The Hague, March 1, 2013 – A Dutch court on Thursday sentenced a woman of Rwandan origin to 6 years and 8 months in jail for incitement to genocide in her Gikondo neighbourhood of Kigali in 1994. The judges nevertheless acquitted her of other charges of incitement to commit genocide, war crimes and murder.

0 min 54Approximate reading time

Yvonne Basebya, a 66-year who has acquired Dutch nationality, listened to the judgment for nearly three hours, looking strained. Presiding judge René Elkerbout rejected all mitigating circumstances, saying that she had always had “this anti-Tutsi mentality” and had shown no sympathy for the survivors of the 1994 genocide. Neither had she shown any remorse since the trial started on October 22, 2012, he said.

This is the first genocide trial to be held in a Dutch court.  

The convict is the wife of former MRND member of parliament Augustin Basebya and belonged to the Coalition pour la défense de la République (CDR) political party, which had an “extremely racist ideology”, according to the judges. The judges based the conviction for incitement on her activism within the CDR, including participation in meetings and recruitment of youth.

The judges considered that in 1994, Yvonne Basebya had “great prestige and moral authority” in Gikondo, but that she did not actually led the militia. They found that she recruited people into the CDR, gave them money, food and clothes. She also went to meetings where she led the group, singing “Tubatsembatsembe [exterminate them]”, according to the judgment.