Humanity’s failure still lingers 16 years down the line

The aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi will continue to be felt for many more years to come, not only in Rwanda or Africa but throughout the whole world. This is the global dimension to the tragedy.

The aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi will continue to be felt for many more years to come, not only in Rwanda or Africa but throughout the whole world. This is the global dimension to the tragedy.

While the regional implications are well known and documented, there is an international dimension that needs redress.

This is the disturbing inability by the international community to cooperate in bringing to book known Genocide perpetrators holed up in Western capitals.

Rwanda in1994 was left on its death bed during its hour of need. A host of factors served to accelerate the road to the Apocalypse. With time, and against great odds, Rwandans have moved on.

The international community including the major players such as USA and the  Western European countries including France -the super power of Central Africa at the time, have in one way or another owned up to having contributed to the failure to prevent the Genocide.

However it is still depressing to note that 16 years down the road that efforts to bring to book known perpetrators, by the international community, is proceeding at a snails pace.

This slow pace can be said to be going against the efforts geared towards fighting the culture of impunity. While the international community has embraced the Rwandan reconstruction programmes the element of addressing impunity needs to be given due attention.

Perhaps the best way of owning up to failure by the international community is to bring to book once and for all the numerous perpetrators. This is a key element of cementing closer ties with the relatives of Rwandans who lost their loved ones while enduring the horrors that came with the tragedy.

It is still very unfortunate to hear reports that known genocidaires are still walking freely within Western capitals. The message sent by such a disturbing observation is ironic to say the least.

Why would the international community say that they have mended relations with Rwandans while it is known that within their capitals those responsible for the Genocide are being allowed to walk scoot-free?

How long do we have to wait for justice to appear to be done in this regard? 16 years down the line is quite a long time.

Africans cannot wait for members to the international community to put their acts together to round up these perpetrators. If anything it brings to question the dictates of the classic justice system.

In Rwanda, through its home grown Gacaca justice system, cases of those responsible have been generally wound up.

Rwandans are eagerly waiting for the remaining perpetrators to be brought to book so that justice can be seen have been served.

ojiwah@gmail.com

Fred Oluoch-Ojiwah is a journalist with The New Times

 

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