Prison term for Rwandan ex-president

A Rwandan court has sentenced former President Pasteur Bizimungu to 15 years imprisonment for charges that included creating a militia and inciting violence in the central African country.

Bizimungu became president in 1994 just after the genocide
Bizimungu became president in 1994 just after the genocide

Bizimungu, whose trial began on 1 April, was convicted on Monday of attempting to form a militia group, inciting violence and embezzlement, receiving a consecutive five-year jail sentence for each. He had denied all charges.

   

An ethnic Hutu, Bizimungu became president when the ruling Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took power in 1994 after the genocide in which extremists from the Hutu majority butchered 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus.

   

Paul Kagame, whose Tutsi-led RPF ended the 100 days of slaughter, was vice-president.

   

The double-act of Bizimungu, a French-speaking Hutu, and Kagame, an English-speaking Tutsi, was intended to symbolise post-genocide reconciliation.

   

However, their relationship soured, and in March 2000, Bizimungu resigned after falling out with top RPF members.

Source : Reuters

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