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Priest ready to face his accusers

A Rwandan priest, Reverend Athanase Seromba, who has been accused of involvement in the country’s 1994 genocide is “ready” to face his accusers, the Associated Press (AP) quoted a spokesman for Florence archdiocese as saying on Tuesday. According to a statement by the diocesan spokesman, Riccardo Bigi, which was carried by the Catholic missionary news service Misna, the priest was still in the diocese “and he is ready to respond before the law to all of the accusations he is facing”. Seromba left Rwanda in 1994. In 1999, an African Rights report accused him of helping orchestrate the massacre of some 2,000 Tutsi refugees at his parish in Nyange in April 1994. Seromba has said that he had already left Nyange when the killings began, AP said. Seromba who had been working as a priest in the Florence archdiocese since 1997, left his parish last month to avoid the media after the chief UN war crimes prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, said she was “stupefied” that Italy had refused to cooperate with her investigation. “I wouldn’t want to have to tell the UN Security Council that Italy is a country that doesn’t like to cooperate. I hope not,” she was quoted as saying in an interview with the Italian Tirreno newspaper.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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