Former Rwandan Minister Edouard Karemera, who was convicted of Genocide and crimes against humanity has died in Sebikotane prison in Senegal where he was serving his sentence.
According to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Karemera died on Tuesday after several days battling illness.
“I confirm the death of Edouard Karemera in Senegal. The cause is as yet unknown,” said Ousman Njikam, spokesman for the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) told the media,
Karemera, a former deputy chairman of Rwanda’s then ruling party during the 1994 genocide National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) has been serving a life sentence for his role in the Genocide.
Kalemera 69, who was the Interior Minister during the genocide was sentenced in 2011 and transferred to Senegal in 2017 to serve his sentence.
He was convicted alongside Matthieu Ngirumpatse who was the ruling party chairman.
On the night of April 6, 1994, the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana (Hutu), and of Burundi, Cyprian Ntayamira, was hit by two missiles as it was about to land at the Rwandan airport of Kigali, leading to the death of both leaders.
Killing of the minority Tutsi erupted in April 1994 and over the next 100 days, some 800,000 people mainly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus were killed.
The international tribunal was set up to try those who bore the greatest responsibility, while thousands of others were judged by Rwandan courts and grassroots tribunals known as “gacaca” that were set up to deal with the sheer number of cases.