WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. government welcomed the 35-year prison sentence for a Rwandan minister convicted on genocide charges but fugitives remain at-large, a spokeswoman said.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware to 35 years in prison on charges he took part in the country's genocide in 1994. The U.S. State Department said there was evidence he used government funds to support the genocide
Ngirabatware was accused of working to "kill or cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the Tutsi population" with the intent to destroy the ethnic community.
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said the sentencing was a key step in providing just for the Rwandan people.
"There are still nine ICTR fugitives at-large," she said in a statement. "The United States continues to offer monetary rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or transfer of all ICTR fugitives, whether those individuals will be prosecuted by the residual mechanism of the ICTR or in Rwandan courts."
This week, the U.N. Security Council extended the term for the five judges serving on the tribunal to Dec. 31, 2014, "or until the completion of the cases to which they are assigned."
Conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic communities left about 800,000 people dead in a 100-day massacre in 1994.
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