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Former Rwandan Army Officer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Genocide

Man rides past International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania (file photo)

A former Rwandan military officer was sentenced to life in prison Monday for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR, convicted Ildephonse Hategekimana on charges of genocide, murder, and rape.

The court said Hategekimana ordered the massacre of a group of Tutsis who had sought shelter at a church in Ngoma, in southern Rwanda. Hategekimana was a lieutenant at the time, and served as the commander of a nearby military camp.

A lawyer for Hategekimana said he will appeal the verdict.

Hategekimana was arrested in 2003 in the Republic of Congo, and was transferred to the ICTR, based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Rwandan Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the 1994 genocide.

The U.N. tribunal was set up to prosecute those most responsible for organizing the killings.