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Pastor Dr Celestin Mutabaruka arrested as part of probe into Rwanda genocide investigation

Fountain Church in Ashford Montpelier Business Park
Fountain Church in Ashford Montpelier Business Park

The Rwandan Pastor of a community church in Ashford has been arrested as part of an investigation into the country’s 1994 genocide.

Dr Celestin Mutabaruka, 57, was arrested at his home in Hurst Road, Ashford, and taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police.

The move came as part of a co-ordinated series of arrests that saw four other Rwandan men in London, Bedford, Manchester and Essex simultaneously picked up on behalf of the capital’s police force.

All are suspected of involvement in the Rwanda genocide of the mid 1990s, which saw 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed in 100 days by the Hutu-led government and ethnic militias.

The website of Celestine Mutabaruka
The website of Celestine Mutabaruka

The five now face extradition to their home country, pending the outcome of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Alongside his wife Rose, Dr Mutabaruka is the Pastor of the Fountain Church, on Ashford’s Montpelier Business Park in Dencora Way.

A map of Rwanda
A map of Rwanda

The church has previously held Sunday services at the Women’s Institute Hall in Church Road, Willesborough, as well as weekday services in venues across the borough.

Rose and Celestin Mutabaruka are also listed as directors of Bells Of Revival Worldwide Ministries, which operates from the first floor of International House, opposite Ashford railway station.

The pair have five children and are thought to have been married for around 30 years.

Both lived in Wye and studied for PhDs in agricultural studies at Imperial College’s campus in the village from 2001 until 2005, receiving their doctorates at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007.

Speaking at the time, Mrs Mutabaruka said: “Wye is a small village which was really nice for us as we have five children and there are very good schools in the area.

“It is definitely a great environment for studying and having all the family together.”

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