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Female 'minister for families' who ordered mass rape and slaughter in Rwanda is jailed for life

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APauline-Nyiramasuhuko MINISTER for families who ordered mass rapes has been jailed for life for her part in a 100-day slaughter which left 800,000 dead in Rwanda.


One of the men she told to rape and butcher innocent women was her son.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, who had also been Rwanda's minister for women's empowerment, was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and rape.

The United Nations backed  International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda heard how  Nyiramasuhuko ordered militiamen to rape and kill in the Butare region of southern Rwanda, in 1994.

The Tribunal heard that one of the militiamen she ordered to commit rape was her son,  Arsene Shalom Ntahobali.

Tribunal judges are trying the alleged masterminds of the infamous Rwanda genocide which saw more than 800,000 men women and children, essentially minority Tutsis, hacked to death over 100 days.

Thousands more had limbs, lips,and ears hacked off in the most murderous three months the world has ever seen.

But today, 16 years after being arrested,  Nyiramasuhuko, her son, and four other men were finally brought to justice.

Presiding judge William Hussein Sekule said: “For these crimes, and considering all relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences you Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life imprisonment.

“You conspired with other members of the interim government to commit genocide in Butare.

“You ordered rape at the Butare prefecture office. You had superior responsibility on the Interahamwe (militia, which you ordered) to commit the rapes at the Butare prefecture.”

Nyiramasuhuko was found guilty on seven of the 11 genocide charges.

Her son Ntahobali, who at the time of the genocide led militia groups in Butare, was also sentenced to life for crimes including genocide, extermination and rape as a crime against humanity.

Ntahobali was found guilty both of carrying out rape and of ordering other militiamen to rape.

The other four co-accused, all former senior officials in the Butare area, were handed terms ranging from 25 years to life.

Nyiramasuhuko, who looks younger than her 65 years, was born into a modest family in southern Rwanda. At the age of 40 she enrolled at university, gaining a law degree four years later.

In April 1992 she was appointed minister for family, a position she still held two years later at the time of the genocide.

She is the only female detainee at the UN court, Nyiramasuhuko has been appearing before its judges since 2001 in what is the longest-running trial at the ICTR.

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