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Yearbook 2009

Rwanda. A few thousand Rwandan soldiers entered Congo (Kinshasa) in January, unlike previous occasions at the invitation of the neighboring government to jointly attack with the Congolese army the Rwandan hutumilis that has plagued the civilian population of eastern Congo for 15 years. After five weeks of offensive, the soldiers returned home. The results of the intervention proved limited, but the cooperation marked the beginning of a new and more peaceful relationship with the neighbor, and the two governments later agreed on cooperation on a number of economic issues. However, Rwanda did not want to extradite Congolese tutor Laurent Nkunda, who was arrested in Rwanda after moving across the border when his militia was employed by the Congolese army and UN troops. According to countryaah, Nkunda has been considered to have close ties to the Rwanda government.

2009 Rwanda

Yet 15 years after the Tutsis genocide, the trials against war criminals continue. At the UN-backed war crimes tribunal ICTR in Tanzania, a former Deputy Home Minister was sentenced to 30 years in prison for involvement in the genocide and the former governor of Kigali to life imprisonment. By contrast, the Chamber of Appeal acquitted Protais Zigiranyirazo, a brother-in-law of former President Juvénal Habyarimana, who had previously been sentenced to 22 years in prison for being charged with murdering Tutsis. The judges referred to gross errors during the lower court trial. The liberation caused a stir in the Rwandan government.

In Belgium, a Rwandan former bank director was sentenced to 30 years in prison for financing hutumilis and a radio station that turned up to murder Tutsis. A court in Rwanda imprisoned former Justice Minister Agnès Ntamabyariro for life in prison for genocide. She was the first high ranking member of the former Hutu regime to be investigated in Rwanda. A traditional grassroots court, gacaca, sentenced a member of the current two-term government-sponsored FPR (Front Patriotic Rwandais) to life imprisonment for being a member of the Interahamwe hutumilis.

Rawanda President Paul Kagame suggested that all cases that ICTR does not review should be transferred to the Rwandan judiciary, which he believes is now capable of dealing with difficult cases fairly. In July, Sweden decided to hand over a suspected war criminal to Rwanda, a former head of the Rwandan Civil Aviation Administration. However, the disclosure was stopped by the European Court of Justice. The UN Security Council extended the mandate for ICTR to December 31, 2012. Ordinary cases will be completed until the end of the year 2010, after which the last 18 months will be devoted to appeals. Originally, the Court would have closed its proceedings in 2008.

In November, Rwanda resumed diplomatic relations with France but was approved at the same time as a member of the English-speaking organization Commonwealth.

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