The Cour d’assises de Paris has handed former Gikongoro prefet, Laurent Bucyibaruta, a 20-year jail sentence for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. He was immediately placed under arrest following the sentencing. Bucyibaruta, 78, has lived in France for over two decades. His trial that started on May 9, lasted two months before the court delivered a sentence on Tuesday July 12. He was found guilty of charges complicity in Genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity. In pronouncing the ruling, the court gave Bucyibaruta 10 days to appeal the decision. Reacting to the sentence, the president of the Ibuka, an umbrella association of survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Egide Nkuranga, said that Genocide survivors would have wished for a life sentence. “At least after all these years moving freely in France, he was finally brought before justice but there is more to that; when a person like Bucyibaruta appears before court, there is a lot we get to know about the Genocide, how it happened and other people that may have been involved,” said Nkuranga. Nkuranga pointed out that their wish would have been life sentence which he said sets a precedent on similar cases tried outside Rwanda because many people outside the country do not know much about the Genocide or the magnitude of the crime of Genocide. “A life sentence would as well contribute significantly to silencing Genocide deniers because it would give us a good reference to counter them.” Prosecution had also sought a life sentence for the man who is responsible for the death of thousands of Tutsi in the former Gikongoro Prefecture in southern Rwanda, where he was the overall leader. He was indicted on charges of genocide, complicity in genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity, which he all denies. The prosecution team comprised on Céline Viguier and Sophie Havard had sought a life imprisonment on grounds that he constituted an essential component that facilitated the implantation of the Genocide against the Tutsis Bucyibaruta, who has been dubbed by survivors ‘the Butcher of Gikongoro’ is specifically accused of masterminding the massacres of Tutsis in Murambi, Cyanika, Kaduha and Kibeho. The verdict Bucyibaruta attended several meeting and appeared on several roadblocks where Tutsis were being killed – for which court convicted him for complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. He however was also found guilty of complicity in the Genocide and crimes against humanity that happened at Ecole Marie-Merci in Kibeho. Other massacres where court found him to have conspired in execution included the killings that happened in Murambi, Cyanika and Kaduha Who is Bucyibaruta Born in 1944 in the former Gikongoro prefecture Bucyibaruta became the prefet of his home prefecture on July 4, 1992 and held the position until July 1994. He participated as an activist in the MRND genocidal party and the head of the prefectural committee of the Interahamwe movement, the youth organization that executed the genocide. In December 1993, during a public rally at Gikongoro market, he made a speech in which he encouraged financial contributions from the population in order to buy arms to fight the “Tutsi enemy”. Bucyibaruta further ordered, on several occasions, soldiers and Interahamwe militia in his command to commit several massacres against the Tutsis. Additionally, on April 10, 1994, Bucyibaruta encouraged many Tutsi to go to the Murambi Technical School where they were promised food. However, the Tutsis who gathered in the school were killed on April 20 and April 21, 1994 by gendarmes, policemen and armed interahamwe. Over 50,000 were killed at the school. Bucyibaruta fled Rwanda for France in 1997.