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Munyagishari Bernard gets life in prison for genocide crimes

Munyagishari accused of leading and co-ordinating attacks on minority Tutsis during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the mass slaughter, Rwanda’s high court said on Thursday.


Munyagishari, who headed a government-allied militia known as the Interahamwe in Rwanda’s west, was convicted of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Lawyers for Munyagishari said they would appeal.

Timothée Kanyegeri, one of the three judges who convicted him, said Munyagishari had trained the militia in how to distinguish the Hutu from Tutsis. He also "told them that to kill as [for a] snake, you have to hit hard the head, otherwise it will sneak away", the judge said.

Kanyegeri said Munyagishari had transported members of the militia in buses as they went to kill the Tutsis in Rwanda’s former district of Gisenyi and had personally helped distribute guns, machetes, axes and clubs used in the killings.

Munyagishari was arrested in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011. His case was transferred to Rwanda in 2013 from Arusha, Tanzania, where the now-closed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was based.

Jimirasire

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