Rwanda welcomes US court decision to uphold conviction for genocidaire

The Government has welcomed the US judiciary decision for denying an appeal bid by Beatrice Munyenyezi, a woman serving a 10-year sentence for lying about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Munyenyezi lost appeal against prison sentence and will now serve her term and get deported. / File
Munyenyezi lost appeal against prison sentence and will now serve her term and get deported. / File

The Government has welcomed the US judiciary decision for denying an appeal bid by Beatrice Munyenyezi, a woman serving a 10-year sentence for lying about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyenyezi’s appeal was rejected last week after the judge of federal courthouse in New Hampshire found no merit of the appeal.

Munyenyezi was sentenced in 2013 for lying about her role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi to gain a US citizenship which she had been granted earlier.

She’s serving her sentence in a federal prison in Alabama and faces deportation after serving her jail term.

According to Rwandan officials, Munyenyezi is a wanted Genocide suspect who played a major role in the 1994 Genocide in the former Butare Prefecture, now Huye District.

Munyenyezi is a wife of Arsene Ntahobali, who, together with his mother Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, were sentenced to life in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for their role in the Genocide.

During the previous trial, prosecutors described Munyenyezi as a “piece in the machinery” of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, saying she did not carry out the killings but was just as guilty of those crimes because she helped identify Tutsi to be slaughtered at a roadblock outside of her family’s hotel in the former Butare Prefecture.

She was also described as an active member of the then ruling party, National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), that ordered for the massacre of Tutsi.

During the trial, several witnesses described seeing Munyenyezi in that party’s clothing.

According to Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the decision to deny the appeal bid shows that the US is cognizant of the genocide, a crime punishable worldwide and by every country as stipulated in the 1948 International Conventions.

“CNLG welcomes the decision because Munyenyezi is a notorious (genocidaire) due to her role in the killings in the current Huye where she worked with her husband and her mother-in-law, who was a minister in the government that prepared and executed the genocide,” Bizimana told The New Times yesterday.

Nyiramasuhuko was the minister of family welfare and women promotion during the Genocide.

Warning gesture

Bizimana said the US court’s decision was a positive move and a sign that no matter how much Genocide suspects continue to seek havens, their whereabouts will be exposed and they will face justice.

He said he was optimistic that the next step will be her deportation as it has been the case for other suspects who were arrested in the US and deported to Rwanda.

They include Prof. Leopold Munyakazi, who was found guilty of committing and denying genocide; Jean Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, alias Zuzu, who was deported from US in 2011.

Others include Enos Kagaba and Marie Claire Mukeshimana who committed genocide in the former Kibuye and Butare prefectures, respectively.

“All these are examples proving that US does not accept that those who committed genocide in Rwanda should live freely in the country without facing justice,other countries should emulate this,” Bizimana added.

‘Good cooperation’

According to Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Munyenyezi is a wanted Genocide suspect and has to face justice. Also, the decision by the US court to reject her appeal is an indication of better cooperation between the US and Rwanda, which should be an example for other countries.

“My comment is that the cooperation in justice between Rwanda and the US should be an example to a few remaining countries in the West that are still dragging their feet,” he added.

After the Genocide, Munyenyezi found her way to the US and lied on immigration forms about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and obtained citizenship, according to the officials.

When US law were informed that she was wanted to face justice, it was found as well that she had obtained residence on the basis of lies and it was revoked.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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