Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rwanda-Italy: Priest suspected of genocide 'in Italy'

By AFP
May 8, 2009

A Rwandan Catholic priest suspected of involvement in the country's 1994 genocide is working in a parish in the Italian diocese of Florence, a rights group says.

The priest, Emmanuel Uwayezu, is the director of a school in southern Rwanda where more than 80 students were killed during the massacre, the London-based African Rights group says.

Uwayezu, a Hutu, fled when Hutu militiamen surrounded the Mercy Mary of Kibeho school on May 7, 1994, while his students were shot and hacked to death, the group said in a report. Police who were meant to be protecting the students joined in the killing, African Rights said.

"The massacre started immediately. Except for a handful of survivors, most of the students perished, killed by the guns and grenades of the gendarmes or the spears, axes and machetes of the militiamen," it said.

"Father Uwayezu returned to Kibeho several days after the massacre to arrange for the gendarmes to provide military training to Hutu male students so they could seek out survivors," African Rights added.

It called on Italian and Rwanda authorities as well as the Catholic church in the two countries to "carry out their own investigations into the serious charges contained in this report".

About 800,000 people were killed in the genocide carried out against the Tutsi minority by extremist Hutu militias.

Related Materials:

Rwanda: Rome Should Act On Father Uwayezu - AllAfrica.com

Rwanda: Rights Group Wants Priest in Italy Tried for Genocide - AllAfrica.com

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