Africa: Commonwealth Countries Urged to Help Arrest Genocide Fugitives

Activists and survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda are urging leaders in Kigali for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to help arrest all suspected perpetrators of the genocide hiding in their countries.

Their call came on Wednesday, June 22, a day after the Prince of Wales and his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Kigali.

Egide Nkuranga, acting president of Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors associations, said: “There are many perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who are still at large in some of the Commonwealth countries such as England, Australia, and others.

“What we request the leaders (in those countries) is that they arrest those suspected of committing genocide and send them to Rwanda for trial or take the court in their own countries.”

Egide Mutabazi, 46, a genocide survivor from Ngoma District, said: “It’s great they paid tribute to the victims of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi at the main memorial in Rwanda. However, it’s a shame for UK to still harbour the perpetrators of that genocide.

“It’s unbelievable that the UK can neither try them nor transfer them [to Rwanda] for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

A decision is still pending on five extradition cases of Rwandan genocide suspects – Dr Vincent Bajinya, Célestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo and Célestin Mutabaruka – living in the UK.

Speaking at an event to mark the 28th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, earlier in April, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Johnston Busingye, called on the country’s government to invest more efforts in bringing to court Genocide fugitives who are at large.

According to Ibuka, it also does not serve justice when the fugitives die before they have their day in court to answer for what they did.

Egide Gatari, President of the Association of Former Students Survivors of the Genocide (GAERG), told The New Times that all they request for is to see all suspected genocidaires who are fugitives face justice.

Niwegaju Sinzi Greiner, an activist who recently initiated a petition to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, urging him not to give a platform to Genocide deniers in the state is distressed that a genocide denier, Amiel Nubaha, the son of a genocide suspect in Australia is referred to as a hero.

Nubaha’s father, Froduard Rukeshangabo, lives in Australia. Rukeshangabo is alleged to have directed mass murder and torture of the Tutsi in the Eastern Province during the 1994 Genocide.

Niwegaju said: “Many Commonwealth countries pride themselves on their values, their respect for the rule of law, and core principles such as justice and equity.

“But to turn a blind eye to the genocidaires in their midst is a betrayal of the very principles they are founded upon.”

Yolanda Mukagasana, president of the Yolanda Mukagasana Foundation, whose objectives include fighting against denial and revisionism of the 1994 Genocide, said: “Thank you Prince Charles and Madame for laying flowers at the Gisozi Memorial where rests victims of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, including my husband and all my children.”

“But I would like to see you pledge to bring justice to them because some of their killers live a good and quiet life in the world, even in England.”

Besides the Royals, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will lead his country’s delegation at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Globally, there are more than 1,400 arrest warrants issued by the government of Rwanda.

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