Rwandan Nun Jailed Over Genocide

#1
From the BBC:

Rwanda nun jailed over genocide

Some 800,000 people were killed during 100 days of killing

A Roman Catholic nun has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for her role in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Theophister Mukakibibi was jailed by a traditional Rwandan court for helping ethnic Hutu militiamen kill Tutsis hiding in a hospital where she worked.

Mukakibibi is the first nun sentenced by a Rwandan court for crimes committed during the genocide.

Two other Catholic nuns were found guilty by a Belgian court in 2001, and male priests have also faced trial.

Theophister Mukakibibi worked at the National University Hospital in the town of Butare during the genocide.

Protection

According to Jean Baptiste Ndahumba, president of the local gacaca court in Butare, the nun selected Tutsis sheltering in the hospital and threw them out for the militias to kill.

He said she did not spare pregnant women, and was also accused of dumping a baby in a latrine, the Reuters news agency reports.

"She used to hold meetings with militiamen and had an army officer as her escort during the killings," Mr Ndahumba said.

Gacaca courts have been used in Rwanda to speed up the process of bringing those responsible for the genocide to justice.

Last year a Belgian male priest became the first foreigner to go before a gacaca court accused of genocide crimes.

Some members of the Catholic hierarchy in Rwanda had close ties to extremist politicians and aided Hutu militias in the run-up to the killings.

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the 1994 genocide and thousands of people were killed after seeking sanctuary in churches.
Dear God. So to speak.

This is the first I've heard about clergymembers being put on trial. What on earth has the Vatican's response to this has been, if any?
 
#2
Condemn those involved by all means, but ask yourself "Where was the West?" Still, not that much oil in Rwanda...
 
#4
But for us that were there in the aftermath, the memories are fresh - sickeningly fresh!
 
#6
This is the first I've heard about clergymembers being put on trial. What on earth has the Vatican's response to this has been, if any?
Not the first time.


http://www.afrol.com/News2001/rwa010_nuns_genocide.htm

afrol News, 10 June - In a surprising move, the Catholic Church states its scepticism about the milestone verdict against two Rwandan nuns, found guilty on genocide charges by a Belgian court. As afrol News earlier has reported, several local church societies were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, killing an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls yesterday said, "The Holy See cannot but express a certain surprise at seeing the grave responsibility of so many people and groups involved in this tremendous genocide in the heart of Africa heaped on so few people." Navarro Valls thus indicates the Catholic Church's scepticism about a Belgian court 'picking on' two relative small perpetrators in the 1994 genocide, while key organisers still are not facing charges.

Spokesman Navarro Valls however refers to the more reconciling message by Pope John Paul to Rwandans in May 1996. The Pope thus said: "The Church ... cannot be held responsible for the guilt of its members that have acted against the evangelic law; they will be called to render account of their own actions. All Church members that have sinned during the genocide must have the courage to assume the consequences of their deeds they have done against God and fellow men
Rwanda's religious reflections

Twenty-year-old Zafran Mukantwari was the only person in her family who survived the genocide.
I meet her sitting outside Kigali's Al-Aqsa mosque.

She is tightly veiled and speaks softly as she tells me what happened 10 years ago.

Her family were Catholic, she says. Those who killed them worshipped at the same church.

At the age of 10, Zafran found herself alone and at first she continued going to church.

She thought she could find support there. But then she began to question her faith.

"When I realised that the people I was praying with killed my parents, I preferred to become a Muslim because Muslims did not kill."

No protection

Before the genocide more than 60% of Rwandans were Catholic.

And when the killings started, tens of thousands of Tutsis fled to churches for sanctuary. But they found little protection there.

Some members of the Church failed in their mission, they contradicted what they stood for

On the opposite side of Kigali from Al Aqsa mosque, is the church of Sainte Famille. As dawn mass is celebrated, the sound of hymns carries outside and floats across the waking city.

During the genocide, hundreds of Tutsis crammed inside here trying to escape the horrors unfolding outside. But Hutu militias came repeatedly with lists of those to be killed.

The priest in charge of the church, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, is blamed for colluding with the killers.

Discarding his priest's cassock, witnesses say he took to wearing a flack jacket and carrying a pistol.

"Some members of the Church failed in their mission, they contradicted what they stood for," says Father Antoine Kambanda, director of the charity, Caritas, in Kigali.

He acknowledges that while some priests and nuns risked their lives trying to stop the slaughter, others were implicated in the killings.

"We are sorry for what took place, sorry for the members of the Church that did crimes, sorry for the victims who lost their lives.

"But the Pope says the members who went against their mission are to answer for it. The Church cannot answer for them."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3561365.stm

It is also true that some junior members of the clergy took fantastic risks to protect their congregation, including marathon E+E or in the case of at least one party I was told of, hiding out in the Kinigi reserve


I have my own opinion of suitable punishment,of clergy that betray their flock. My opinion is neither Christian or Liberal. But, as Bee intimates, if you saw the aftermath you wouldn't be feeling paticularly chartiable towards those responsible.

The only thought I have on that time, is that being Africa, tribalism overcame religous consideration, to put it mildly.
 
#7
Condemn those involved by all means, but ask yourself "Where was the West?" Still, not that much oil in Rwanda...
_________________
Too right and former Yugoslavia, maybe thats why we sat on our arses whilst that was ripped to bits as well :roll:
 

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