Re: Rwanda: priests helped massacre Tutsis

JENNAFER WAGGONER (refugee@gte.net)
Mon, 27 Aug 1956 16:45:28 +0000


World Homeless Union wrote:
> 
> Rwandan priests to die for aiding Tutsi massacre
> ================================================
> 
> Rwandan children gaze at the skulls of those massacred during the
> 1994 genocide
> 
> April 18, 1998
> Web posted at: 11:42 a.m. EDT (1542 GMT)
> 
> KIGALI, Rwanda[44] (CNN) -- Two Roman Catholic priests have been
> sentenced to die for their part in a 1994 Hutu-led genocide, the
> Rwandan Information Agency reported Saturday.
> 
> The priests were accused of encouraging hundreds of parishioners
> to seek refuge in their church in Nyange just before the building
> was attacked by Hutu soldiers, according to prosecutors. The
> priests then allegedly brought in a bulldozer to destroy the
> building where the bodies lay, crushing those who remained alive.
> 
> Jean Francois Kayiranga and Edouard Nkurikiye are the first
> church officials convicted of helping marauding Hutu extremists
> kill about 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
> 
> A Rwandan war-crimes tribunal in Kibuye, 75 kilometers (46 miles)
> west of Kigali, on Thursday found the priests guilty of genocide
> and complicity to genocide in the deaths of 2,000 Tutsis in April
> 1994.
> 
> About half of Rwanda's 7.2 million people are Roman Catholic.
> 
> A survivor of the massacre told the court that the Interahamwe,
> the extremist Hutu militia, attacked the church with axes, picks
> and grenades for two days.
> 
> "When they started shooting the men, women and children taking
> refuge in the church, I hid in the bell tower with some friends.
> After a while, they spotted us and opened fire," said Charles
> Kagenza, 36.
> 
> 'They thought I was dead'
> 
> After the slaughter, a bulldozer was brought in to demolish the
> church, said Kagenza, who had been knocked unconscious by a
> machete blow but woke up in time to escape.
> 
> About 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the
> 1994 genocide
> 
> "They thought I was dead. During the night, I climbed out from
> under the bricks and I fled," he said. Only five others survived
> the killings, he added.
> 
> Kayiranga and Nkurikiye also were charged with involvement in
> another church massacre in Nyundo, 20 kilometers (12 miles) east
> of the border town of Gisenyi. It wasn't clear from the state
> radio report what role the priests allegedly played in those
> killings.
> 
> Some Rwandan church officials are known to have collaborated with
> the Hutu extremists by luring people into churches and then
> leaving them to the killers.
> 
> Pope John Paul II has said those Catholics who played a role in
> the genocide should face the consequences of their actions.
> 
> The Hutu-organized killings ended in July 1994, when Tutsi
> soldiers won power. The first genocide trials began in 1996.
> 
> More than 300 people have been convicted so far on genocide
> charges, with about one-third receiving death sentences. None
> have been executed yet.
> 
> In Arusha, Tanzania, the United Nations has been separately
> trying the Rwandan genocide suspects. Of 35 indicted, 23 are in
> U.N. custody. The first verdict is expected later this year. The
> maximum penalty available to the international tribunal is life
> in prison.
> 
> The Associated Press contributed to this report.
> 
> co 1998 Cable News Network, Inc.
> A Time Warner Company
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