Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rwanda: Genocide - Gacaca Court Adjourns Trial of Catholic Priest to Next Week


Kigali — Trial of genocide-accused Catholic Priest, Joseph Ndagijimana, from Kabgayi Diocese, central Rwanda, Wednesday was adjourned to next week Tuesday, reports Hirondelle Agency.

In prison for more than 10 years, the priest, who is accused of having played a role in the killings of ethnic Tutsis in 1994 in Kabgayi, was tried by the semi-traditional Gacaca Court of the Byimana, Southern Province.

In the same province, Father Josaphat Hitimana, who had been convicted by the gacaca court of the Nyamabuye sector, has been on the run since 12 May, according to Hirondelle sources.

Some of Hitimana's close relatives consider that he might have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where allegedly he has family.

The gacacas (pronounced gatchatcha) are charged with trying alleged authors of the 1994 genocide which resulted, according to the UN, in nearly 800,000 deaths, mainly of ethnic Tutsis.

The Gacaca courts are not presided by professional judges, but by persons who are considered of high esteem in the society.

Several clergymen have been convicted by Rwandan justice for their roles in the 1994 genocide. However, Bishop of Gikongoro (southern Rwanda), Augustin Misago, was acquitted.

Copyright © 2009 Hirondelle News Agency. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

1 comment:

  1. MJPC blames the Congolese Government for the Deteriorating Situation in East Congo(DRC)

    "There is no excuse for missing to pay salaries to soldiers in lawless eastern Congo for six months"

    Following the deteriorating situation in east Congo, the MJPC called today for the Congolese Government to urgently pay the salaries to thousands of soldiers who have not been paid for over six months in eastern Congo, take swift action to enforce the International Criminal Court's (ICC) warrant against Bosco Ntaganda and to hold accountable perpetrators of sexual violence against women for their acts.

    "Failing to hold accountable individuals who commit war crimes and crimes against humunity continues to be the leading cause of widespread and systematic sexual violence acts against girls and women in the easten Congo" said Makuba Sekombo, Community Affairs Director of the Mobilization for Justice and Peace in the DR Congo (MJPC).

    Mr. Sekombo again criticized the government of Congo for not only the continuing failure to protect women and young girls from sexual violence, but also for "encouraging conditions that create opportunities for sexual violence to occur". "There is no excuse for missing to pay salaries to soldiers in the lawless eastern Congo for six months" said Sekombo. The MJPC has also renewed its call for the Congolese government to take urgent needed action to end human rights abuses in east Congo, hold perpetrators accountable and ensure reparation for the victims of sexual violence.

    The MJPC has been urging the Congolese government to compensate the victims of sexual violence in order to also help combat impunity in eastern part of Congo where sexual violence against women and children has been widely used as weapon of war for more than decade. The MJPC online petition calling for help to put pressure on Congolese Government to compensate victims of sexual siolence in Eastern DRC can be signed at

    About MJPC

    MJPC works to add a voice in advocating for justice and peace in the DRC particulary in the east of DRC where thousands innocent civilian including children and women continue to suffer massive human rights violations while armed groups responsible for these crimes go unpunished

    For more information about the MJPC and its activities, visit or call Makuba Sekombo @ 1-408-8063-644 or e-mail: The online petition calling on the Congolese Government to put urgently in place a comprehensive program of compensation for the victims of sexual violence in eastern Congo can be signed at