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French court jails former Rwanda mayors over genocide

A French court has sentenced two former Rwandan mayors to life in prison for their role in the 1994 genocide

Tito Barahira, 65, and Octavien Ngenzi, 58, were found guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide.

They were accused of playing leading roles in the massacre of 2,000 ethnic Tutsis who sought refuge in a church in the town of Kabarondo.

Both men had denied any involvement in the killings.

They were arrested separately on French territory a few years ago and have been in custody ever since.Survivors of the church massacre testified at the two men’s trial, the BBC reports, mentioning the testimony of Marie Mukamunana, who said she lost seven children and her husband when they were butchered with machetes and grenades.
"Someone said ’don’t waste the bullets’ and they continued with machetes," she said.
"To kill one man, hatred is sufficient. To kill 1,000, you need organization," Gilles Paruelle, a lawyer for the civil parties in the case, said.

Attacks on Tutsis in Kabarondo began after Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed when a rocket attack targeted his plane.

About 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, died at the hands of Hutu extremists during the Rwandan genocide.

It is the second case of its kind to be brought in France, after Rwandan army captain Pascal Simbikangwa was jailed for 25 years over the mass killings.


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