Woman minister guilty of genocide in Rwanda

DAR ES SALAAM, (Reuters) – The U.N. war crimes  tribunal for Rwanda today sentenced former families minister  Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life in prison for genocide and  incitement to rape, the court said.
A spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for  Rwanda (ICTR) said Nyiramasuhuko and her son, Arsene Shalom  Ntahobali were convicted of atrocities committed in Rwanda’s  southern Butare region during the 1994 massacre.
“She has been convicted for genocide and crimes against  humanity, including extermination, rape and persecution,” ICTR  spokesman Danford Mpumilwa told Reuters by telephone from the  court.
Nyiramasuhuko, 65, the first woman to be convicted of  genocide by the court, and her son faced a total of 11 charges.  The trial lasted 10 years.
“It’s shocking that this mother and former social worker,  trained to protect life, could instead have been responsible for  such appalling crimes,” said Freddy Mutanguha, Rwandan Country  Director for the Aegis Trust, the genocide prevention  organisation responsible for the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
The tribunal was set up in November 1994 to bring to justice  leaders of the genocide in which some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and  moderate Hutus were butchered to death in less than one hundred  days.
The tribunal, based in Arusha, northern Tanzania, allowed  the rape charge to be added on grounds that the accused knew her  subordinates were raping Tutsi women and failed to take measures  to prevent or punish them.

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