6 July 2010

Rwanda: Kanombe Survivors Pin Genocide Suspect

Kigali — The Gacaca Court of Gahogo, Nyamabuye, in Muhanga District, yesterday, heard that Sophanie Rutayisire, a key Genocide suspect, participated in the killing of over 80 Tutsi who had sought refuge in B.G.M. Rubirizi College, near his home.

Rutayisire was living in Rubirizi, Kicukiro District during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. During the Genocide, He was the Sous Prefet of Kigali.

Several witnesses from Rubirizi where the crimes were committed testified that Rutayisire, together with a group of Interhamwe, raided the College, killed many people and later herded some Tutsi to unknown destinations.

"It's now sixteen years, but these people have never been seen again. He must explain what happened to them," one witness, Joseph Habimana told court.

According to the witnesses, Rutayisire was working with several powerful personalities, loyal to Juvenal Habyarimana, to eliminate Tutsi.

During the testimony, Karekezi Amuli, the former Conseiller of Biryogo, in Kigali, testified that he and Rutayisire organized several meetings to kill Tutsi in Rubirizi.

Karekezi was convicted by the area Gacaca court and sentenced to life imprisonment. Rutayisire denied all the charges. The Gahogo court had earlier convicted Rutayisire and sentenced him to life imprisonment in absentia but he later contested the ruling.

He petitioned National Gacaca president to have his case heard again. The final ruling on the matter is set for today.

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