Rwanda: Canada to Deport 'Drunk-Driving' Priest

By Edmund Kagire, 23 February 2012

He battled Genocide charges and succeeded, but somehow the law has caught up with him.

Juvénal Nsengiyumva, a Rwandan Catholic priest living in Montreal, Canada, will finally be deported to Rwanda after a court in the country found him guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.

For many years, Nsengiyumva, who originates from Musanze Northern Province, has been battling charges related to complicity and inciting violence in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The clergyman was cleared after a long legal process and even went to the extent of writing to the Vatican denying any participation in the Genocide, going on however to denounce the post Genocide government.

Nsengiyumva was ordained in 1992 and served in Ruhengeri Diocese until July 1994. He fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) together with several other Catholic priests, and in August 1994, wrote to Pope John informing him of the situation in Rwanda.

The priest now is on the verge of being deported by the Canadian government for drinking and driving, according to media reports from Canada.

Known to be a radical extremist, Nsengiyumva claims that his life will be in danger once deported to Rwanda. Among the Rwandan communities in Montreal, Nsengiyumva is known to give sermons denouncing the current regime.

According to the reports, even in his most recent speeches, Nsengiyumva tells a different story of the genocide in which he blames RPF for the massacres in 1994 that claimed over one million and that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is headed by war criminals.

He arrived in Canada in 1999 where he claimed refugee protection but his claim was rejected. He was later allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds by permission of the minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Canadian court ruled that he was "unfit to remain in Canada", hence rescinding the minister's permission.

Efforts to confirm the exact date for deportation could not yield to anything.

If deported, Nsengiyumva will be the second from the North American country, after the widely-publicised deportation of Leon Mugesera, an academic who was finally brought to Rwanda after a legal battle of close to two decades.

Mugesera, who is mainly known for his venomous speech in 1992, in which he called for the extermination of Tutsis, is currently awaiting trial. Rwanda: Canada to Deport 'Drunk-Driving' Priest