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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Rwanda: accused Belgian missionary is back home
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 After 75 days of detention in Kigali, Rwanda, the Belgian Catholic missionary accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide arrived in Brussels on November 20. Fr Guy Theunis, a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, had been jailed in Kigali since September 6. He had been arrested while on transit at Kanombe Airport, Kigali, on allegations by a traditional court (Gacaca) that he had been an accomplice to the genocide in which more than a half a million people died. After long and difficult negotiations between the government of Rwanda and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was agreed that the case be transferred to Belgium. Upon arrival, Fr Theunis was interrogated by the police, and later met a state procurator. The Belgian judiciary will open an inquiry to determine whether or not the accusations by the Rwandese government justify a court case. Fr Theunis met his family and his fellow missionaries. He is free to move around, but must make himself available to the judges. He expects to be questioned frequently in the coming weeks. In a communiqué, Fr Gerard Chabanon, Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, thanked all those who had been involved "in defending and making known what Fr Guy had been in the past and what he still remains today." He added that "their articles, signatures, contacts, encouragements and prayers have not been in vain." In Brussels, Fr Theunis commented that he had lived in the prison of Kigali a hard but exceptional time, a synthesis of his spiritual journey, where he had learned to know himself better. Source: CISA
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