UN genocide tribunal sentences former Rwandan official to 25-year jail term

3 August 2010

A former Rwandan official who was involved in a notorious massacre in which thousands of ethnic Tutsis died was today sentenced to 25 years in prison by judges at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up after the 1994 genocide in the small African country.

A former Rwandan official who was involved in a notorious massacre in which thousands of ethnic Tutsis died was today sentenced to 25 years in prison by judges at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up after the 1994 genocide in the small African country.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) convicted Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, a former sub-prefect in the southern province of Butare, of genocide but acquitted him of the charges of complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

Prosecutors told the ICTR how thousands of Tutsis and their families sought refuge at the Gisagara market over a four-day period starting on 20 April 1994 as the genocide unfolded across the country.

Mr. Ntawukulilyayo promised the displaced that they would be protected and fed if they moved to the nearby Kabuye hill, which many did. But on 23 April, he transported soldiers to the hill, where they joined other assailants in attacking the Tutsis, leaving thousands of people dead.

Mr. Ntawukulilyayo was arrested by French police in the town of Carcassonne in October 2007 after being on the run for years. He was later transferred to the custody of the tribunal, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered, mostly by machete or club, across Rwanda in less than 100 days starting in early April 1994. Later that year the Security Council established the ICTR – which is based in Arusha, Tanzania – to deal with the worst cases.

 

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Former Rwandan official pleads not guilty before UN genocide tribunal

A former Rwandan official who is alleged to have planned the killing of up to 25,000 Tutsis during the country’s 1994 genocide today pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up to deal with the mass killings.