Pierre Kayondo believed to be around 70 years old according to the civil parties, had lived for many years in Le Havre, in northwestern France. He is suspected of active involvement in the 1994 genocide in the Gitarama region, in central Rwanda.
Pierre Kayondo has been the subject of a judicial investigation since 2021. French gendarmes arrested him on Tuesday and promptly presented him to the investigating magistrate at the Parisian Unit for Crimes Against Humanity, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
The genesis of this case traces back to a complaint filed two years ago by the Collective of Civil Parties from Rwanda. This association has been tirelessly tracking alleged genocide perpetrators in France for over two decades and claims to have gathered several testimonies implicating this former Prefect of Kibuye and former Deputy of the Gitarama prefecture in orchestrating mass killings in Ruhango and Tambwe.
Kayondo is alleged to have formed militias of Interahamwe (Hutu militias, the armed arm of the genocide), provided weapons, and attended meetings. Considered an ardent supporter of the ruling MRNDD party under President Habyarimana’s regime, he is also, according to the Collective of Civil Parties from Rwanda, identified as an owner of Radio Mille Collines, which incited violence against the Tutsi population.
Pierre Kayondo is one of the Rwandans being tried for genocide on French soil under the banner of universal jurisdiction, although civil parties lament the slow progress of French justice. Approximately thirty cases are still in the investigative stage. Two other Rwandan cases are nearing resolution: that of former gendarme Philippe Hategekimana, who appealed his life imprisonment sentence in June, and the upcoming trial in Paris in November of Rwandan physician Sosthène Munyemana.