Rwanda slams France over employment of Genocide convict in public hospital


Residents of Kicukiro District during a walk to remember the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. / File

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has condemned the recruitment of convicted Genocide fugitive Charles Twagira, by Hôpitaux Paul Doumer, a geriatric facility managed by Assistance Publique, Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) in Labruyère, France.

A former regional director for health in the current Western Province, Twagira was tried and convicted of genocide crimes by Rwandan courts.

He is one of the Genocide planners in the former Kibuye Prefecture, where he used his position to incite the local population to participate in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the commission says.

French authorities have an indictment detailing the crimes Twagira stands accused (of) back home.

In a statement released on Monday, the Executive Secretary of CNLG, Jean-Damascène Bizimana, said that Twagira should be prosecuted or deported to Rwanda where he was found guilty of genocide crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The ruling was passed on September 1, 2009 by the Bwishyura Gacaca Court.

“He was found responsible for the massacre of the wife and children of his colleague, Dr Camille Karibwende, former head of the Kibuye Hospital. He also obstructed medical relief for thousands of Tutsi refugees at Gatwaro Stadium bordering Kibuye Hospital,” Bizimana says in the statement.

“He sent killers to the same stadium to massacre the Tutsi who had sought refuge there, and they buried several refugees alive. He also established checkpoints in front of and inside the hospital to facilitate Interahamwe militiamen in preventing Tutsi from fleeing and murder them”, he added.

Twagira arrived in France in 2006 from the Democratic Republic of Congo via Benin.

He was briefly arrested in March 2014 in Vire, where he had found refuge in Calvados, after a complaint filed by the Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), an organization that strives to bring to book Genocide suspects living on French soil.

He was released on bail by French courts on May 22, 2015 and then placed under judicial control.

Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant against him on June 9, 2014, which was not followed up by France.

On the contrary, Twagira lives freely and has even been recruited since January 10, 2018 by a French public hospital.

However, according to the French Penal Code, in its article 138, paragraph 12, a person under judicial control, cannot exercise an activity of a professional or social nature, in this case medicine.

The commission notes that the recruitment of Twagira is a violation by France of its own criminal law and the international obligation to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.

“CNLG considers this recruitment as a trivialisation of the Genocide, and calls on the French government to suspend this recruitment in accordance with the French criminal law,” reads part of the statement.

Rwanda has issued 42 international arrest warrants for alleged perpetrators of the genocide who are said to be living in France, but only three have since been executed.

The UN Human Rights Council asked France at its 29th session that took place from 15th to 26th January 2018 to either try all genocidaires on its territory or extradite them to Rwanda.

In 2009, Dr Eugène Rwamucyo, a Rwandan medic, was suspended from his duties at a hospital in Maubeuge in France for alleged involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.