Skip to main content

Swedish Hutu gets life for Rwandan genocide

By Per Nyberg, CNN
June 21, 2013 -- Updated 0022 GMT (0822 HKT)
(File) Skulls of victims of the Ntarama massacre during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
(File) Skulls of victims of the Ntarama massacre during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The man is tied to several massacres in western Rwanda
  • At least 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide
  • The convicted man is a Swedish citizen of Hutu origin

(CNN) -- A Swedish citizen of Rwandan origin was sentenced to life in prison Thursday by a court in Stockholm after he was tried and convicted for his role in the country's genocide nearly 20 years ago.

He is 54-year-old Stanislas Mbanenande, an ethnic Hutu. At least 800,000 people in Rwanda were killed in the 1994 genocide, one of the worst mass slaughters in the post-World War II era.

Genocide survivor has faith in future of Rwanda

This is the first time that Sweden has tried a case for genocide, and also the first time anyone has been convicted of genocide in a Swedish court.

The victims were mostly from the Tutsi ethnic minority, who were targeted by Hutus over a rivalry that dates to colonial days. Some moderates from the Hutu majority who supported Tutsis also were killed.

2012: The real 'Hotel Rwanda'

Along with a charge of genocide, Mbanenande was convicted in the Stockholm District Court of gross violations of international law, including murder, attempted murder, inciting murder and kidnapping.

Remembering genocide in Rwanda

The case involves several massacres in western Rwanda's Kibuye prefecture, where Mbanenande was born and raised.

Mbanenande was accused of having an informal leadership role and using an automatic weapon to shoot at groups of people. He took part in massacres at public buildings such as a church, a school and a sports stadium where people sought shelter.

He also is accused of taking part in the hunt for Tutsis in the Ruhiro and Bisesero mountains where people had fled to seek safety.

Mbanenande left Kibuye in 1994 when Tutsi-dominated invasion troops were nearing. He then lived in Congo until 1996, and then he moved to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

In 1999 his family moved to Sweden. Mbanenande eventually joined them and became a Swedish citizen in 2008.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT