The Belgian government has welcomed the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s (ICTR) sentencing of Colonel Théoneste Bagosora and two others to life imprisonment for genocide crimes.
This was revealed last week by the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry in a communiqué in which Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, underscored his government’s satisfaction with the ICTR’s verdict.
In the statement released by Bart Ouvry, the Ministry’s spokesperson, De Gucht is reported to have affirmed Belgium’s satisfaction by the ICTR ruling, fourteen years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He explained that the ruling is a source of hope for the victims’ families since the international community established the truth on the Genocide.
Last week, Bagosora, who is said to have been the mastermind of the Genocide and two others, were sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide while another suspect Gen Gratien Kabiligi was acquitted.
The acquittal of Kabiligi, a former director of operations for the Ex-Far, has been contested by the Rwandan government.
Bagosora, a very influential officer during the pre-Genocide Rwanda was also found guilty by the Tanzania-based UN tribunal, of ordering the assassination of ten Belgian Blue Helmets who were in charge of protecting former Premier Agathe Uwilingiimana.
Uwilingiyimana was also killed on Bagosora’s orders. The two who were sentenced alongside Bagosora are Major Aloys Ntabakuze, a former Commander of the Para Commando Battalion and Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, a former Commander of the Operational Sector of Gisenyi.
The mastermind of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, also considered as the Heinrich Himmler of Rwanda, Bagosora championed an ideology as hateful and ultimately as deadly as the man who oversaw the Jewish Holocaust.