A former Rwandan government minister indicted on charges of involvement in the 1994 genocide was found dead, his body floating in a Brussels canal, officials said Friday. Former trade minister Juvenal Uwilingiyimana faced a variety of genocide charges from the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha when he disappeared from his home on Nov. 21. His badly decomposed body was recovered from the canal last Saturday. A cause of death was not announced.
Police are investigating the incident. "This individual, although an indictee of the Tribunal, voluntarily agreed to cooperate in the search for truth and justice for the Rwanda genocide of 1994. I convey my sincere condolences to his family," ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow said in a statement.
After he was indicted on June 13, Uwilingiyimana had cooperated with the investigators, the ICTR said, and had a last interview three days before he disappeared.
The ICTR said in a statement that "he expressed concern, as he had often to the investigators, about the dangers that he and his family would face from powerful persons in the Rwandan exile community when he told the truth about these persons' responsibility for the Rwanda genocide."
The 100-day genocide killed more than half a million Tutsi, as well as political moderates from the Hutu majority. The genocide was unleashed by the extremist government that took power after President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down as he returned home from peace talks with Tutsi-led rebels in 1994, reports the AP. I.L.