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French court jails ex-Rwandan soldier Simbikangwa for 25 years over genocide

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French court jails ex-Rwandan soldier Simbikangwa for 25 years over genocide

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Former Rwandan soldier Pascal Simbikangwa has been jailed for 25 years over the country’s genocide, in a landmark verdict in Paris.

Under French law, Rwandans suspected of involvement in the wave of killings in 1994 can be tried in a French court. This conviction was a first for France.

Simbikangwa was found guilty of genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity. Paraplegic after a car crash, he had denied the charges.

In a period of around 100 days, some 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

France was long considered a safe haven for those fleeing prosecution over Rwanda but a special genocide unit has been set up in Paris and other cases are being investigated.