Can France deliver justice for Genocide victims?

Editor, I would like to know what assurance we have that France is not fooling us. We are all aware that, in the past, Elysée Palace has done nothing to have many Genocide suspects living in France brought to justice. Just in September last year, French courts turned down a request to have Col. Laurent Serubuga extradited to Rwanda.
A monument bearing names of Genocide victims at Rebero Memorial. The New Times/File
A monument bearing names of Genocide victims at Rebero Memorial. The New Times/File

Editor,

I would like to know what assurance we have that France is not fooling us. We are all aware that, in the past, Elysée Palace has done nothing to have many Genocide suspects living in France brought to justice. Just in September last year, French courts turned down a request to have Col. Laurent Serubuga extradited to Rwanda.

We also are all aware that Serubuga was the deputy chief of staff of the genocidal forces, but to the surprise of many, France ordered his immediate release. In rejecting the extradition request, the court in Douai, northern France, cited that Serubuga could not be prosecuted for genocide since the crime did not exist in the Rwandan criminal code when the atrocities were committed (during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi).

So to the French; whoever was killed before 1994 deserves no justice? Then, if they refused to bring Serubuga to justice, why are they trying Simbikangwa while both suspects are accused for the same case? We are not fools not to know when we are being fooled. Serubuga was part of a group of officers known as the “Juvénal Habyarimana comrades of July 5, 1973”, who helped him overthrow President Grégoire Kayibanda, and he actively continued killing innocent people until his genocidal government was overthrown by RPF-Inkotanyi. We also remember the two cases of Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and Laurent Bucyibaruta whom ICTR transferred to France. These two suspects have not been tried ever since because France has kept their case in the shelves. ICTR later raised concerns, but the Paris has remained indifferent.

Edd,
Rwanda

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France has itself committed or been complicit in crimes of the Genocide against the Tutsi. We won’t forget how France fought alongside the then Rwandan army and genocidal militias in the name of helping their “ally”.

The French Government knew very well that the then Government of Rwanda planned and was (at the time they were helping their ally) executing mass killings. What else on earth do we need for evidence? What is so disappointing is that testimonies and material evidence alluding to France’s role in the Genocide are there in abundance, and the methods and rules that guide and govern the establishment of a fact(s) before a court are all in place.

The fact that France claims that their system of justice is so superior over that of Rwanda, and that they have all it takes to dispense justice, given that it has taken them 20 years without trying any single Genocide case, and yet they harbour a good number of suspects on their soil, is a good evidence of France’s role and complicity in Genocide against the Tutsi.

John,
Rwanda

Reactions to the story, “French court finally tries Genocide case” (The New Times, February 5)

 

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