RWANDA.— Former mayor Gregoire Ndahimana, who was one of the most wanted suspects in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against humanity and genocide.
“The chamber … found Ndahimana guilty of genocide and extermination by aiding and abetting as well as by virtue of his command responsibility over communal police in Kivumu,” the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said in a statement.
He was mayor of Kivumu at the time when the Nyange church was bulldozed and 2,000 Tutsis who had been seeking refuge there were killed.
The court argued the slaughter “reflected broad coordination” among several groups.
Militia, police, civil and religious authorities alledgedly participated in the massacre in bulldozing the church.
Ndahimana had been eluding authorities for nearly 15 years until 2009 when he was captured in the Congo.
“The conviction of Mr. Ndahimana is of particular significance, because as mayor of Kivumu he had authority over the police, and yet failed to prevent the massacre of more than 1,500 people who sought refuge and protection,” the US State Department said in a statement.
Ndahimana is the third person that has been tried and convicted by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for the killing at Nyange.