Rwanda nun jailed over genocide

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6136192.stm

Nov 10, 2006

A Roman Catholic nun has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for her role in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Theophister Mukakibibi was jailed by a traditional Rwandan court for helping ethnic Hutu militiamen kill Tutsis hiding in a hospital where she worked.

Mukakibibi is the first nun sentenced by a Rwandan court for crimes committed during the genocide.

Two other Catholic nuns were found guilty by a Belgian court in 2001, and male priests have also faced trial.

Theophister Mukakibibi worked at the National University Hospital in the town of Butare during the genocide.

Protection

According to Jean Baptiste Ndahumba, president of the local gacaca court in Butare, the nun selected Tutsis sheltering in the hospital and threw them out for the militias to kill.

He said she did not spare pregnant women, and was also accused of dumping a baby in a latrine, the Reuters news agency reports.

"She used to hold meetings with militiamen and had an army officer as her escort during the killings," Mr Ndahumba said.

Gacaca courts have been used in Rwanda to speed up the process of bringing those responsible for the genocide to justice.

Last year a Belgian male priest became the first foreigner to go before a gacaca court accused of genocide crimes.

Some members of the Catholic hierarchy in Rwanda had close ties to extremist politicians and aided Hutu militias in the run-up to the killings.

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the 1994 genocide and thousands of people were killed after seeking sanctuary in churches.