Friday, 13 February 2009

Rwanda: Genocide convictions

This is a long post of links relevant to the Rwandan genocide.  I hope to post more frequent and thus, shorter posts in the future. 

Link: Rwanda genocide mastermind jailed BBC News, 18 December 2008

The former senior defence official Colonel Théoneste Bagosora was convicted of instigating Rwanda's 1994 genocide and sentenced to life in prison.   Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva were aso convicted and given life sentences.  Sentences were handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and charges are described on their website:

"The Chamber found that, in the first days after the death of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, Bagosora was the highest authority in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence with authority over the Rwandan military. He was considered responsible for the killing, on 7 April, of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Joseph Kavaruganda, the President of the Constitutional Court, as well as Frédéric Nzamurambaho, Landoald Ndasingwa and Faustin Rucogoza, who were opposition party officials and government ministers. He was found guilty in connection with the killing of ten Belgian peacekeepers who were killed by soldiers at Camp Kigali on 7 April. Bagosora was also responsible for the organised killings perpetrated by soldiers and militiamen at a number of sites throughout Kigali and Gisenyi between 6 and 9 April.

Ntabakuze was found guilty, as the commander of the elite Para Commando Battalion, for the participation of his soldiers in killings at Kabeza, Nyanza Hill and the L’Institut Africain et Mauricien de Statistiques et d’Economie (IAMSEA) in Kigali.

Nsengiyumva was considered responsible for massacres at Mudende University, Nyundo Parish as well as the targeted killing of civilians in Gisenyi prefecture, the area under his operational command. He was also guilty of sending militiamen to the Bisesero area of Kibuye prefecture to kill Tutsi refugees in June 1994" - ICTR 


Link: Rwandan minister incited genocide BBC News, 20 January 2009

The former Rwandan Justice Minister Agnes Ntamabyariro was jailed for life for her part in the 1994 genocide.  Interestingly, she was tried and convicted in Kigali, Rwanda and was the only member of the ex-government to be tried in Rwanda.

This monster has been proven to have sat down and written down lists of Tutsis who were to be exterminated.  I mean, I knew that genocide occurred in Rwanda but this is the first time I have read of an actual, conscious, recorded effort to exterminate Tutsi peoples.

"Ntamabyariro was accused of holding meetings to plan and organize genocide in Nyanza and Kibuye in her native prefecture. Prosecution also charged her with participating in campaigns to distribute weapons and making lists of Tutsis to be killed.

"They made a list of Tutsi members of PL (Liberal Party) party which included my entire family. They later used that list to hunt down and kill others," one of the witnesses told the court during the trial" -


Link: Rwandan Genocide Court Upholds Official's Life Sentence Voice of America News, 02 February 2009

François Karera was sentenced to life for his role in the genocide in december 2007.  Amongst other things, he was convicted for his role in the Ntarama Church.  Clea Koff describes the mass grave discovered at Ntarama in her brilliant book Bone Woman: Among the Dead in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Croatia.  Church massacres were common in Rwanda - people were lured to churches and places of safety (including a stadium in Kigali) and then they were massacred.  Sometimes they were buried in mass graves but often they were just left where they fell.  Karera committed great evil and it is a good thing that the ICtr upheld his life sentence.

Link: Rwanda: U.S. Plans to Deport Genocide Suspect, 07 February 2009

Léopold Munyakazi is a genocide-denier who has been living and teaching in Baltimore, USA.  He is accused of participating in the genocide and there seems to be some controversy over his deportation because he was an asylum-seeker in the US.  We'll see what the evidence present in this case but I am certain I have read his name before either in Left to Tell or Into the Quick of Life, two excellent witness account books on the Rwandan genocide.

Link: Belgium drops case on Rwanda two BBC News, 12 February 2009

This is an interesting one.  Charles Kayongo and Jack Nziza were generals in the Rwandan Patriotic Front.  The RPF's victory over government forces in 1994 effectively ended the genocide.  Their leader, Paul Kagame, is currently president of Rwanda. 

Now, no one knows who shot down the plane of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994.  This assassination sparked the genocide.  Of all the books I have read on Rwanda, some raise the possibility that the plane was shot down by conflict-hungry Hutus or members of Habyarimana's own family but most acknowledge that we will never know who shot that plane down (see Season of Blood by Feargal Keane).  Most texts acknowledge that it was possible that it was shot down by RPF rebels but not many people believe this.

When France decided to pursue action against former-RDF generals, it caused a great diplomatic crisis.  In August 2008, Rwanda accused France of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994 and diplomatic ties were severed. 



  1. hey maybe you could add this one:

    it's about a photographer's project involving taking pictures of rwandan women survivors and their children.


  2. @ Anquan: Hi! Thanks for the link! I will blog about it tomorrow.

    Do you have a blog yourself?


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