Charles Munyaneza was born in 1958 in Rwanda. At the time of the alleged crimes, he was the mayor of the commune of Kinyamakara, in the Gikongoro prefecture, in southern Rwanda. Munyaneza was also known to be one of the closest allies of Aloys Simba, an officer in the Rwandan army who was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in December 2005 for genocide and extermination as crimes against humanity.
According to a report published by the African Rights (association of human rights defenders based in London), Munyaneza allegedly coordinated a series of massacres on a grand scale, specifically to kill Tutsis, but also of having contributed to the organization of the massacre of Tutsis in the prefectures of Gikongoro and Butare.
According to a report issued by African Rights (a human rights association based in London), Munyaneza coordinated a series of large scale massacres, notably at the Isonga Centre for Experimental Research of the Rwandan College of Agricultural Sciences in Ruhashya, in Butare prefecture, as well as in the Cyanika catholic church located in Gikongoro province. Munyaneza also reportedly ordered placement of roadblocks in the Kinyamakara province to enable identity checks resulting in the arrest of Tutsis. In addition, he allegedly participated in some of the killings in person.
On 19 or 20 April 1994, Munyaneza and Aloys Simba, amongst others, were said to have organised and ordered the encirclement of and attack on the Murambi technical school, where 50’000 Tutsis had sought refuge from the ongoing massacres. Only about a dozen people survived the attack.
Towards the end of June 1994, facing the advance of the troops of the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front, an opposition movement composed essentially of Tutsi refugees, led by Paul Kagame), Munyaneza fled Rwanda. He went into hiding first in South Africa. Subsequently, in 1999 he moved to Great Britain, where he lodged a request for asylum. In 2002, Munyaneza acquired a status of political refugee.
On 29 January 2006, the British newspaper “Sunday Times” revealed in a report that Munyaneza was living peacefully with his family in the town of Bedford, Great Britain, where he was employed as a cleaner and lived under a false identity under the name of “Charles Muneza”.