Thursday, December 18, 2008


I saw this on yahoo today and was surprised that it had taken so long for The "mastermind" behind the 1994 Rwanda massacre to receive his penalty.

ARUSHA, Tanzania – The main organizer behind the 1994 slaughter of more than 500,000 people in Rwanda was convicted of genocide Thursday and sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a U.N. tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice.

Col. Theoneste Bagosora was found guilty of crimes against humanity, and the court said he used his position as director of Rwanda's Ministry of Defense to direct Hutu soldiers to kill Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The court said that Bagosora, who had authority over the Rwandan military, was responsible for the deaths of former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian peacekeepers who tried to protect her as she was killed at the outset of the genocide.

Bagosora, 67, said nothing as the verdict was delivered, and there was complete silence from the scores of people who had packed into the aisles of the tiny courtroom to hear the judgment.

His conviction was welcomed by genocide survivors, who still live uneasily among perpetrators in Rwanda's green hills nearly 15 years later.

Some 63,000 people are suspected of taking part in the genocide, although many of them have been sentenced by community-based courts, where suspects were encouraged to confess and seek forgiveness in exchange for lighter sentences.


more here