Former Rwanda president freed from prison

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NAIROBI, Kenya -- Rwanda's first post-genocide leader walked free from prison Friday after a surprise presidential pardon of his convictions that included inciting ethnic tension.

Pasteur Bizimungu was freed after serving two years of a 15-year term as an act of clemency by President Paul Kagame to build national unity, an official said. His release came on the 13th anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide in which 500,000 were killed.

"It's a good gesture, it's done in good faith, it's done for the good," Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told The Associated Press by telephone from the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

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