Rwandan woman expelled from US receives life sentence for genocide role

(MENAFN) A Rwandan woman who was expelled from the United States three years ago has been sentenced to life imprisonment for her role in the country's 1994 genocide, as reported by a Rwandan newspaper. The verdict was delivered by a court in the southern town of Huye, where Beatrice Munyenyezi was found guilty of multiple charges including murder as a genocide crime, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide, and complicity in rape. Notably, she was acquitted of a charge related to planning genocide.

The sentencing of Munyenyezi comes amidst Rwanda commemorating the 30th anniversary of the genocide, which occurred between April and July 1994 and resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis but also moderate Hutus, according to UN estimates. Despite vehemently denying all charges against her, the court concluded that Munyenyezi played a direct role in orchestrating and perpetrating acts of violence, including ordering murders and attacks, such as the rape of a nun on her command.

Referred to as the "commander," Munyenyezi was implicated in overseeing a roadblock in Huye, then known as Butare, where she reportedly identified Tutsis and facilitated their killings. Additionally, she was accused of inciting Hutu extremists to commit acts of sexual violence against women.

Munyenyezi's deportation from the United States in April 2021 garnered significant attention, as she had served a ten-year prison sentence there for providing false information about her involvement in the genocide in her pursuit of American citizenship. Her case gained further prominence due to her familial ties to Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her mother-in-law and a former minister in the genocidal regime, as well as her husband Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, a former local militia leader, both of whom were also standing trial for genocide crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.



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