A United Nations war crimes tribunal has sentenced two former top Rwandan political leaders to life in prison, the latest convictions in the international effort to ensure justice for the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera were convicted on charges of genocide, rape and sexual assault as crimes against humanity, among other charges. Ngirumpaste was the president of the dominant party in the nation’s interim government, the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND). Karemera was Rwanda’s Minister of Interior and vice president of the MRND. Due to their roles in a joint criminal enterprise “to destroy the Tutsi population,” the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, or ICTR, found the two men responsible not only for their own criminal acts, but also the crimes committed by others under their command, including widespread rape and sexual assault against Tutsi women and girls.
The United States welcomes this ruling as an important step in providing justice and accountability for the Rwandan people and the international community.
There are still nine leaders of the Rwandan genocide sought by the ICTR who are still at large. The United States urges all nations to redouble their cooperation with the tribunal so that these fugitives can be expeditiously arrested and brought to justice.