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
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
A number of Paralympic athletes in Ghana are hoping to use sport to change negative public perceptions.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT