Gov’t disappointed over Muvunyi sentence

Government has described as ‘too minor’ the 15 years imprisonment sentence handed to the former Rwandan military officer, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi by the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR). Muvunyi was on Thursday found guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, an account that led to his retrial.

Government has described as ‘too minor’ the 15 years imprisonment sentence handed to the former Rwandan military officer, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi by the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR).

Muvunyi was on Thursday found guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, an account that led to his retrial.

In the initial trial, the former military officer had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhumane acts.

“Given the number of people who died as a result of his words, he should have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” Augustine Nkusi, Spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) said.

The NPPA publicist added that lives would have been saved if it were not for the public inciting words he spoke at Gikore trading centre in Nyaruhengeri commune, Southern Province.

Muvunyi will be remembered for having used inflammatory language in 1994 which insinuated that when a snake coils itself onto a calabash, there remains no other alternative but to break the calabash.

Witnesses testified that this later incited ethnic differences calling for Hutu men married to Tutsi women to surrender them to be killed.

Meanwhile, while the ICTR prosecution said they were satisfied with the judgment, Muvunyi’s defence counsel on Thursday said that they would appeal against the sentence.

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