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Former leader pardoned by Rwandan president

By Candice Dehnbostel

Rwanda's ex-president was freed from jail Friday after a surprise presidential pardon of convictions that included inciting ethnic strain, according to The Associated Press.

Pasteur Bizimungu was imprisoned in 2004 after a trial that rights groups said was politically motivated, reported Reuters. He had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for forming a militia, embezzling state funds and creating ethnic violence in a nation just starting to recover from genocide.

Bizimungu, a member of the country's Hutu majority, was accused of supporting hostility toward the Tutsi minority, reported Agence France-Presse.