Woman Sentenced To Life in Prison For Involvement In Rwanda Genocide
One of the key players in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, during which almost a million Tutsi people were slaughtered in one of the most tragic ethnic cleansing act of the century.
After ten years of process, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, 65, former politician in the town of Butare, at the south-western border, known as a tyrant and an instigator to genocide, was sentenced to life in prison by an international court in Tanzania.
Along with her, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, her son, was also sentenced to life in prison for organizing militias that carried out execution of Tutsi and kidnapping and raping of many women in the town of Butare.
During the process, the court had to hear reports about how Pauline Nyiramasuhuko had instigated her son to commit atrocities against the Tutsis, and how people who had taken refuge inside governmental buildings found themselves executed by those who were expected to shelter them, at her orders.
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko is the first and the only woman to be tried and sentenced by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
She fled Rwanda as soon as the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the Tutsi liberation rebel army, and went to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she stayed in a camp until she was arrested three years later.
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was a friend of Agathe Habyarimana, president’s wife, which helped her climb the social ladder to the rank of minister.
Butare, a small city at the border with Burundi, used to be a place where Tutsis and Hutus got along fine, until the genocide began.
The massacre started in the rest of the country on April 7, but it took until April 21 for the first people to be killed in Butare.
Nyiramasuhuko asked the governor of the region to start killing Tutsis, and, as he refused, she had him arrested and murdered. Then she called the Interhamwe militia from the capital Kigali to help her carry out the execution of the innocent Tutsis.11