News / Africa

France Begins First Rwandan Genocide Trial

This court sketch in Paris shows Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan army captain charged with complicity in the genocide that left 800,000 dead, on the first day of his trial, the first of its kind, in France, Feb. 4, 2014.
This court sketch in Paris shows Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan army captain charged with complicity in the genocide that left 800,000 dead, on the first day of his trial, the first of its kind, in France, Feb. 4, 2014.
VOA News
A court in France has opened the country's first trial related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

A former Rwandan army officer, Pascal Simbikangwa, is accused of supplying weapons and instructions to Hutu radicals during attacks that killed an estimated 800,000 people.

The 54-year-old defendant, who is confined to a wheelchair, could face life in prison if convicted.  He has pleaded not guilty to charges of complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity.

The trial is being hailed by rights advocates who accuse France of not doing enough to halt the genocide or bring its perpetrators to justice.

France had close ties to the government of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death in a plane crash set off the massacres of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Simbikangwa fled Rwanda after the genocide and was tracked down on the French island of Mayotte in 2008.

His lawyers have voiced fear he will not get a fair trial due to a lack of people to testify in his defense.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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by: Justice888 from: USA
February 04, 2014 2:43 PM
While we are on the subject of impunity-I would also like to see investigations and reports undertaken by the ICC on the drone strikes which now is tantamount to war crimes in Pakistan. It does not matter whether Pakistan impliedly accepts their breaches of their national sovereignty but civilians are dying.
See: Amnesty International Report: http://www.asil.org/event/cost-corruption-global-business
A grandmother is killed on the ground with grandchildren, as other children come to help a second strike kills the others. Its res ipsa locquiter, speaks for itself-is there a different standard being applied here?

In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
February 05, 2014 2:30 AM
The obvious culprit of drone killings is US. I mean nothing the world can do to stop it. US is also engaged drone killings against it's own citizens with disputable wrong doing.

ICC's primary goal seems to be only humiliating and hunting down African black leaders, because Africa happens to be on the wrong side of this earth!

by: Justice888 from: USA
February 04, 2014 1:36 PM
There is evidence that France and its leadership were also complicit in the genocide. China apparently sold all the machetes that killed thousands with knowledge of this deadly conflict. Why was this venue chosen rather than the Hague. Has France and China been vindicated of this crime against humanity? Where is the investigation and report? I am happy that there are prosecutions taking place but what about the others?

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