Second Rwandan genocide fugitive confirmed dead

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THE HAGUE (Reuters) - One of the last remaining fugitives sought by a U.N. tribunal over his alleged key role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide was confirmed dead and the case against him closed, U.N. war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement on Wednesday.

The announcement of the death of Pheneas Munyarugarama comes just days after the prosecutor confirmed the death of another one of the most wanted fugitives over the Rwandan genocide.

There are now only four outstanding fugitives under the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) jurisdiction. The IRMCT is still prosecuting the remaining cases in the Rwandan genocide, such as the trial of Felicien Kabuga.

According to an investigation led by prosecutor Brammertz, Munyarugarama died of natural causes in the Democratic Republic of Congo in February 2002.

The former military official had been indicted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his alleged central role in mass killings in the Ntarama and Nyamata Catholic churches where some 10,000 people were killed by Hutu soldiers and militias.

In all more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu extremists, led by the Rwandan army and a militia known as the Interahamwe in 100 days in 1994.

Former U.N. tribunals for war crimes in Rwanda and Yugoslavia have been rolled over into a successor court that has offices in The Hague, Netherlands, and in Arusha, Tanzania.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)