Skip to content

Rwandan Gets Life in Prison for 1994 Massacre at Adventist Compound

On Thursday, a Hutu militiaman, Joseph Mpambara, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the massacre of hundreds of Tutsi women and children seeking refuge at the Mugonero Seventh-day Adventist church-run compound during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It does not appear that Joseph Mpambara was a member of the denomination.

According to Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

The 43-year-old Rwandan was also convicted of an attack on an ambulance containing fleeing Tutsis. Two women and two children were so violently beaten with sticks and machetes that they later died. He was also found guilty of threatenimg of a German doctor and his Tutsi wife.

Reuters notes:

‘The offences in this case can be considered as the most serious crimes tried by a Dutch judge since World War Two,’ the appeals court said in convicting Mpambara. Mpambara’s crimes included the murders of women and children, assaults and kidnapping in the central African nation, where 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days of slaughter by extremist Hutu militias.

The Rwandan New Times writes:

The judges said there was compelling evidence that Mpambara ordered the killing of two Tutsi mothers and their children hauled out of an ambulance they were using to flee the massacres. They were bludgeoned and hacked with clubs and machetes. He also oversaw and commanded attacks in Kibuye, in the western part of the country. The crimes committed by Mpambara, 43, became known when he applied for asylum in the Netherlands.


According to Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Mpambara’s case should serve as a precedent for other countries harbouring genocide suspects.

The image above is of the memorial at the Mugonero Adventist Hospital a “silent but shocking witness of the appalling events that took place on Mugonero hill and inside the hospital itself. Hundreds of children and adults were mercilessly slaughtered, including many of the hospital workers and their families. The majority of the hospital’s equipment and properties were looted and the buildings were left dilapidated.”

Subscribe to our newsletter
Spectrum Newsletter: The latest Adventist news at your fingertips.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.