Rwandan Nuns In Belgium Accused Of Genocide

MAREDRET, Belgium (CWN) - Two Rwandan nuns living in a Benedictine abbey in Belgium were accused on Thursday of complicity in the genocide of ethnic Tutsis during massacres in 1994.

"We have more information on the terrible things that they have done," said Rakyia Omaar, co-author of a report on the killings for African Rights, a London-based human rights group. Omaar said that he has eyewitness testimony that says Sister Gertrude Mukangango order Tutsi refugees out of her missionary compound on April 25, 1994 as Hutu soldiers and militia members waited outside to kill them.

Sister Julienne Kizito is accused of giving gasoline to the mob to burn the refugees alive inside buildings in which they had locked themselves. French troops evacuated the nuns when a Tutsi-led rebel force took over Rwanda and put an end to the massacres.

"Those accusations were not well-founded," said Father Celestine Cullen, abbot of the Benedictine Congregation of the Annunciation. He said the nuns are innocent refugees who fled the massacres that bathed their country in blood in the spring of 1994 and now only seek peace in Maredret.

After a public outcry against Belgium sheltering some of those who reportedly committed the atrocities, authorities started criminal proceedings against some of the Rwandan exiles in 1995. A few were briefly jailed. Now, the investigation appears to have stalled.

CWN - Catholic World News
18. april 2001

av Webmaster publisert 18.04.2001, sist endret 18.04.2001 - 12:29