Three rights groups; Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), African Rights and REDRESS, have all submitted a list to Zambian President, Rupiah Banda, of 16 key suspects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi believed to be living in Zambia.
According to a statement released recently, the groups sent a confidential list to Banda detailing the names and roles of 16 key suspects.
When contacted yesterday, African Rights was tight lipped on the names saying it’s a measure to encourage Zambia proceed with investigations.
“I am afraid that it is not possible for us to reveal the identity of the 16 suspects as the dossier was submitted to the Government of Zambia on a confidential basis, in order to encourage them to carry out their own investigations,” African Rights’ Rakiya Omaar told The New Times in an e-mail.
“Since they [Zambia] recevied the report recently, it is only fair that we should give them time to digest the report and decide on an appropriate course of action.”
In January, Banda visited Rwanda and expressed determination to take effective action and ensure that Zambia is no longer a safe haven for genocide suspects.
The organisations urge the Zambian government to conduct its own official investigations on the names and take steps to identify any other suspects probably living there.
It is claimed that over the past years, Zambia developed into a ‘power base’ for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group blamed for most of the havoc in eastern DRC and a cause for concern to the entire Great Lakes Region.
The FDLR comprises of remnants of those who masterminded the 1994 genocide and later fled to DRC. The rights organisations call on the Zambian government to meet its obligations under relevant regional and international human rights instruments to ensure that those responsible for the Genocide do not escape justice.
They further note that they stand ready to extend whatever assistance deemed appropriate in the search for justice, recognising the central role of justice in the achievement of durable peace in the region.