Skip to main content

Swedish Hutu gets life for Rwandan genocide

By Per Nyberg, CNN
updated 8:22 PM EDT, Thu June 20, 2013
(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
updated 10:27 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 9:44 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
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