Arusha, 19 December 2008 (FH)-The Rwandan government has expressed its dismay over Thursday's decision by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to acquit General Gratien Kabiligi, former Head of Military Operations Bureau, over his role in the 1994 genocide.

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"The government of Rwanda is disappointed by the decision to acquit General Kabiligi and expects that the ICTR Prosecutor will appeal this decision," stated a press release issued Thursday by Rwanda's Ministry of Information and copied to Hirondelle Agency.

However, Kigali has welcomed life imprisonment imposed on Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and his co-accused Aloys Ntabakuze, Commander of Para Commando Battalion, and Anatole Nsengiyumva, Commander of Operational Sector of Gisenyi, northern Rwanda during the height of the April-July slaughter, which according to the UN claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

"Col Bagosora and his co-accused are among the highest ranking architects of the genocide; therefore, the completion of this judicial process is very important for the government and the people of Rwanda," concluded the half-a-page statement.

When contacted for a comment, Prosecutor Hassan Jallow, said that they were studying the judgement before deciding on their next move.

Delivering the ruling in the so called" Military 1 Trial", presiding judge Erik Mose, said that Bagosora was guilty of 1994 killings and held the highest authority in Rwandan Ministry of Defence with authority over the Rwandan military.

He was also responsible for the killing on 7 April, of Prime Minister Agathe Uwillingiyimana, Joseph Kavaruganda, the President of the Constitutional Court, as well as Frederic Nzamurambaho, Landoald Ndasingwa and Faustin Rucogoza, who were opposition party officials and government ministers. Bagosora was also found guilty in connection with the killing of ten Belgian peacekeepers who were killed by soldiers at Camp Kigali on 7 April.


© Hirondelle News Agency