Laurent Bucyibaruta, the former Gikongoro mayor, known for his involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, has passed away at the age of 79.
Bucyibaruta, who had lived in France for more than two decades following his conviction and 20-year sentence by the Cour d’assises de Paris–a decision he had appealed–passed away on December 6 due to illness.
In July 2022, Bucyibaruta was found guilty by the Cour d’assises de Paris on charges of complicity in Genocide and crimes against humanity.
Born in 1944 in the former Gikongoro prefecture, he assumed the role of mayor of his home prefecture from July 4, 1992, until July 1994. His involvement as an activist in the genocidal MRND party and leadership of the Interahamwe movement, the youth organization behind the genocide, marked his tenure.
During a December 1993 public rally at Gikongoro market, Bucyibaruta urged financial contributions from the populace to procure arms for combating the ”Tutsi enemy.” He further commanded soldiers and Interahamwe militia under his authority to carry out multiple massacres against the Tutsis.
One incident involved Bucyibaruta’s encouragement for several Tutsis to assemble at the Murambi Technical School on April 10, 1994, promising them nourishment. Tragically, those gathered were killed on April 20 and April 21, 1994, by gendarmes, policemen, and armed Interahamwe, resulting in the deaths of over 50,000 individuals.
Fleeing Rwanda for France in 1997, Bucyibaruta sought refuge, living abroad until his recent passing.