Reluctance by many African countries to cooperate in arresting and deporting the masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi will be the continent’s Achilles heel, the Justice minister has said.
Johnston Busingye was addressing delegates yesterday at a conference in Kigali that aimed to evaluate the progress made since the end of the 1994 Genocide and identify challenges to the ongoing transformation in Rwanda.
The Attorney General explained that African countries have not yet internalised the relationship between what they say or the commitments they make and what they actually do.
“There is still a ghost, probably from our colonial past, that eats into our present and when it comes to the bilateral or multilateral things we need to do in order to fully integrate or hold ourselves fully accountable and so on, we have difficulties,” the minister stated.
The recent killing of Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura, the supreme commander of the FDLR, by the DR Congo military, the minister said, should have been effected a week or two after the Genocide.
Africa, he noted, seems to have some pain in the foot when it comes to the real things that will make it fully integrate.
“It will be Africa’s Achilles heel and we will pay a price for it as a continent,” he added.
He explained that there are many African countries which never even bother to follow up and investigate when they receive indictments from Kigali.
“The internal dynamics of what happens I am not privy to. But what I know is that here, in Rwanda, whether you’ve stolen a car or anything else from Uganda, Congo, Burundi or Tanzania and you end up here, we take you back.”
He added: “We do this to demonstrate something; this is not the place to come when you commit a crime. We do it so that it can also be done for us; there (should be) reciprocity. But this reciprocity sometimes becomes a mirage.”
Rwanda has since 2007 issued 1,012 indictments and warrants for Genocide fugitives in 32 countries across the word, according to the Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit (GFTU).
The problem of the fugitives still loaming free, according to Busingye, is that they are the last outposts of genocide ideology and denial, pushing both relentlessly and without remorse and deliberately poisoning their listeners.