Jean Wyclif Ndayisaba testified in defense of elderly Elizaphan Ntakirutimana (above) at the ICTR

Kigali: A United States court of appeal has thrown out a plea by a Rwandan national Jean Wyclif Ndayisaba who has been fighting for asylum since 2008 – meaning he could be deported very soon.

A ruling published January 31 in the US State of Michigan maintains earlier rulings by two lower courts which ruled that the grounds of his asylum application were baseless. KigaliToday.com, a local Kinyarwanda news site reports that it has a copy of the court of appeal ruling.

In asylum documents filed in June 2008, Ndayisaba claimed that he was fearful of his life from the Rwandan government because he had testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the defence of Elizaphan Ntakirutimana. He also made several other allegations, which were all dismissed.

Ntakirutimana was convicted at the ICTR for genocide. The elderly Adventist clergyman served his 10-year sentence and was released in December 2006 and continued to live in Arusha. He died early the following year aged 82 years.

Ndayisaba had testified for Ntakirutimana because they belonged to the same sect, and Ndayisaba had been an active member of the congregation.

Ndayisaba fled Rwanda in 1994 – through DR Congo, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and eventually the United States. Incidentally, his wife and children are still living in Ghana.

According to court documents, Ndayisaba was encouraged to seek asylum in the United States by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Clark served as counsel for Elizaphan Ntakirutimana at the ICTR.

As the situation stands now, Ndayisaba could be deported to Rwanda or expelled back to Burkina Faso, where UNHCR had helped him acquire documents that allow him to live as a refugee there.

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