr Gatete, whose formal title is Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the Court of St James, The Republic of Ireland and the Nordic Countries.

Mr Gatete added Mr Ugirashebuja stood accused of holding meetings during which he deliberately sensitised Hutus to kill Tutsis.

The indictment issued by the Rwandan Government said that at one specific meeting, held at a primary school, Mr Ugirashebuja urged Hutus to kill Tutsis and destroy their property. After that meeting, it said, massacres in the area escalated.

Mr Gatete added: “We are going through the proper procedures. He was the mayor of a town.

“He is on the list of 100 people wanted. The warrant is for category number one for crimes against humanity.

“We believe there is sufficient evidence for his arrest. When he is arrested, he can face justice.”

Mr Ugirashebuja was not available for comment at his Walton home yesterday.

However, he told one news organisation he would be prepared to stand trial in England.

“It is all lies. We are people of God. They [the Rwandan government] want to kill all Hutus in England. It is all lies against me,” he said.

Yesterday a spokesman for Interpol said the international organisation was not able to confirm whether a “red notice” - a request for an arrest - had been issued for reasons of confidentiality.

A Home Office spokeswoman also refused to confirm whether or not it had received a request for Mr Ugirashebuja's arrest or whether he was likely to be detained.

“Although there is no extradition treaty for Rwanda, we could put something together on request,” she said.

“The Home Office would not wish anybody suspected of genocide to live with impunity here.

“If an individual is found to be suspected of genocide the Government would want to strip them of their immigration status and remove them from the UK.”

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