Kigali, Rwanda One of the masterminds of the Rwandan genocide, Theonest Bagosora, a senior Rwandan soldier, died in a prison in Mali on Saturday. He was 80 years old.
His death was confirmed by officials of the United Nations Association of Defense Counsel for Criminal Court in The Hague. Authorities did not identify the cause of death.
Mr. Bagosora was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in 2008 and was sentenced to 35 years from life imprisonment. He was Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Rwandan Ministry of Defense during the 1994 Massacre. There, Hutu militants killed as many as one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu in just 100 days.
When the plane of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana crashed for three days starting April 6, 1994, Mr. Bagosora was found to have “taken the power of supreme authority” by the Ministry of Defense. Political issues.
The Rwandan International Criminal Tribunal found that in the meantime he ordered the killing of some of the country’s top politicians and the massacre of civilians in the capital Kigali and the western part of the country.
It was the Prime Minister of the country, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was killed. Joseph Cavalganda, President of the Constitutional Court. With politicians Frederick Nzamlambajo, Landwald Dasinwa and Fostane Lucogosa. Under his supervision, military officers and militias also killed civilians at religious centers and schools.
Mr. Bagosora was initially found guilty of killing 10 Belgian peacekeepers, leading to the withdrawal of UN troops. The peacekeeper was arrested at the Prime Minister’s Office on the morning of April 7, and was taken to Camp Kigali, where he was shot dead, beaten, or killed by a sword.
Mr Bagosora’s defense team said the attack was the result of a “rebellion,” but the referee found him responsible for their death. “We had knowledge of the threats we faced when the attacks against them were unfolded,” said Judge Bagosora. “He had the power and the means to prevent it, but he did not. “He added.
Mr. Bagosora was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in 2011 the decision was shortened to 35 years after many convictions, including the killings of Belgian peacekeepers and civilians in many places, were overturned by appeals.
Theonest Bagosora was born on August 16, 1941 in the town of Giciye, which is now part of the western province of Rwanda. According to the referee’s documents, he is married and is the father of eight children, one of whom died in a car accident.
Information on survivors was not immediately available.
In the decades before the genocide, he was trained both domestically and throughout Europe and crossed the ranks of the Rwandan army. He graduated in 1964 as a lieutenant of Kigari, trained in Belgium, and graduated in 1982 with an award from the French National University.
In October 1989, he was appointed colonel until he retired in September 1993. However, Defense Minister Augustin Vizimana recalled returning to his current position in May 1994, despite continuing to serve as Minister of Defense.
After the genocide, Mr. Bagosora first fled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and then to Cameroon. There he was arrested in 1996 and transferred to the court headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. Earlier this year, his request for an early release was denied.
Marie’s Simons Contribution report.