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Rwandan Genocide Fugitive Located In Norton

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Norton, August 17, 2010 - Protais Mpiranya, a Rwandan wanted genocide fugitive with a US$25 million bounty on his head is believed to be staying in Zimbabwe’s fishing town of Norton, on the fringes of Harare, security sources have said.

Mpiranya, a former top soldier in the Rwandan government accused of organising the mass killings of Rwandans from the Tutsi minority ethnic group, is the third most wanted man in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Sources in Harare told Radio VOP Mpiranya has been staying in Norton since the end of the Congo war in the 2001.

Mpiranya was the commander of the Presidential Guard during the 1994 genocide that mainly claimed close to a million lives of Rwandans from the minority Tutsis in Rwanda.

“The guy is in Norton,” said a security source. “He has been staying there since 2001 and he is very safe and sound. Just that he keeps a low profile.”

Mpriranya was instrumental during the Congo war after he worked side by side with Allied forces, which included Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia. The Allied forces were fighting armies of Rwanda and Uganda which was backing several rebel groups seeking to topple to Kinshasa regime.

Mpriranya commanded a Rwandan rebel force that was fighting Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army since 1994.

He helped with intelligence about the Rwandan military which was crucial to the Allied forces. The sources said the former commander also mobilized and trained Rwandans in refugee camps in eastern DRC as part of the Allied Forces’s strategy to defeat Kagame’s army.

Rwanda and Uganda and the rebels they backed failed to topple the Kinshasa regime and were forced to withdraw.

The sources said Mpiranya befriended several top commanders in the Zimbabwean army who were grateful for his assistance during the Congo campaign.

“After the Congo War he simply came to Zimbabwe with the blessings of top army officers,” said the source.

 News about Mpiranya’s presence in Zimbabwe come amid reports secret agents from Rwanda sneaked into the country early this year to hunt down two genocide suspects, Mpiranya and Charles Bandora apparently without the knowledge of Zimbabwean authorities.

The other most wanted men Felicien Kabuga and Augustin Bizimana also have US$25 million each on the respective heads.

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