Rwandan Bishop Wins Court Ruling

Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza speaks in London during a commemoration of Rwanda’s genocide. | High Commission of the Republic of Rwanda | Flickr |

A court ruling has allowed a bishop accused of complicity in the Rwandan genocide to remain in Britain.

The Rt. Rev. Jonathan Ruhumuliza, a member of the majority Hutu ethnic group, was an ordained priest in 1994 when 800,000 people of the minority Tutsi ethnic group were slaughtered.

The case may not yet be closed. The government’s home office still believes Ruhumuliza, 62, was “complicit in the genocide,” excluded Tutsis from safe havens, and “distributed weapons to the killers.” The government also claims that he had close links with Hutu paramilitaries and traveled abroad spreading propaganda.

According to The Times, the bishop was the first senior Anglican churchman to return to Rwanda after the genocide to help with reconciliation. In 2005 he coordinated a visit by Lord Carey of Clifton, then the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He became the Bishop of Kigali in July 1995 and the following year issued a statement in which he “repented the fact that owing to his cowardliness and weakness he had not taken various opportunities to condemn and speak out against the genocide.”

After protests about his appointment he resigned as bishop in 1997 to assist in reconciliation. He was appointed an assistant honorary bishop in 2005 by the Rt. Rev. Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester.

When the allegations against him were made public in 2014, the Diocese of Worcester issued a statement saying that “extensive checks were undertaken through Lambeth Palace” and “no evidence was found of complicity in the Rwandan genocide.” Ruhumuliza has always denied involvement in the killings.

John Martin


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