Editorial: Willingness to try Genocide suspects is the missing link, not the evidence

This country has been struggling with the ghosts of the Genocide for close to a quarter of a century. It has been trying to bring closure to the families of over a million souls lost.

Along that perilous journey, it has met a few genuine friends who really feel the hurt that survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi walk with everyday. Since the victims cannot be brought back from the dead, the least survivors expect is justice.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) – however unsatisfactory – played its part on behalf of the international community. During its operations, it amassed a trove of documents that can indict thousands who are still free out there. But no one bothers to consult them.

So when it transfers cases to national jurisdictions, like in the case of Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and Laurent Bucyibaruta in France, there is enough data to warrant a trial. But the two fellows are still enjoying French hospitality because there is lack of will.

Just across the border, in the UK, five individuals have wrapped the British judiciary around their little fingers. Judges have refused to extradite them on the basis that they might not get fair trials in Rwanda, as if they are the first ones to be extradited and tried. That circus has been going on for the last 11 years over genocide crimes committed 24 years ago!

So when the British High Commissioner, after meeting the Justice Minister, says the Metropolitan Police has taken up the mater afresh, but that the investigations are still in the “early days”, one wonders how early is 11 years.

What all the above cases prove is that many countries do not take the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi seriously; otherwise they would have been quick to rid from their territory anyone with a whiff of suspicion of taking part in the Genocide. There is definitely little will.

 

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