Genocide court sentences Rwandan mayor to life

A United Nations court for Rwanda's 1994 genocide has sentenced a former mayor to life imprisonment for the mass killings of Tutsis, some of whom were refugees seeking sanctuary in churches to escape violence.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday found Jean Baptiste Gatete guilty of ordering killings of members of the Tutsi community in Murambi commune where he was mayor, and in the parishes of Kiziguro and Mukarange.

The court said Gatete, who later became a director at the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, led the attack at Mukarange. Those attacks resulted in the killing of "hundreds if not thousands of Tutsi civilians."

At least 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during Rwanda's genocide.