Nduhungirehe to African Union: Fighting impunity needs global cooperation

Nduhungirehe (right) and Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, UN Special Representative to the African Union at the session in Addis Ababa yesterday. Courtesy.

The Minister of State for the East African Community, Olivier Nduhungirehe, has said that fighting impunity needs global cooperation, calling on African countries to collaborate with Rwanda and international justice systems to bring to book genocide fugitives.

The minister was addressing the African Union Peace and Security Council on Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in an open session on prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes in Africa.

“Fighting impunity needs worldwide cooperation. I call on all concerned governments to cooperate with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and with the Government of Rwanda in the arrest and prosecution of the remaining genocide fugitives,” he said.

Nduhungirehe briefed the session in line with the 25th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

This session was convened at a time when the world is pausing to commemorate, for the 25th time, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Genocide denial is not an opinion as some would wish to argue. Denial is a crime and should be punished. Genocide is a process, not a one-time event. It’s a process that runs from divisionism, targeted hate speeches, dehumanisation and later extermination,” he said.

Nduhungirehe told the gathering that the status of ratification of the United Nations Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide shows how serious the world is about ‘Never Again’.

The convention has so far been ratified or acceded to by 150 states, with other 44 UN member states yet to do so.

Of those who have not ratified or acceded to the convention, 20 are in Africa.

The minister said it was important that AU member states that have not done so to accede or ratify the convention on prevention of genocide.

The AU Peace and Security Council, which Nduhungirehe was addressing was established as part of reforms undertaken by the African Union in 2002 in response to some of important challenges like wars, genocide and other grave matters.