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.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid