About a week after I wrote my blog on my childhood in Rwanda, newspapers reported that one of the driving forces behind the genocide has been arrested.
Looking at his picture, I felt some sort of quiet rage bubbling up combined with a "Yes, they did it!" feeling. Idelphonse Nizeyimana was a beast, alright. Not only did he plan, incited to commit, ordered for, and prepared a genocide that would make the Nazis jealous. The rate of the killings, which were carefully prepared and planned, was incredibly fast. In Rwanda, almost 1000.000 people were killed in 3 months time.
During the holocaust that officially started in 1941 and ended in 1945, 6 million Jews and a few million of handicaps, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents were killed.
Back to Nizeyimana. The list of atrocities he was involved in, is never-ending according to the indictment. In the months before the genocide, involved in drawing up lists of Tutsis and moderate Hutus that were to be eliminated. He ordered for the execution of the home of the former Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda - who was a symbolic figure for Rwanda's Tutsi population - at her home.
He ordered for the erection of roadblocks at strategic locations in Butare. It was at these points, that were scattered across the country, where civilians - who had Tutsi written on the identification cards - were subjected to violent acts such as assault, rape, beatings, stabbings and murder.
On April 30, 1994, Nizeyimana ordered Hutu soldiers to go the Beneberika convent in Butare and to kidnap Tutsis that had sought refuge. During the attack various people were killed. Twenty-five people, including children, were kidnapped and never to be seen again.
He was directly or indirectly involved in killing teaching staff and Tutsi students at the University of Butare, in an attempt to eliminate Tutsi intellectuals, as well as in the massacre of entire Tutsi families.
Finally this beast, this devil, this butcher has been caught. Yes, it is a bit late. Fifteen years too late. But as they say: Never late then never.