Rwandan ex-officer gets life for genocide

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iol pic afr rwanda genocide victims REUTERS Shelves of skulls are seen at the Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Rwanda in 2002. Photo: Antony Njuguna / Reuters

Dar Es Salaam - The U.N. war crimes court for Rwanda sentenced former military officer Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life in prison on Tuesday after he was found guilty of involvement in his country's 1994 genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Arusha in Tanzania, convicted Nizeyimana, 48, of authorising the killing of Rwanda's former Tutsi queen, Rosalie Gicanda, towards the end of April 1994, and other murders.

“Having considered the gravity of the crimes ... the chamber has the discretion to impose a single sentence and chooses to do so. Considering the relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life imprisonment,” the ICTR said in a statement on its website.

Prosecutors said Nizeyimana, who was convicted of genocide, murder and extermination, ordered troops to kill several people in his position as captain of a military training school.

The tribunal acquitted the former Rwandan military officer of rape charges.

Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in the tiny east African country in just 100 days between April and June 1994.

To date, the ICTR has delivered judgements in 72 cases, of which 17 have appeals pending and 10 were acquittals. - Reuters

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