Froduald Karamira (14 August 1947 – 24 April 1998) was a Rwandan politician who was found guilty of crimes in organising the implementation of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He was sentenced to death by a Rwandan court and was one of the last 24 individuals executed by Rwanda.
On 23 October 1993, Karamira gave a public speech during which he coined the concept of "Hutu Power". He called on Hutus “to rise [and] take the necessary measures”, and to “look within ourselves for the enemy which is amongst us”.
On 8 April 1994, after the death of Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana when his plane was shot down, Karamira participated in the creation of the interim government. During the genocide, Karamira gave daily speeches that were broadcast on the Mille Collines radio station. After the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front defeated the government in July 1994 and the genocide ended, Karamira disappeared from Rwanda. He was indicted by the government of Rwanda for genocide, murder, conspiracy, and non-assistance to people in danger.
Arrest, trial, and execution
In June 1996, Karamira was arrested by Indian officials in Mumbai and was extradited to Rwanda. His trial began on 13 January 1997 in Kigali. In addition to his daily speeches that incited genocide, it was claimed that he was instrumental in creating and arming the Interahamwe militias; he was also accused of being personally responsible for the killing of hundreds of Tutsis, including 13 members of his own family.
On 14 February 1997, Karamira was convicted on all counts and was sentenced to death. He appealed to the Kigali Appeals Court, but the appeal was rejected and his sentence confirmed on 12 September 1997. On 24 April 1998, in a public event at the Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali, Karamira was executed by firing squad along with 21 other people convicted of involvement in the Rwandan Genocide. The same day, at least two other individuals were also executed at other locations in Rwanda.
Rwanda abolished the death penalty in 2007. The 24 people executed in 1998, including Karamira, were the last to have been executed in Rwanda.
- "Trial Watch: Froduald Karamira", Trial Watch, accessed 2008-08-22.
- Jane Standley, "From butchery to executions in Rwanda", BBC News, 1998-04-28.
- James C. McKinley Jr., "As Crowds Vent Their Rage, Rwanda Publicly Executes 22", New York Times, 1998-04-25.
- "Rwanda is the first African country in the Great Lakes region to abolish the death penalty", 2008-01-01, handsoffcain.info, accessed 2008-08-22.
- Linda Melvern (2004). Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwandan Genocide (New York: Verso, ISBN 1-85984-588-6)