by Melanie Nathan, December 22, 2011 –
US officials extradited a Rwandan woman, Marie-Claire Mukeshimana, convicted in absentia by a court in her country for her role in the 1994 genocide, an official said Thursday.
Mukeshimana was sentenced in 2009 to 19 years in prison for complicity in the killing of several children who had sought refuge at a convent in southern Rwanda.
Rwanda’s chief prosecutor Martin Ngoga welcomed the extradition, noting that they “have a number of more identified persons who stand accused of genocide committed in the most brutal manner and claiming so many lives, who remain on US territory,” according to the Article by AFP.
Mukeshimana is the second genocide convict to be returned to Kigali this year by US authorities, who in January extradited a man convicted over the genocide.
According to officials from the prosecution, she has the constitutional right to have her case reheard because she was tried and convicted in absentia in 2005.
This local announcement appeared: “The National Public Prosecution Authority wishes to inform the General Public that, today 22nd December 2011 morning, the U.S Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement(USICE) deported back a genocide fugitive, one MUKESHIMANA Marie Claire who evaded justice in 2005 and was living in the State of Detroit, United States.
MUKESHIMANA Marie Claire was tried by Gacaca court of Mwulire-Mbazi Sector, Huye District on 31/12/2009 and sentenced to 19 years of imprisonment.
She will be taken to serve her sentence but has a right to apply for her case review since she was tried in absentia.
The National Public Prosecution Authority of Rwanda welcomes this development by the U.S. Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days (from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6) through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate. Estimates of the death toll have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country’s total population.
It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62 and overthrown the Tutsi monarchy.