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Rwanda genocide suspect arrested, extradited

  • Story Highlights
  • IIdephonse Nizeyimana was picked from a hotel north of Ugandan capital
  • Extradited to Tanzania, where International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based
  • Police: He (Nizeyimana) is among the top three most-wanted suspects
  • Some figures put number of dead from attacks on ethnic tutsis at 1 million
From Samson Ntale
For CNN
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KAMPALA, Uganda (CNN) -- Police in Uganda have arrested and extradited a man who is among the most wanted suspects from the Rwandan genocide.

File image of IIdephonse Nizeyimana

The 100-day killing rampage led to the loss of an estimated 10 percent of Rwanda's population.

IIdephonse Nizeyimana was picked up at a hotel in Rubaga, a suburb of the capital, Kampala, by the National Central Bureau of Interpol, according to a news release from the U.N.-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday.

He was transferred Tuesday to a U.N. detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania, where the tribunal is based. Top officials who allegedly took part in the genocide, such as army generals and politicians, are tried by the tribunal.

"Nizeyimana is one of the four top accused who are earmarked by the prosecutor to be tried by the tribunal in Arusha after their arrest as part of the ICTR completion strategy," the tribunal's news release said. Of a list of 13 fugitives, he is the second to be arrested in less than two months, it said.

In the attacks that started in April 1994, Hutu militias and members of the general population sought out Tutsis and moderate Hutus, and went on a 100-day killing rampage. Civilians and children got incentives to take part in the atrocities, including promises of land belonging to their Tutsi neighbors.

It was one of the most brutal genocides in modern history. Some figures put the number of dead at 1 million -- 10 percent of the population of the central African nation. Millions more were raped and disfigured. A whole generation of children lost their parents.

Nizeyimana was a captain the Rwanda Armed Forces, the tribunal said. He is accused of exercising authority over soldiers and personnel through a chain of command, and allegedly sent a section of soldiers to execute of Rosalie Gicanda, a former queen of Rwanda who was a "symbolic figure for all Tutsis," it said.

The tribunal noted this marks the second time Uganda has cooperated with it to make an arrest. "The tribunal has commended the Interpol and the Ugandan authorities for their close cooperation," the news release said.

Samson Ntale contributed to this report for CNN.

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