Pastors appear before Gacaca

MUHANGA - Two pastors of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR) were this week summoned by Gacaca Court in Muhanga over Genocide crimes at Nyabisindu.
Théophile Nkundiye with right hand raised, the accused ADEPR Pastor makes a baptismal prayer in Gitarama prison recently. (Photo: D. Sabiiti)
Théophile Nkundiye with right hand raised, the accused ADEPR Pastor makes a baptismal prayer in Gitarama prison recently. (Photo: D. Sabiiti)

MUHANGA - Two pastors of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR) were this week summoned by Gacaca Court in Muhanga over Genocide crimes at Nyabisindu.

Pastor Théophile Nkudiye and Epiphania Nyiragendahimana, are accused of complicity in the murder of about 560 Tutsi who were killed at Nyabisindu Church.

They are also accused of concealing necessary information which could lead to the apprehension of more suspects.

Failure to divulge information on Genocide crimes is punishable under gacaca legal guidelines.

Survivors allege that the two pastors and other church leaders still at large were actively involved in the killings.

Court also heard that the ADEPR Church has previously blocked efforts of bringing Genocide perpetrators to book.

However, the pair denied the charges leveled against them and instead named some other pastors who allegedly drafted names of targeted Tutsi christians, who had sought refuge at the church.

Hearing of the case continues today.

The Gacaca area coordinator, Gonzalez Munyakayanza, said that 18 cases have been lined up, including that of prominent pastors - Jean Segahutu, Enock Nyandwi, Simon Pierre Gatera and his wife Maria Goretti Upfuyisoni.

Upfuyisoni is a former member of parliament for UNCDK- a christian political party which was based in ex-Gitarama province.

Munyakayanza said: “some of the cases have a long chain of people implicated in them. But more information is to be gathered during the hearing.

As we draw closer to conclusion of gacaca we expect more cases to be brought forward.”

Ends

 

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