Rwanda Genocide Suspects On Trial

Linked to our presentation of Luc Walleyn on December 30, 2005.

13 May 2005 – Two Rwandan half-brothers, suspected of participating in the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s, are on trial in Brussels, Belgium. Etienne Nzabonimana and Samuel Ndashyikirwa are accused of providing transportation, storage space for weapons, and beer to people who murdered some fifty-thousand Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Kibungo, the region southwest of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Luc Walleyn, former president of the organization Lawyers without Borders, said, “The trial is important because the slaughter in and around Kibungo was extremely bad.”

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is also holding trials of those charged with genocide. Dozens of Rwandan leaders have been convicted. They include former Rwandan prime minister Jean Kambanda and Hassan Ngeze, editor of the magazine “Kangura.” He used his publication to urge Hutu readers to murder Tutsis.

The killings in Rwanda began in April 1994, after a mysterious plane crash killed Rwanda’s president, Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu. Over a one-hundred day period, more than eight-hundred-thousand people, mostly Tutsis, were massacred by Habyarimana supporters. Tens of thousands of children lost their parents. Thousands of women were raped. Many later died as a result of being infected with AIDS. Hundreds of thousands fled Rwanda.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli says the U.S. is offering reward money leading to the arrest of any person indicted by the U-N tribunal for Rwanda. People with information concerning the whereabouts of Felicien Kabuga, a Rwandan alleged to have helped finance the genocide, or others wanted by the U-N tribunal should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The U.S., Mr. Ereli says, “has worked continuously to help bring those responsible for these heinous acts [in Rwanda] to justice, and we continue to stand with the people of Rwanda as they seek to rebuild their country in the aftermath of the genocide.”

The U-N-sponsored trials, says Mr. Ereli, serve as “a warning worldwide that those who would commit such acts will face justice.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.

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