[editorial] Fighting the crime of Genocide does not need treaties

The Senate yesterday ratified extradition treaties between Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi.

The Senate yesterday ratified extradition treaties between Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi.

The development could easily have passed unnoticed for the simple reason that Rwanda has other countless extradition treaties with other countries.

While Ethiopia has no known Rwandan fugitives, for the two other countries it is a different story. Malawi and Zambia harbor many Genocide suspects and trying to extract them from there to face justice has always run into a solid wall.

The biggest obstacle has been that the countries have no legal obligation to extradite the suspects in the absence of a treaty. Those are exactly the kind of arguments we should not even be contemplating if we are to take the crime of Genocide seriously.

It is an indication that most of the world is still far detached from reality, simply because it didn’t happen to them does not lessen the crime; neither does it lose its scope and depth. Debating about African solidarity and moving in unison in one direction has no place if bringing genocide suspects to justice has to go through a bureaucratic maze.

But that does not concern Genocide suspects alone. No country should derive pride in sheltering criminals, however petty. It is addressing small things such as fighting crime that will lead to wider intercontinental integration.

It is not lengthy and boring arguments buried in heavy legalese that will bring the dream of a true African union to reality. What is needed is true commitment in whatever we put our mind to. That commitment should begin by fighting impunity in whatever its form.

 

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