Rwanda Justice Minister Quits

News and Press Release
Originally published
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- Rwanda's justice minister, entrusted with helping restore order following the country's genocide, has resigned amid charges she stole money from the government, Rwanda radio reported Wednesday.
The broadcast quoted Prime Minister Pierre Celestine Rwigema as saying Martha Mukamurezi quit after the government concluded she had ''lent money to herself.'' She was reported to have taken about $91,000.

No other details were immediately available and no replacement has been named.

Mukamurezi held the post since July 1994, when the Tutsi-dominated rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front formed a government after chasing out Hutu rulers and soldiers who had engineered the genocide. More than 500,000 people, most of them minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed between April and July 1994.

Mukamurezi was responsible for restoring Rwanda's judicial system, which collapsed because judges and magistrates either fled the country or were slain.

Rwandan jails are crammed with about 71,000 people suspected of having taken part in the genocide, but they cannot be charged until the judiciary is reconstructed.

=A9 Copyright 1996 The Associated Press