Washington DC, May 20, 2011 (FH) - The State Department issued a statement on May 19 to welcome the ruling convicting and sentencing four Rwandan security officials for their role in the 1994 genocide.

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The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) handed down on Tuesday a 30-year term against General Augustin Bizimungu for genocide. It also ordered the immediate release of former Chief of Staff of Rwandan Gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana after a Trial Chamber sentenced him to time served since his arrest in Belgium on January 29, 2000. Ex-Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, a member of the unity, were ordered to remain behind bars for 20 years each after being convicted of crime against humanity and war crimes.

According to the statement released by the Office of the Spokesman, "The United States welcomes the ruling as an important step in providing justice and accountability for the Rwandan people and the international community. The conviction of Mr. Bizimungu, in particular, shows that even those at the highest levels of military leadership are not immune from prosecution in the face of such grave atrocities."


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