At the time, Alex says he suspected Mbarushimana had learned of the impending rescue and tipped off the militiamen, but there was no proof that Mbarushimana ordered Florence's killing - or any others.
A twelve-year-old boy detained on accusations that he participated in the genocide stares out of a bus window.
Photo by Corinne Dufka
In early July 1994, Tutsi rebels captured Kigali and the genocide was over. Hutu extremists led a mass exodus to eastern Congo. Alex says he thought Mbarushimana also fled to Congo. Amadou Ly, the UNDP's senior representative to Rwanda, says he remembers learning of Mbarushimana's alleged role in the genocide in August 1994. He says there was no effort at the time to pursue the allegations.
Charles Petrie, a senior UNDP official who worked in Rwanda during the genocide, says he believed Mbarushimana would never survive the squalid refugee camps and bitter fighting in eastern Congo, but four years later in 1998, Petrie was shocked to learn that Mbarushimana still worked for the United Nations, this time in Angola.
"What infuriated me and others is that somebody like that could continue working for the United Nations. What made it worse - though to be honest, not that surprising - is that he could continue to be protected in the United Nations," says Petrie.
Gregory Alex had stumbled into Mbarushimana at a U.N. office in Angola. In 1999, Gregory Alex filed a formal complaint to U.N. headquarters alleging the United Nations had failed to pursue allegations against Mbarushimana. Further, Alex alleged that a senior UNDP official, a fellow Rwandan Hutu working in Angola, had hired and protected Mbarushimana after the genocide. While the UNDP investigated the charges, Mbarushimana's contract expired and he disappeared. UNDP officials say their investigation revealed little new information about Mbarushimana's activities during the genocide. The UNDP rejected as groundless Alex's allegation of an internal cover-up.
Two years later, in early 2001, Mbarushimana was again working for the United Nations, this time in Kosovo. The media picked up the story and Mbarushimana was detained in Kosovo pending a formal indictment by the government of Rwanda. At the same time, the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) launched an investigation.
Tony Greig, a criminal defense attorney from New Zealand who led the ICTR investigation, says the initial reaction inside the United Nations was embarrassment.
"Here is a man who was our colleague, who killed our colleagues, and we must not be seen to be sitting on our hands. We must get him, and there was a genuine desire from the chief investigator right the way down to me, and from every prosecutor that I spoke to, to get him," says Greig.