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France commences trial of Simbikangwa

A French court on Tuesday commenced a trial in substance in the case in which Pascal Simbikangwa was tried over the role he played in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi people.

The trial of the former intelligence chief is considered historic since it was the first time for this case to be conducted in substance, by the French courts 20 years after the Rwandan Genocide.

Simbikangwa, 54, is accused by the French prosecution and Rwandan government of having supplied arms to the Interahamwe militia and ordered the massacre of the Tutsi in the former GisenyiPrefecture in the current Rubavu District.

Reports from France and Kigali indicate that the trial run between six and eight weeks and court proceedings was filmed.

Genocide survivors were optimistic that the trial will set precedence and pace way to try several other cases.

Dr Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the president of Ibuka, an umbrella of associations advocating for the interests of survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi, says “Simbikangwa’s cruelty was unthinkable.

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