[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Thursday convicted former Rwandan army officer Tharcisse Muvunyi [ICTR case materials; Trial Watch profile] of direct and public incitement to genocide and sentenced [press release] him to 15 years imprisonment. Muvunyi was the highest placed military officer in charge of security operations in the prefectures of Butare and Gikongoro and former commander of a Rwandan school for non-military officers. He was charged [indictment, PDF] with inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis at the Gikore Center in Butare prefecture sometime in early May 1994. Muvunyi will receive credit for time served since his arrest in 2000.
The ICTR began the retrial of Muvunyi last June after setting aside [JURIST reports] a previous conviction due to insufficient evidence. Muvunyi was convicted [JURIST report] in September 2006 for his role in the ethnic separation and subsequent killing of orphaned children and the killing of at least 140 students and Red Cross workers. Last March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] pledged his ongoing support [JURIST report] for the ICTR and stressed that the international community must continue to combat genocide. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive] between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples, in which nearly 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, were killed.