Why the ICTR archives should not move to Kenya

As the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) works around the clock to wind up its operations in Arusha by the end of next year, speculation is ripe that the genocide archives in Arusha could be transferred to Nairobi.  

As the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) works around the clock to wind up its operations in Arusha by the end of next year, speculation is ripe that the genocide archives in Arusha could be transferred to Nairobi.  

Personally, I have reservations particularly about Kenya being the host of the archives or indeed any other country besides Rwanda, which suffered the bloodshed at the hands of the very same people the ICTR was prosecuting.

I do not doubt Kenya’s competence and political goodwill in keeping custody of the archives, which include large records, testimonies and tens of thousands of hours of video-taped court proceedings that have amassed over the last fifteen years.  

However, my personal pessimism with Kenya comes from the fact that in the last fifteen years some government officials in high places, as it is widely speculated, have colluded with Kabuga Felicien, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi mastermind to evade justice.

Kabuga, whose presence in Kenya for some years back has been a open secret has been living in Nairobi owning huge businesses and estates in partnership with other business moguls in Kenya.

Currently his presence in Kenya can neither be confirmed nor denied but in case he is still hiding there I think it could jeopardize the whole idea.

This is the most wanted fugitive in Africa and among the top ten most wanted in the world.

The recent statistics show that he is among the ten richest fugitives in the world with this, he is ready to spend his last penny to evade justice and manipulate the evidence and equip the genocide deniers with something to advance their cause.

Some may dismiss the argument since the archives will have a UN mandate and independent from any establishment but personally I think that Kabuga can go to great length to kill in order to keep his genocide ideology alive as he is still at large. 

This is how it can be easy for him or any other person to destroy the evidence.

We remember very well how the genocide perpetrators had infiltrated the ICTR as lawyers for the defendants with an aim of distorting the justice process.

In Kenya closer to him where he has a huge financial muscle, with his colleagues who have provided sanctuary to him for the past fifteen years not forgetting the sympathizers of the genocide ideology all over the world, infiltrating the archives would be easiest for them unless Kabuga is apprehended and his assets frozen with immediate effect.

The other issues is why there is even a debate about the transfer of the archives; Rwanda is the country where the 1994 Genocide happened, isn’t it? Several international teams have visited Rwanda on fact finding missions to assess the conditions of the prisons here and the justice system and were satisfied. The question is what is missing to transfer the cases?

angarambe@yahoo.com

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