All countries are obliged to arrest Genocide fugitives on their soil


Police officers arrest Genocide suspect Jean Twagiramungu at Kigali International Airport on his extradition from Germany in August last year. File.


RE: “Zambia committed to arrest of Genocide fugitives, says Lungu” (The New Times, February 22). Like Zambia, other countries should help stop impunity on génocidaires.

Kudos to Zambian President Edgar Lungu for promising that his country will continue to partake in efforts aimed at bringing to book perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

This is a commitment that should be made by all countries despite the fact that it is an international obligation that has been reneged by many.

Governments should be reminded that every single country is bound by international laws to investigate the matter as ascribed by international legal instruments like Resolution 2150 of the UN Security Council adopted on April 16, 2014 which requires all states: to investigate, arrest, prosecute or extradite, in fulfillment of their international obligations, all fugitives accused of genocide residing on their territory, including FDLR leaders.

Or the International Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (also known as the Genocide Convention) which states that “to deter people from committing crimes of genocide, those responsible for such crimes need to be brought to justice and to fight impunity and establish a credible expectation that the perpetrators of genocide and related crimes will be held accountable to effectively contribute to a culture of prevention”.

Some countries are still adamant in helping bring to book suspects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi even as Rwanda did everything possible to inform them on the presence of these suspects on their territories.

According to official figures, DR Congo and Uganda top the list of countries that harbour most indicted Genocide fugitives at 254 and 226, respectively, followed by France (42), Malawi (42), Belgium (39), Kenya (28), Tanzania (25) and US (23). The others are Netherlands (18), Congo Brazzaville (16), Canada (14), Burundi (14), Mozambique (12), Zambia (11), Central African Republic (8), Cameroon (7), Norway (6), and Germany (6).