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Ex-Rwanda army officer jailed for life over killing of Tutsi queen

UN war crimes court sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life over 1994 genocide role

Rwanda france extradition 2012 03 31Enlarge
Hutu militias killed between 800,000 and one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Tanzania-based UN war crimes court for Rwanda has sentenced a former army officer to life imprisonment over his involvement in the country’s 1994 genocide.

Ildephonse Nizeyimana, 48, who headed up military and intelligence operations at the ESO military school during the genocide and was arrested in Uganda in 2009, was convicted of ordering the murder of the former Tutsi queen, Rosalie Gicanda, as well as other killings, the BBC reported.

He was acquitted of rape charges, according to Reuters.

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"Having considered the gravity of the crimes... the chamber has the discretion to impose a single sentence and chooses to do so," the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which sits in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, said in a statement.

"Considering the relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life imprisonment," it said.

Up to 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed over a 100-day period that stretched across April, May and June 1994. Nizeyimana will be the last member of the old Rwandan army to be tried over the genocide by the ICTR, which aims to complete its lower court cases this month and wind up outstanding appeals by 2014, the Agence France Presse reported

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120619/ex-rwanda-army-officer-jailed-life-over-killing-tutsi-queen