Genocide survivors slam ex-advisor acquittal
Kigali - Survivors of Rwanda's 1994 genocide slammed Wednesday the acquittal of an ex-presidential advisor on charges of planning the killings, and demanded he remains in the country pending an appeal.
A court last week cleared former university lecturer Runyinya Barabwiriza of planning and inciting the genocide, when about 800 000 mostly ethnic Tutsis were killed by Hutus, after he had already spent 16 years in jail.
The court said evidence against Barabwiriza had been contradictory. Prosecutors said they would appeal.
The main group of survivors, Ibuka, said it did not approve of the decision to acquit him and backed an appeal.
Security forces must "closely watch Runyinya Barabwiriza so that he does not flee," it said in a statement.
The group said "no one can ignore the role of intellectuals of the University of Rwanda which was at the forefront of the preparation of the plan for the genocide of Tutsis."
The court had disregarded "credible proof presented by the prosecutor as well as the testimony of survivors," it said.
The botanist was a diplomatic adviser to president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death when his plane was brought down in April 1994 sparked the roughly 100-day genocide.