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Rwandan priest accused of war crimes

FLORENCE, Italy, May 17 (UPI) -- A Rwandan Catholic priest now living and serving in Italy actively took part in the genocide of Tutsis in 1994, human rights activists claim.

Without citing sources, The Sunday Times of London reported an international arrest warrant was being drawn up against the Rev. Emmanuel Uwayezu of Empoli, Italy, near Florence. Uwayezu allegedly was directly complicit in the massacre of more than 80 students between the ages of 12 to 20 at a Catholic school where he was headmaster, The Sunday Times said.

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Uwayezu would become the second Catholic priest accused of participating in the Rwanadan genocide of Tutsis. Athanase Seromba, like Uwayezu a member of Rwanda's then-ruling Hutu ethnic group, was tried and convicted by a United Nations war crimes tribunal for killing 2,000 of his parishioners by bulldozing his church as they were held inside.

Both escaped to Florence after the genocide where they took up priestly duties. Uwayezu has been defended by church officials and has denied taking part in the killings, The Sunday Times said.

Rakiya Omaar, director of African Rights, Saturday called on the Roman Catholic Church, Italy and Rwanda to conduct their own probes of Uwayezu.

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