8:35am

Tue May 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Rwandan General Sentenced To Prison For Role In 1994 Genocide

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has convicted former Rwandan General Augustin Bizimungu on charges of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 30 years in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide that killed as many as 800,000 Rwandans, according to the BBC.

The country's former paramilitary police chief, Augustin Ndindiliyimana was also convicted but he was released on time served. The Telegraph says the Tribunal determined his command over officers during the genocide was limited, and noted the 11 years Ndindiliyimana has been imprisoned.

Two other former Rwandan military leaders were sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Tribunal, based in Tanzania. It handled the cases of those thought to hold the greatest responsibility for the slaughter. Lower ranking officers and civilians were tried in Rwanda.

The Rwandan Genocide occurred over 100 days in 1994. It began when the plane of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu, was shot down on April 6, above the capital's airport. The slaughter followed quickly - hundreds of thousands of mostly ethnic Tutsis were raped, tortured and murdered at the hands of soldiers and police officers, who encouraged civilians to help murder their Tutsi neighbors. The BBC's timeline is here. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.