Augustin Bizimungu, the former Chief of the Rwandan Army, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. A three judge panel found him guilty of six counts of genocide, crimes against humanity for murder, extermination and rape and violations of articles of the Geneva Conventions. He was acquitted on one count of conspiracy to commit genocide and a charge of complicity to commit genocide was dismissed.
At the same trial, François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, who served as commander of the Reconnaissance battalion in the Rwandan army, and Innocent Sagahutu, his second-in-command, were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Augustin Ndindiliyimana, who was chief of staff of the national gendarmerie, will be released immediately owing to time already served in prison since his arrest in Belgium in January 2000.
Around 800,000 Hutus and Tutsis died in the April 1994 Rwandan genocide, which lasted for around 100 days. Most died from machete wounds and radio addresses urging ordinary people to violence were blamed as a major factor in the tragedy.
The UN International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda was set up by the UN Security Council in November 1994. The tribunal is located in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.