Rwandan militia leader convicted of genocide, sentenced to life in prison by UN tribunal

The United Nations tribunal for Rwanda today sentenced a leader of the Hutu militia to life imprisonment for organizing and participating in attacks against ethnic Tutsis during the1994 genocide in the country.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Georges Anderson Rutaganda - a prominent businessman and a leader of the Interahamwe militia - guilty on one count of genocide and two counts of crimes against humanity.

The court found Rutaganda individually responsible for ordering and carrying out murders and for causing "serious bodily and mental harm" to members of the Tutsi ethnic group in April 1994.

According to the Tribunal, Rutaganda distributed firearms and other weapons to Interahamwe members in the capital Kigali. He also took part in an assault led by members of the Presidential Guard and the Interahamwe on a technical school, where several thousands of Tutsis had taken refuge and were killed.

When the survivors of that attack tried to reach another refuge, they were surrounded by soldiers and militia members and taken to Nyanza, where they were subsequently attacked with guns and grenades. Rutaganda was found to have ordered the Interahamwe to surround the refugees just before the massacre.

Rutaganda is the sixth person to be convicted by the Tribunal. His defence counsel said that she would appeal against the verdict and sentence.