Rwanda priest jailed for genocide

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A former Rwandan priest has been given a 25-year jail sentence for committing genocide, sexual assault and kidnapping during the 1994 killings in Rwanda.

Emmanuel Rukundo, a former army chaplain, took part in the abduction of Tutsis who sought refuge at a seminary, many of whom were later killed.

6 April: Rwandan Hutu President Habyarimana killed when plane shot down
April-July: An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed
July: Tutsi-led rebel movement RPF captures Rwanda’s capital Kigali
July: Two million Hutus flee to Zaire, now DR Congo

 Rwanda’s 100 days of genocide

A UN war crimes court also convicted him of the attempted rape of a young Tutsi woman.

Some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 100 days.

Rukundo was arrested in Geneva in 2001 and will receive credit for the time already spent in detention.

The court said that Rukundo monitored local Tutsis and was often accompanied by soldiers and militiamen during the violence.

“The accused was found to have abused his moral authority and influence to promote the abduction and killing of Tutsi refugees,” the UN court said.

“Rukundo’s acts were clearly part of the genocide,” said Judge Joseph Asoka de Silva after the judgement had been delivered.

“When he committed these crimes, he intended to completely or partially destroy the Tutsi ethnic group.”

Prosecutors had demanded life in prison for Rukundo.

He is the second Roman Catholic priest to have been convicted of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha. Rukundo has up to 30 days to appeal against his sentence.


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