Talks to try Burundian Genocide suspects begin

KIGALI - Burundian nationals who committed Genocide may after all not get away with it thanks to ongoing talks between authorities in both countries. The Office of the Prosecutor General has said that they were in the middle of a process to charge some Burundian suspects and that a significant amount of witness statements had been compiled.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga

KIGALI - Burundian nationals who committed Genocide may after all not get away with it thanks to ongoing talks between authorities in both countries.

The Office of the Prosecutor General has said that they were in the middle of a process to charge some Burundian suspects and that a significant amount of witness statements had been compiled.

The development follows a recent appeal to the Government by IBUKA, an umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors, to devise ways of bringing to justice Burundian nationals implicated in the Genocide.

"We have opened communication with our Burundian counterparts and hope that something will be done soon to have these people stand trial," Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said yesterday.

He could not however disclose where the Burundians will be tried from.

"The general principle is we are going to work together throughout the entire process and our counterparts in Burundi have been cooperative," he said.

Ngoga added that there was a large number of Burundian nationals implicated in the Genocide who are imprisoned in different Rwandan prisons but said they are still compiling a list of all Burundian suspects which would be forwarded to Burundian authorities.

Ngoga said that a document indicting some Burundians, including testimonies from Gacaca courts, had also been drawn up.

"There is information regarding Burundians that we got from Gacaca courts and we are still assembling it…this information is very useful to us in this process," he said.

During the official closure of the national Genocide mourning week, the president of IBUKA, Theodore Simburudari, called on the Government to facilitate the arrest and trial of Burundians suspected of having had a hand in the Genocide that left over one million people dead.

At the function which was held at Rebero hill, Kigali, Simburudari said that Burundians were particularly involved in killings in the Eastern and Southern provinces. The Genocide occurred at a time when Rwanda was host to thousands of Burundian refugees who had fled their country following a coup in their country.

Many of them are accused of having joined bands of Interahamwe militias to hunt down and kill Tutsis during the Genocide.

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