31 May 2012 The United Nations tribunal trying key suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda today convicted the country’s former youth minister of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Callixte Nzabonimana was convicted of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Based in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, the tribunal was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during three months beginning in April 1994.
Mr. Nzabonimana was found to have instigated the killing of Tutsis taking refuge at the Nyabikenke commune office in April 1994, and to have directly and publicly incited the killing of Tutsis in three incidents. He was also found guilty of entering into two separate agreements to kill Tutsis in Gitarama prefecture.
Mr. Nzabonimana was arrested in February 2008 in Tanzania, and his trial began in November 2009.
Also today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) dismissed the Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant for Sylvestre Mudacumura, a Rwandan rebel leader allegedly responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The application that was submitted on 15 May did not provide “proper counts or any other kind of accompanying description of the specific facts underlying the crimes” allegedly committed in the eastern Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu, said the Court.
It failed to “set out the specific references to the alleged crimes” as requested by the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, it added.
Mr. Mudacumura is the supreme commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, also known by its French acronym FDLR, which has been involved in crimes in eastern DRC for some time.
Based in The Hague, the ICC is the first permanent international court set up to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
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