Rwandan in US arrested over alleged genocidal activities

A Rwandan man living in the United States state of Kansas was arrested on Thursday in connection with the 1994 genocide in his home country, the US Department of Justice said.

Lazare Kabaya Kobagaya (82) was arrested on charges of lying on his naturalisation fraud and misusing his alien registration card, officials with the Department of Justice said.

According to the indictment, Kobagaya “allegedly participated in genocidal activities during the 1994 Rwandan conflict including mobilising attackers to commit arson and murder”.

Kobagaya allegedly “failed to disclose his alleged participation in these activities during his immigration and naturalisation processes,” the statement read.

Kobagaya faces up to 10 years in prison, automatic revocation of his US citizenship, and a fine of up to $250 000 if convicted of lying on his citizenship application, and another up to 10 years prison and a similar fine if convicted of fraud and misuse of an alien registration card, the statement read.

Kobagaya is scheduled to appear in a US district court in Kansas on April 24 for his initial appearance.

About 800 000 people, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in the space of 100 days in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

“The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the Justice Department statement read.—Sapa-AFP