EDITORIAL: Surprising fact: over 1000 Genocide convicts still at large, here

Six years after the Gacaca courts closed, a total of 1,538 people convicted by the semi-traditional courts remain at large. (File)

When officials from the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) were presenting their annual report before the joint chamber of Parliament, a disturbing picture unfolded; as years go by, the urgency to mete out justice to Genocide victims could be losing steam.

They told parliament that over 1,538 people who were convicted by Gacaca Courts were still at large. That in itself cannot come as a surprise, as it is normal for fugitives to run as far away from law enforcement as possible.

 

What is the most astounding revelation is that only 204 are known to have fled to other countries, the rest are still within our borders, albeit most of them hiding in unknown addresses. 

 

Then CNLG dropped an incredulous bombshell; the addresses of 167 fugitives are known! So, the question on everyone’s mind is; why are they still out there? And by the way, it will help to keep in mind that Gacaca Courts closed shop six years ago!

 

The other issue is the orphans who, 24 years down the road, have no details of their families because they were infants during the Genocide. They found difficulties getting National IDs because the National Identification Agency needs to fill in the gaps of family background and origins.

But what is incomprehensible is that even though CNLG and other agencies acknowledge the existence of those young men and women and the predicament they are in, they cannot get the support other Genocide survivors get, such as FARG support.

It is a real shame to see the sense of urgency to deal with the fallout of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi ebbing. Surely CNLG, Ibuka and FARG can do better than this.

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