The first woman convicted in connection with the 1994 Rwanda genocide has been sent to gaol for life. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, aged 65, was the minister for family and women’s development (!). Her son, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, and four other people were also convicted.
When Hutus began murdering Tutsis in other parts of the country, the Butare region, by the Burundi border, was for a short time a haven of peace. Then Nyiramasuhuko, a former social worker, ordered the local governor to get killing. When he refused, he was sacked and then killed.
The convicted woman brought in militias from the capital, Kigali, and, with the help of her son, organised mass murder and the kidnap and rape of women and girls. She and her son often manned the roadblocks at which Tutsis were detained.
When the Rwandan Patriotic Front deposed the genocidal government in July 1994, Nyiramasuhuko fled, but was arrested in Kenya in 1997. Altogether, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in just 100 days. (See also my blogs of April 9, 2009, Dec 11, 2010, May 9 and 29, 2011 etc)