Theoneste Bagosora, architect of genocide in Rwanda, dies 80-year-old Rwanda | MCUTimes

Theoneste Bagosora, architect of genocide in Rwanda, dies 80-year-old Rwanda

Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army chief considered architect of the 1994 genocide where more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutus who tried to protect them were killed, have died at a hospital in Mali.

His son Achille Bagosora announced the death in a Facebook post: “Rest in peace, father.”

Bagosora served a 35-year sentence after being convicted of crimes against humanity by the then International Criminal Court for Rwanda. Bagosora, 80, had been sentenced to life in 2008, but after appeal, his sentence was reduced to 35 years in prison.

Bagosora became known in 1993 as a hardliner within the party National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development for Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and was appointed Cabinet Director of the Ministry of Defense and took control of military and political affairs in the country.

The position made him only accountable to the president. When the president died in a plane crash, Bagosora took over state affairs and ordered the massacre of Tutsi, Donat Rutayisire, a genocide survivor who knew him, told the Associated Press.

Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian general who at the time was head of the UN peacekeepers in Rwanda, described Bagosora as the “kingpin” behind the genocide.

After the genocide, Bagosora fled into exile in Cameroon. He was arrested there in 1996 and flown to court in Arusha, Tanzania in 1997. His trial began in 2002 and lasted until 2007.

Bagosora was found guilty in connection with the killing of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and responsible for Rwanda’s prime minister and head of the Constitutional Court. He was also found responsible for organized killings of Tutsis in many places in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, and in Gisenyi in the western part of the country.

Rwanda’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Olivier Nduhungirehe, reacted to the news of Bagosora’s death, saying that Bagosora did not show remorse for its crimes.

“The main reasons for Bagosora’s request for early release were that he never accepted responsibility for the genocide and showed no signs of remorse or remorse; and that he is a man with a powerful personality who at times is unable to control himself, ” Nduhungirehe said in a Twitter post.

Bagosora’s application for early release was rejected earlier this year, with the judge ruling he had not demonstrated rehabilitation.

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