Genocide suspect, Tabaro Nshimiyimana arrested in US

By Esther Muhozi
On 22 March 2024 at 05:32

Tabaro Nshimiyimana Eric has been arrested by the United States authorities over concealing his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for 30 years to be granted asylum and citizenship.

Nshimiyimana, 52, resided in Uniontown, Ohio, and was arrested on Thursday, March 21, 2024. He is charged with altering and concealing evidence, obstructing justice, and lying to the court, actions he allegedly took during the trial of Teganya Jean Leonard, where he was a witness in 2019.

The Acting United States Attorney, Joshua S. Levy, stated that his country would not be a refuge for those accused of human rights and war crimes.

Levy said, “Nshimiyimana is accused of hiding information related to his role in the Genocide for nearly 30 years to obtain asylum and citizenship in the United States.”

“Our refugee and asylum laws are meant to protect those who have been persecuted, not those who have participated in persecution. Our office, along with our partners in law enforcement, is committed to finding and prosecuting those who commit crimes abroad and then use deception to obtain refuge here,” he added.

Levy emphasized their determination to continue seeking and bringing to justice everyone involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The indictment documents reveal that during the Genocide against the Tutsi, Nshimiyimana was a medical student at the former National University of Rwanda in Butare, a leading figure in the MRND party, and part of the Interahamwe militia.

The documents allege Nshimiyimana murdered men, women, and children using a club and then finished them off with a machete.

They include instances such as the murder of a 14-year-old boy and a man who sewed doctor’s gowns at the university hospital, purportedly killed by Nshimiyimana, who is also accused of raping women or collaborating with others in their rape at the time.

Nshimiyimana fled Rwanda in the summer of 1994, after the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) launched its offensive, and went to Kenya, where he allegedly lied to U.S. immigration authorities to be accepted as a refugee.

Since 1995, Nshimiyimana has lived in Ohio, reportedly continuing to provide false information about his involvement in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In 2019, during the trial of Teganya Jean Leonard, his former university classmate, Nshimiyimana lied in court, claiming neither he nor Teganya had participated in the Genocide or collaborated with the MRND.

However, the court found otherwise, convicting Teganya of fraud and perjury related to asylum claims and lying to the court.