Ex-top Rwanda official jailed for genocide in France

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A French court on Tuesday jailed a former senior Rwandan official for 20 years after finding him guilty of complicity in the African nation’s genocide, media reported…reports Asian Lite News

Laurent Bucyibaruta is the highest-ranking Rwandan to have faced trial in France over the 1994 massacre in which an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in 100 days of mass killings, the Daily Sabah reported quoting AFP.

The United Nations set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1994 in Arusha, Tanzania, just months after the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis, were killed.

In September 1998, it became the first international tribunal to hand down a conviction for genocide. The court issued dozens of rulings, from life sentences to acquittals, before closing in late 2015.

Its work was taken over by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) office in Arusha, where the overall MICT chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, is based.

Felicien Kabuga, an alleged financier of the genocide, is due to be tried “as soon as possible” at The Hague after a U.N. court ruled in June that he was fit to stand.

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Kabuga, arrested near Paris in 2020 after 25 years on the run, is accused of helping to create the Interahamwe Hutu militia, the main armed group involved in the massacres, according to the UN, it was reported.

In the years following the genocide, more than 120,000 people were detained and accused of bearing criminal responsibility for their participation in the killings, according to a UUN report.

To deal with such an overwhelming number of perpetrators, a judicial response was pursued on three levels: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the national court system,, and the Gacaca courts, according to the report.

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