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Catholic nun jailed for assisting Rwandan genocide in 1994

Published 10/11/2006

A Catholic nun is beginning a 30-year jail sentence for helping militia kill hundreds of people hiding in a hospital during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, an official said today.

Theophister Mukakibibi was sentenced by a court in Nairobi, Kenya, for helping Hutu militiamen to kill ethnic Tutsis seeking refuge from the slaughter in Butare hospital where she worked.

"She was responsible for selecting Tutsis and would throw them out of the hospital and the militia would then kill them," said Jean Baptiste Ndahumba, president of the local gacaca court in Butare town.

"This nun was organising people to be killed."

She was jailed yesterday. She would also hold regular meetings with Hutu extremist groups and denied food to Tutsis hiding in the hospital, he said by telephone. Some 20 people testified against her, he added.

A number of Hutu Catholic and Protestant church leaders are alleged to have played significant roles in the east African nation's 100-day massacre.

More than half a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by the Hutu militia, orchestrated by the extremist Hutu government then in power.

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