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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid