Editorial: Genocidaires can run but they cannot hide

Paris is on fire and the violence risks spilling over across its borders, especially in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

In what began as protests against fuel hikes, the government’s decision to rescind the hikes was its Achille’s heel. It only emboldened the rioters who had found a chink in Macron’s armour.

The “yellow jackets” demonstrators widened their grievances to include economic hardships and the spiralling high cost of living.

But away from Paris. For the past two decades, tucked away in the small south-western town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot lived a doctor with a sinister past and he was from Rwanda. He was a major suspect in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and French authorities have at last decided to prosecute him for the crime.

Sosethene Munyemana is accused of taking part in killings as well as conspiracy in crimes against humanity committed mainly in the southern town of Butare in Rwanda.

It took the French exactly 20 years to lift a finger against Genocide suspects most of whom have found refuge and safety within its borders. Successive French governments did not show any interest in pursuing the suspects despite existing arrest warrants.

Only three people have been tried and convicted in France beginning 2014 with Pascal Simbikangwa, a former intelligence officer, followed by the trials of Tito Barahira and Octavien Ngenzi in 2016. There is another in the pipeline that could see Claude Muhayimana brought to justice.

It has been a long two-decades-and-a-half but the wait has been worthwhile as efforts, especially by France, to wipe the slate clean and see that justice is done.