One of the remaining fugitives accused of orchestrating the mass deaths of Tutsis during the infamous Rwanda Genocide has finally been confirmed dead.
An official statement from the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in Arusha declares the death of Aloys Ndimbati, one of the remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Aloys is reported to be a notable figure in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Ndimbati, the burgomaster of the former Gisovu commune, Kibuye prefecture, and a member of the Mouvement révolutionnaire national pour le développement party, was first indicted by the United Nations (UN) International Criminal Tribunal (ICTR) of Arusha in November 1995.
The renegade was charged with seven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and the crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, rape and persecution.
It is alleged that at the onset of the Genocide, Ndimbati traveled around Gisovu commune publicly calling for the elimination of the Tutsis.
Aloys Ndimbati, together with other local leaders including the fugitive Charles Sikubwabo, then organized between April and June 1994 attacks against Tutsi refugees in locations throughout Gisovu commune and the Bisesero area.
Ndimbati was alleged to have personally organized and directed massacres and killings of thousands of Tutsis at locations including Bisesero hill, Kidashya hill, Muyira hill, Nyakavumu cave, Gitwe hill, Rwirambo hill, Byiniro hill and Kazirandimwe hill.
In July 1994, Ndimbati and his family fled Rwanda for then-Zaire, where they resided in Kashusha camp. He later traveled with some family members to Kisangani.
In or around June 1997, Ndimbati returned to Rwanda via a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) repatriation flight, from Kisangani to Kanombe.
Following a comprehensive and challenging investigation, the office of the prosecutor was able to conclude that Ndimbati died by around the end of June 1997 in the area of the current Gatore Sector, Kirehe District, in Eastern Province of Rwanda.
While the exact circumstances of his death have not been determined owing to the confusion and absence of order at the time, the evidence gathered by the office of the prosecutor demonstrates that Ndimbati did not leave the Gatore area, and that he was never seen or heard from again.
No reliable and corroborated evidence of him being alive after that time has been identified.
Ndimbati’s death at this approximate time and place was independently confirmed by the National Public Prosecution Authority of Rwanda following its own investigation.
While the survivors and victims of Ndimbati’s crimes will not see him prosecuted and punished, this result may help bring some closure in the knowledge that Ndimbati is not at large and he is unable to cause further harm to the Rwandan people.
There are now only two outstanding ICTR fugitives, including Charles Sikubwabo and Charles Ryandikayo, a businessman in Kibuye Prefecture.
Between May 2020 and today, the office of the prosecutor’s Fugitive Tracking Team has arrested two fugitives, Félicien Kabuga and Fulgence Kayishema.
The team also confirmed the deaths of another four fugitives, Augustin Bizimana, Protais Mpiranya, Phénéas Munyarugarama and now Aloys Ndimbati.