Arusha, 18 April 2008 (FH) - An employee of the World Food Programme (WFP), an independent body of the United Nations, Mr Jean Nepomuscene Munyangabe, who was accused of participating in the 1994 genocide, has been acquitted by semi-traditional Gacaca court ,southern Rwanda, after an appeal trial, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The UN employee was acquitted a fornight ago by court of the Mbuye sector, Nyanza district, Southern Province, according to an observer from the Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR).

He was prosecuted for the murder of two women and for having taken part in a road block during the 1994 genocide, according to the observer reached by telephone in Kigali.

Munyangabe had initially been convicted in absentia to 18 years in prison while he was away working for the WFP in Chad. After having learned the news, he returned to the country to file an appeal before being arrested on 3 January.

The source said that the appeal trial had attracted observers from the organization of genocide survivors (IBUKA), Rwandan Leagues and Associations for the Defence of Human Rights (CLADHO), Penal Reform International (PRI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as the Rwandan Human Rights Commission (CNDP).

"We do not know if Munyangabe has returned to his work in Chad after his acquittal ", added the source.


© Hirondelle News Agency