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France to Jail Rwanda Genocide Convicts

The French government has agreed to allow people convicted in the Rwanda genocide to serve their sentences in France, the U.N. tribunal for Rwanda said Monday. France is the first European country to agree to provide prison space for those convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Jean Francois Lionnet, France’s ambassador to Tanzania, signed the agreement Monday with tribunal based in Arusha in northern Tanzania, according to a tribunal statement. Lionnet said the agreement was an example of France’s commitment to promote international justice. The tribunal was set up in November 1994 to try the alleged masterminds of the 100-day slaughter earlier that year when more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed. The tribunal has convicted 10 people and acquitted one. It is currently holding 55 suspects. The maximum sentence the tribunal can hand down is life in prison. Six of those convicted are serving their sentences in Mali, which signed an agreement with the tribunal in 2001. Benin and Swaziland have signed similar agreements with the tribunal. Full Story

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