Former priest facing charges for Rwanda genocide transferred to UN tribunal

Former priest facing charges for Rwanda genocide transferred to UN tribunal

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A former Catholic priest accused of killing thousands of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has been transferred to the United Nations war crimes tribunal and is now detained at the court’s facility in Arusha, Tanzania.

Father Athanase Seromba was arrested by the Tanzanian authorities immediately after his arrival from Italy, where he had been living in exile, and handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He is the fourth clergyman to be detained by the Arusha-based Tribunal.

Last July, the Tribunal issued a warrant against Father Seromba after he was indicted on charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. According to the charges, Father Seromba is alleged to have been responsible for killing or harming thousands of Tutsi who sought refuge, including about 2,000 Tutsi trapped inside the Nyange church, who were killed when the priest allegedly bulldozed the church and its roof subsequently crashed.

The Tribunal thanked Italy and Tanzania for their help in Father Seromba’s transfer.