Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, on Wednesday met at various venues, both in the country and around the world to commemorate for the 16th time the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In his message, on the occasion, the UN Secretary General reiterated the need to dispense justice, mainly in the interest of the survivors.
This is a welcome gesture from the global top diplomat, given the fact that, the institution he heads failed the Rwandan people at their hour of need.
The way UN walked out on Rwandans at the time they needed it most is well documented. What the survivors need today, as part of the healing process, is justice.
It’s true the United Nations instituted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which has seen some of the key perpetrators of the Genocide tried and sentenced, most notably the notorious Theoneste Bagosora and the former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda.
To Rwandans, however, the ICTR has not done enough, it has for example acquitted some of the people who, in broad day light, incited and supervised the killings. The list is too long.
Needless to say, is the fact that 16 years down the road, they have failed to apprehend the most notorious genocidaire, Felicien Kabuga.
As the tribunal winds up its activities, the UN should back Rwanda’s proposal to have the residual cases transferred to Rwanda and also have the remaining few convicts sent to do their time in Rwanda.
The UN should also ensure that the archives that the tribunal has accumulated over this whole period are brought to Rwanda.
This is where it all started, therefore, it only makes sense that all the records and references should be kept at the crime scene - in 1994, the whole country became a crime scene.
This would make it much easier for future generations of scholars and researchers to conduct their studies in the subject of Genocide.