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Rwanda genocide tribunal gives military officer life sentence on genocide charges

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Tuesday sentenced former Rwandan Armed Forces Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho [case materials] to life imprisonment [press release; judgment summary, PDF] after convicting him of crimes in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Renzaho was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the Geneva Conventions [materials]. The court found that he supported killings by ordering the distribution of weapons to persons who killed Tutsis at roadblocks set up by him. The court additionally found that Renzaho supervised a selection process at a refugee site where about 40 Tutsis were abducted and killed, participated in an attack resulting in more than 100 Tutsi deaths, and encouraged the sexual abuse of women, which led to rape. The court acquitted Renzaho of complicity to commit genocide.

Renzaho's trial commenced [JURIST report] in January 2007 after the court heard testimony from 53 witnesses. He was originally arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002. The 1994 Rwandan genocide resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 people.

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