HUYE - The Gacaca court of Ngoma recently sentenced in absentia a former vice Rector of the National University of Rwanda (NUR) to life imprisonment with special provisions for his role in the 1994 Genocide at the university, in which over 400 students and staff died.
Jean Berchmas Nshyimyumuremyi was found guilty of playing a role in the deaths of Tutsi students at the university.
Two other senior university officials; Anastase Nkuranga and Denis Mutagoma were also handed life sentences with special provisions.
During the trial, several witnesses accused the university’s top administration of being behind the planning of the Genocide at the university.
Court heard that several meetings chaired by Nshimyumuremyi were held at the university during the period leading to the Genocide.
Nshimyumuremyi along with other top university officials like Alphonse Rudatsikira and Anastase Nkuranga worked closely with local leaders in the former Butare Prefecture to carry out the massacres at the university, according to witness accounts.
During the hearing, various witnesses recalled how the university top administration led by the former vice Rector worked closely with the student’s guild to draw up lists of Tutsi students.
The students’ body set up a ‘crisis committee’ that played a vital role in identifying Tutsi students to be killed, witnesses said.
Mutagoma, the former human resources manager at the university, was found guilty of inciting the killings. Court heard that he compiled lists of Tutsis at the university to be killed and popularized the ‘Hutu 10 commandments’,
The ongoing trial of suspected perpetrators of Genocide at the university has also handled cases of people currently in leadership.
Early this month the same court tried legislator Theobald Mporanyi. In its ruling, the Ngoma Gacaca court placed the legislator in the first category of Genocide planners and consequently referred his case to ordinary courts.