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Argument will be heard this week on a decision by South Africa to grant refugee status to former Rwandan army chief of staff and suspected war criminal, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.

The application to the High Court in Pretoria was brought by the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA, and supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

It will seek to challenge the decision in court on Monday and Tuesday, and argue that people accused of international crimes are not eligible for refugee status under South African and international law.

Nyamwasa was accused of involvement in acts of terrorism in Rwanda, including three grenade attacks in Kigali in February 2010.

In January 2011, Rwanda’s Military Court sentenced Nyamwasa, in absentia, to life imprisonment for his alleged involvement in the grenade attacks.

The Rwandan government requested that South Africa extradite Nyamwasa to Rwanda.

He was not arrested in South Africa, because there was no extradition treaty between the two countries.



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