A woman who served a 10-year sentence in US prison for lying about her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide to obtain American citizenship was deported to Rwanda on Friday. She was arrested upon her arrival in Rwanda and now faces several charges.
Beatrice Munyenyezi had lived in the United States since 1998. She failed to disclose during her citizenship application that she had been a member of Rwanda’s ruling MRND party, which helped carry out the killings. During her trial, witnesses testified that Munyenyezi staffed a roadblock outside her home where she checked IDs and decided who would be allowed to pass and who would be detained pending almost certain death. She served a 10-year sentence in the state of Alabama.
The Rwandan genocide took place in 1994, when about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin. About 85 percent of Rwandans are Hutus, but the Tutsi minority has long dominated the country. The Hutus saw the violence as an opportunity to establish their dominance.
Thierry Murangira, the spokesman for the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation, said that Beatrice Munyenyezi will be charged for crimes ranging from murder to complicity in rape, which occurred as she was manning a roadblock in the southern city of Butare. He added, “Munyenyezi’s deportation means a lot in terms of justice delivery to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi because our case file was already in place.”