The East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), a regional anti-crime grouping is yet to deliver on its promise – hunting down Rwandan genocide suspects.
During the 10th annual EAPCCO summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa last September, the Council of Police Chiefs had recognized the gravity of genocide as a crime against humanity and included it in their joint cooperation arrangement. However, almost seven months later, no significant progress has been made.
“EAPCCO countries have not delivered on arresting genocide fugitives but Rwanda still urges all member countries to act on their promises,” Police Spokesman John Uwamungu declared Friday.
“We have been discussing these issues for the past years and in September, it was only a pursuit of the same process. We have always been advocating for the arrest of these fugitives and we only reaffirmed that last year,” he said.
Uwamungu underscored that such forums had always been used to emphasize the importance of arresting the fugitives which he said will continue but did not mince words on the dissatisfaction so far.
He urged the member states to put more effort and, not only with EAPCCO but all the international community, in ensuring the arrest of the fugitives.
Fifteen years after the 1994 Genocide, several masterminds still roam freely in different African countries, just like in other parts of the world whereas some have been reported in some EAPCCO member states.
EAPCCO was founded in Kampala in 1998 and groups Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
“We (Rwanda) are members of EAPCCO, just like we are members of Interpol. Countries know of the Red Notices placed on these people but they have not arrested them,” said Uwamungu.
This was in response to the need for an institutionalized body to harnesses collective national efforts for curtailing cross-border crime within the region and, its constitution recognizes the Interpol Sub Regional Bureau in Nairobi as its secretariat.