Ibuka queries Munyenyezi’s charges

IBUKA, an umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations, has expressed dissatisfaction with charges which were pressed against Beatrice Munyenyezi who was handed a 10-year sentence by the US District Court on Monday.

IBUKA, an umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations, has expressed dissatisfaction with charges which were pressed against Beatrice Munyenyezi who was handed a 10-year sentence by the US District Court on Monday.

Munyenyezi was sentenced after being found guilty of lying about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi while applying for US citizenship.

The 43-year old was convicted in February of entering the United States and securing citizenship particularly with regard to her role during the 1994 Genocide against theTutsi. She also denied affiliation with any political party, despite her husband Arsene Shalom Ntahobali’s leadership role in the then ruling party Mouvement Républicain National pour la démocratie et le développement (MRND).

Delivering the verdict, US District Judge, Steven McAuliffe, said the United States cannot be a haven for those who slaughter out of hatred and ignorance.

Munyenyezi entered the US in 1998 and acquired citizenship in 2003. She was convicted in February and her citizenship was stripped immediately.

Reacting to the verdict, Dr Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the president of Ibuka, said the US justice system should instead have tried her for genocide.

“They had all the proof that she actually directly participated in the Genocide. They should have charged her for this as well otherwise, everyone who lies on the immigration papers can be sentenced to 10 years irrespective of what that person lied about,” said Dusingizemungu.

Ibuka worked closely with the US investigators during the trial of Munyenyezi and according to the organisation’s legal advisor, Polycarpe Ntagwabira, Munyenyezi is alleged to have led the killings as well as instructed Interahamwe militia to rape and murder Tutsi women.

The New Times
understands that National Public Prosecutions Authority had preferred genocide charges against the convict but the file can now be reopened after she has served her sentence.

Munyenyezi’s husband Arsene Shalom Ntahobali,  and his mother,  Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, who was then the minister for women’s development - were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda and sentenced to life in prison in June 2011 for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes of violence. They were deemed to be high-ranking members of the MRND party that orchestrated savage attacks on Tutsis.

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