Rwanda. At the UN tribunal in Arusha, the trial of some
of the supreme culprits for the 1994 genocide, including
Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, was appointed as the leading
organizer of the massacre of 800,000 people.
Countryaah website, Former Minister of Information Eliezer Niyitegeka, who is
responsible for the state media's campaign against Tutsis,
was also brought to justice. The Catholic priest Athanase
Seromba, who for five years has remained hidden there with
the help of the church, was handed out from Italy. He was
accused of letting excavators demolish a church in Nyange,
where a few thousand Tutsis sought protection. In August,
the commander of the genocide regime Augustin Bizimungu was
arrested in Angola. Like Seromba, he was sent to the Arusha
The UN tribunal was strengthened by an additional 18
judges. The 16 ordinary judges still had not even reached
ten trials and had 60 people awaiting trial. In order to
carry out the trials until 2008, the UN gave courts in other
countries the right to try and convict Rwandans arrested
there, provided that the laws of these countries allow the
trial of genocide and crimes against humanity wherever the
crimes have been committed. A condition is also that the UN
Court always has the last word.
In Rwanda, the newly formed so-called gacaca courts, a
revived traditional legal system, began the process of
quickly investigating the 115,000 people who have been
awaiting trial since 1994.
In the fall, Rwanda took home its 20,000 soldiers from
Congo-Kinshasa. They had officially been sent there to
prevent the hutumilies behind the genocide from re-attacking
In August, a census was conducted, the first in Rwanda's
history where ethnic belonging was not recorded.
A December 2015 referendum voted 98.3% to change the
constitution that allowed President Kagame to run for a
third term in 2017. However, the president had not announced
whether he wanted to stand. The EU and the US criticized the
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
completed its work by the end of 2015. Prior to that, a
number of convictions of war criminals had been handed down.
But there were also those who went free. In October, a
French court indicted the genocide accused Wenceslas
Munyeshyaka and provided a pretext for missing evidence.
Munyeshyaka was a priest in the capital of Kigali in 1994
and is accused of participating in murder and rape during
the genocide, and of helping the Interahamwe militia
identify Tutsis who were subsequently raped and killed.
By the end of 2015, 70,000 refugees from Burundi were
living in Rwanda. They had fled the crisis in the
The Democratic Green Party declared in March 2016 that it
would not stand for a candidate for the 2017 presidential
election unless a series of political and electoral reforms
were implemented. In September, authorities rejected those
claims. The party then chose to put its chairman, Dr Frank
Habineza, as presidential candidate anyway.
Also in March, the UN Human Rights Council published the
result of its periodic review (UPR) of the situation in
Rwanda. The country accepted the Council's recommendations
on freedom of thought and expression, and also promised to
improve its policy towards human rights activists. In June,
civil society authorities and donors published a roadmap for
implementing the recommendations.