'Lady Genocide' held over Rwanda horror
Published 03/03/2010 | 05:00
THE widow of assassinated Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death triggered the largest mass slaughter of the 20th century, was arrested yesterday. She is accused of helping mastermind the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The detention of Agathe Habyarimana, dubbed 'Lady Genocide', came less than a week after French president Nicolas Sarkozy became the first French head of state to visit Rwanda for 25 years.
The government in Rwanda, which is preparing a formal extradition request, has long sought the arrest of the widow who was detained at her home in Paris.
She was later released but forbidden from leaving the country and ordered to report to a French judge once a month.
Mrs Habyarimana escaped the killing that left 800,000 people dead in 100 days. She was helped across the border into Congo by French forces.
Yesterday's move by the French authorities was warmly welcomed in Rwanda's capital Kigali. "At long last the long arm of the law is finally taking its course," said Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama.
The head of Rwanda's genocide fugitive tracking unit said it had asked for Mrs Habyarimana's extradition.
"Our priority is to have her tried in Rwanda because this is where she committed crimes against the Rwandan people," said Jean Bosco Mutangana. (©Independent News Service)