UN tribunal for Rwandan genocide transfers nine prisoners to jail in Benin

UN tribunal for Rwandan genocide transfers nine prisoners to jail in Benin

ICTR staff outside Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania
The United Nations tribunal set up to try those responsible for the worst crimes committed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 has announced that it has transferred nine prisoners to Benin to serve the remainder of their jail sentences.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Arusha, Tanzania, said in a statement issued yesterday that the prisoners were transferred at the weekend from the UN Detention Facility in Arusha to Benin, where they were later moved to a prison in the capital city of Porto-Novo.

The nine convicted criminals – nearly all of whom were given lengthy sentences – are Georges Rutaganda, Gerard Ntakirutimana, Juvenal Kajelijeli, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Aloys Simba, Juvenal Rugambarara, Athanase Seromba and François Karera.

Mr. Rutaganda, Mr. Ndindabahizi, Mr. Seromba and Mr. Karera are all serving life terms for their crimes, while Mr. Kajelijeli was sentenced to 45 years in prison and Mr. Barayagwiza to 32 years. Both Mr. Ntakirutimana and Mr. Simba were given 25-year jail terms, while Mr. Rugambarara is serving an 11-year sentence.

The ICTR was set up by the Security Council in the wake of the genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates were killed, mainly by machete, during a period of less than 100 days starting in early April 1994.