Saturday, October 1, 2022

Kigali genocide mastermind Bagosora dies aged 80

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Kigali’s brutal 1994 genocide is remembered with a further commemoration at Bagosora’s remains

The Kigali genocide mastermind, Théoneste Bagosora, who oversaw the final days of Rwanda’s brutal 1994 killings, has died aged 80.

Bagosora was “heavily implicated” in the slaughter that left some 800,000 dead, becoming one of Rwanda’s highest-profile figures in the past two decades.

The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, mourned the death in a message posted on social media.

Rwanda genocide story: ‘Kigali is a resting place for the victims’ Read more

Kagame wrote that his first public statement on Friday as president would be about the genocide. He tweeted: “Yes I know Bagosora is dead. We need to make sure the truth never dies.”

Kagame said the shock felt by the country’s population would last “some months”, after which there would be a period of mourning.

Bagosora, who hails from Kabarole district in western Rwanda, had long denied any responsibility in the genocide, insisting he had merely tried to spare his country from the massacre.

While the Kigali genocide is remembered with a further commemoration on Saturday, human rights organisations had been calling for him to be convicted for genocide and crimes against humanity.

He had spent several years in jail for his role in the genocide in Kigali’s Central Sector but was released in 2009 on medical grounds.

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