Dutch prosecutors announced the arrest of a former Rwandan military official on Tuesday, who is under suspicion of having played a pivotal role in the devastating Rwandan genocide of 1994.
Li Pierre-Claver Karangwa, aged 67, has been taken into custody as part of a Dutch investigation into his alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide. This investigation was initiated following a ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court in June of this year, which stated that he could not be extradited to Rwanda due to concerns about the fairness of his trial.
Rwanda has levied accusations against Karangwa, attributing to him a significant role in the horrific massacre of almost 30,000 Tutsis in Mugina parish, located near the Rwandan capital of Kigali, which occurred in April 1994. These accusations led to an extradition request in 2012. During a court proceeding concerning his potential extradition in December 2022, Karangwa asserted his innocence, denying any involvement in the alleged crimes.
Karangwa, who has resided in the Netherlands since 1998, saw his Dutch nationality revoked due to the genocide allegations against him. This development theoretically opens the possibility for his extradition.
During Rwanda’s genocide, which was orchestrated by an extremist Hutu government and carried out with the involvement of local officials and ordinary citizens, it is estimated that approximately 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates lost their lives.