Emanuel Karenzi Karake was born on 23 December 1960 in Rwanda. Karake attended Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. Karake later received a Masters of Arts in International Studies from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He received an MBA from the University of London.
Karake then joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR from its French acronym) and fought in the Rwandan Civil War 1990-1994. He was named commanding officer of the Directory Military Intelligence (DMI) in 1994, position he kept until 1997.
In August 2007, Karake was appointed deputy commander of the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan. In January 2008, he was promoted to deputy of the UN mission in Darfur.
As commanding officer of the DMI between 1994 and 1997, Karake is accused of organizing various massacres, the murder of three Spanish nationals in 1997 as well as the killing of Hutu civilians in Rwanda and refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The charges against him includes:
1) He allegedly ordered the killing of three Spanish aid workers, working for Medicos del Mundo in 1997 in Ruhengeri. On 16 january 1997, they were distributing medicines in the village Kabere, when they witnessed a massacre in which 50 hutus lost their lives. After this event, they were brought to a mass grave were more than 100 persons were buried, killed in a previous massacre. On 18 January 1997, the military wing of the FPR, the Patriotic Army of Rwanda (APR from French acronym), attaqued three humanitarian organizations, including Médecin du Monde, where the three aid workers were residing. Four soldiers entered their residence and shot them dead. A witness testified before the Spanish judge that this operation could not have been carried out without Karake’s consent;
2) He is allegedly responsible of crimes in Kigali and elsewhere in Rwanda committed by the DMI during his mandate, 1994-1997, such as the political murders of Emmanuelle Gapyisi and Félicien Gsatabazi;
3) He is accused of being responsible for massacres committed in Nyakinama and Mukingo;
4) He allegedly ordered military operations with heavy weapons against civilian populations, such as bombing;
5) He allegedly approuved and ordered massacres of civil population from 1994 to 1997 in Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Cyangugu (including the killing of 4 observers from the United Nations on 11 January 1997 in Giciye, or the killing of 5 agents from the Observer mission of the High commissioner for Human rights on 4 February 1997, in Karengera/Cyangugu;
6) He is accused of being responsible of forced disappearances of prisoners committed in the Kami Military center, and their killings in 2002.
On 6 February 2008, he was indicted along with 39 others members of the Rwanda military by judge Fernando Andreu on charge of genocide and terrorism, committed during the 1994 rwandan genocide.