Africa's Most Notorious Genocide Fugitives are Hiding in Harare – Report

The six were senior military officers in the regime of former Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, which is accused of masterminding the Geenocide against Tutsis. 

The former soldiers from the then Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) fled Rwanda when then Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels led by president Paul Kagame, seized control of Kigali and put to an end the 100 days of blood-letting.

Sources this week said the six former senior Rwandan army officers were based in Harare where they were reportedly running thriving business ventures. They have all reportedly changed their identities and assumed new names.

Although there was no official confirmation from authorities in both Harare and Kigali, an African Rights Report released recently revealed several former top Rwandan army officers who participated in the Genocide are scattered all over southern Africa mainly in countries such as Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Sources within the refugees’ community said genocide suspects were living comfortably in Harare running business ventures.

"They are in Harare running their businesses," said one refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). "But it’s difficult to track them down because they have all changed their identities but I know that they are about six staying here."

Some years ago refugees from the DRC demonstrated at Tongogara Refuge Camp, about 350 KM south east of the capital, demanding that some refugees from Rwanda be removed from the camp because they participated in the Genocide. The demonstration was quelled by the police. 

Sources in Harare said the former top military men came to Zimbabwe in 1996 after initially being based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Officials from the United Nations refugees’ agency in Harare, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), declined to comment on the issue.

An official from the department of social welfare in Harare said he was aware of such accusations but insisted divulging such information was sensitive and could compromise their work. 

Zimbabwe is also home to former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariem, who together with several of his kinsmen fled their motherland after a rebel movement, which is now in power, overran the country. Mengistu is wanted for the murder of hundreds of his former political nemesis.

Relatives of former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor are also staying in Harare also running thriving business operations in the Zimbabwean capital.

Another country accused of harbouring alleged fugitives include Kenya where Felicien Kabuga is largely believed to be hiding.

Kabuga is Africa’s most wanted war criminal with a US$5 million bounty on his head. He is alleged to have financed the Genocide.

Senior officials in Kenya’s government are accused of harbouring Kabuga, an immensely wealthy businessman with vast business interests. (The New Times)