EDITORIAL: UN should overcome its weaknesses and haul in genocidaires

It has all the hallmarks of a widespread conspiracy to shield key elements of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that 25 years later, key suspects are still out there despite bounties worth millions of dollars over their heads?

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the successor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has told the Security Council that they know the whereabouts of some of the wanted genocidares but that countries were reluctant to cooperate.

That is an indictment of the whole UN system, that the Genocide against the Tutsi was no longer an important item in their agenda-it is part of history and should remain so.

Another surprising revelation was that just a few days ago, the South African government had promised MICT that it would soon cooperate in the case of a fugitive identified on its soil. If there is an international arrest warrant drawn up by the United Nations, what is South Africa waiting for?

The UN Security Council has punished countries for less, let alone those shielding some of the architects and executors of the crime off the century. Delaying to apprehend the suspect in South Africa is buying him more time to go underground. After all these years, most of the suspects had started letting down their guard, they are at their most vulnerable and it was the right time to go after them.

MICT investigators should not let this opportunity elude them, but most importantly, the UN should take this matter of Genocide suspects still at large seriously and publicly call out the countries harbouring the fugitives.

Complaining and doing nothing only emboldens the suspects, who, all through the years, have learnt to exploit the UN system’s weak point – inaction.