The International Police (Interpol) has pledged to step up the search for fugitive perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Interpol secretary-general Ronald Kenneth Noble, who is in the country for the 6th experts meeting on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, said it does not matter how much time it will take, but they would not rest until every fugitive “out there has been brought to book.”
The Kigali forum runs under the theme, “Closing the impunity gap.”
Most of the people accused of masterminding the 1994 Genocide live freely, especially in France.
“I have been asked severally how long it will take. My answer has been, is and will remain that Interpol and its member countries will be working to ensure that every single fugitive of the Genocide against the Tutsi is brought to justice,” Noble told a media briefing.
“That is a promise to Rwanda and its people that we will honour,” he added.
Noble, who is accompanied by Interpol president Mireille Ballestrazzi, said from their perspective, having the two of them attend the same meeting, is a statement of their commitment to bring to justice the fugitives.
He echoed UN chief Ban Ki -moon on the guilt of the international community for its failure to protect innocent Rwandans during the slaugher.
“Nothing that we can say today can ever replace the extraordinary loss of life or heal the pain of the nation, nor can any action or deed absorb the guilt of the international community for its failure to protect the people of Rwanda,” he said.
“In the words of United Nations Secretary-General, we could have done much more; we should have done much more.”
While opening the conference, Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said stronger cooperation was necessary to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
“The theme of the conference–closing the impunity gap–is relevant to global efforts in bringing to justice the perpetrators of genocide and other crimes against humanity. Our region and the world in general is endangered by crimes whose perpetrators continue to escape justice,” Habumuremyi said.
“This is a good opportunity to appeal to peace-loving people to enhance efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against humanity.”
The premier said Genocide experience has led Rwanda to believe that there should not be impunity and that it is against this background that Rwanda is contributing to international peace efforts.
The country is currently the sixth largest contributor of peacekeepers to UN missions around the world.
“Rwanda is also participating in various forums to prevent such crimes from happening anywhere in the world. Rwanda has offered to host the Interpol general assembly in 2015,” the premier said.
Interpol president Ballestrazzi said cooperation and collaboration was enshrined in the organisation’s principles to seek, identify and bring to book criminals and that the concept had helped in tracking down some 40 Rwandan fugitives in 14 countries over the years.
Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana said there was need to do a lot more to bring the perpetrators of the Genocide to justice and to restore dignity of the survivors.
“We still have many Genocide fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and more than 200 red notices issued at the request of the Rwandan government. Closing the impunity gap means bringing to justice those responsible for such crime. This will effectively contribute to prevention of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”