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The trial of Tito Barahira and Octavien Ngenzi

On the 19th of June Haguruka-NGO, in partnership with RCN (Justice et Democratie) and Pax Press, visited the Kabarondo sector as part of a project named “Justice et memoire”. This project aims to inform genocide survivors about genocide trials that are taking place in foreign countries, and let them know that they are getting the justice they deserve.

The organisations met with representatives of associations of genocide survivors. The purpose of the meeting was to inform them about the trial of Tito Barahira and Octavien Ngenzi which is taking place in France. They went to Kabarondo because these two men were born there and they both ruled the sector of Kabarondo before the genocide of Tutsi in 1994.

Tito Barahira was born in Kinzovu and is now 68 years. He ruled Kabarondo sector from 1977-1986. He was the president of MRND and then became the representative of ELECTROGAZ in Kabarondo. Octavien Ngenzi was born in Kabarondo and he ruled Kabarondo from 1987-1994. These two men are accused of crimes against human rights and genocide crimes. Tito and Octavien pleaded guilty and were sentenced for a life imprisonment back in 2010. They appealed and found new witnesses, and Haguruka and RCN are presenting information about this appeal case to the survivors.

The appeal court received 10 more witnesses from both sides. Patrick Barahira, Tito Barahira’s son, said that he was shocked when he first heard that his father was suspected of being involved in the genocide crimes. He said that his father is a good man who does not support ethnic separation. Veronica Mukabihogo, on the other hand, said that she knew that Ngenzi and Barahira killed 10 people during the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. The genocide survivors from Kabarondo heard all the witnesses’ speeches. Some of them who were in Kabarondo during the genocide told Haguruka staff and RCN that they know and saw Ngenzi and Barahira participating in genocide crimes.

After the presentation describing the events in the French court, the participants were given time to speak their mind. They said that they were not aware this appeal was happening and thanked Haguruka and RCN for bringing the information to their attention. They said that they are certain justice will be served and requested to be informed when the court sentences or sets free these two men.

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