Government welcomes life sentence against Genocide suspect in Sweden

Dr Bizimana speaks during a past event. Nadege Imbabazi.

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has commended the Swedish judiciary after it handed a life sentence to Théodore Rukeratabaro, a Rwandan, for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Stockholm District Court Wednesday found him guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. His trial begun on September 27, last year.

 Rukeratabaro arrived in Sweden in1998 and settled in Örebro Municipality. He acquired Swedish nationality in 2006 where he changed his name to “Théodore Tabaro” in an attempt, survivors say, to disguise and evade justice.

He was born in Rusizi District, Mururu Sector, Kabahinda Cell, formerly Cyimbogo Commune, in  Cyangugu Prefecture.

According to a statement by Jean-Damascène Bizimana, the CNLG Executive Secretary, during the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, Rukeratabaro was a gendarme (present day police) who was involved in perpetration of the Genocide in his native Sector, Winteko, Nyakanyinya and Mibirizi where hundreds of Tutsi had sought refuge.

“CNLG urges other countries to emulate the good example of Sweden and to respect their international obligations to prosecute genocide suspects on their territories or to extradite them to Rwanda as provided for by Resolution 2150 of the UN Security Council,” reads part of the statement.

The Commission says that on April 9, 1994, in partnership with Modeste Karemera who was a judge, Jean Katabarwa who was a Sector leader, Jean Nsengiyumva and several other members of Interahamwe militia in Winteko, together with other gendarmes led an attack that killed several Tutsi in Winteko after chasing them out of their hideouts in in bush.

On April 13, 1994, the CNLG says, he led an attack from Winteko which killed the Tutsi who had fled to Nyakanyinya primary school. They also raped and defiled women and girls.

“This attack comprised Interahamwe from the sectors of Mururu, Nyakanyinya and Winteko. They killed over 3,000 Tutsi using guns, grenades, machetes and clubs.”

Rukeratabaro also led an attack from Winteko to massacre Tutsi who had sought refuge at Mibirizi parish of where several Tutsi were killed towards the end of April 1994.

Rukeratabaro was also involved in killings of the Tutsi who fled to Rusizi Stadium (formerly referred to as Kamarampaka Stadium) where he came with lists and, in collaboration with soldiers of the genocidal government, took some of those Tutsi out of the stadium and killed them in a place called Gatandara.

Several Tutsi selected among others from Kamarampaka stadium were savagely killed in Gatandara.

Apart from Rukeratabaro, on February 15, 2017, the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, upheld the life sentence imposed on Claver Berinkindi, a Rwandan who acquired Swedish citizenship in 2012 after finding him guilty of Genocide he committed in the former Prefecture of Butare in addition Stanisilas Mbanenande who was also handed a life sentence on June 20, 2013.

Rwanda has issued 914 arrest warrants against suspects of the Genocide against the Tutsi, distributed in African, European and North American countries of which 22 were tried while 18 were extradited to Rwanda.


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