It was announced in a recent Cabinet meeting that Rwanda was set to sign an extradition treaty with Kenya, a way that will smoothen judicial cooperation between the two countries regarding the exchange of persons running away from justice.
Kenya’s Attorney General, Amos Wako will lead a delegation to Rwanda in a few weeks time to sign the treaty.
This is a good sign, especially when our two countries, together with other partner members of the East African Community (EAC) are in a process of liberalising the movement of citizens in their respective countries.
Tightening justice and accountability measures only means that the region will be safe from all kinds of criminal elements – they will have nowhere to hide.
However, Rwanda also has a special interest in ensuring that those on the run who took part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are brought to book.
Most of those suspected of having played a major role in the atrocities are said to have fled to different countries within Africa and abroad, including Kenya which is allegedly home to the man who bankrolled the Genocide, Felicien Kabuga.
Kabuga is said to have properties in the country, some of which were last year frozen by a Kenyan court.
Some suspects, especially those who were being sought after by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda were apprehended in Kenya including notorious journalist Hassan Ngeze, who is serving a 35-year sentence handed to him by the UN court.
Following this latest development, other countries, most especially those within Africa should follow suit especially since some of them have been turned into dens of Genocide perpetrators.
These countries should come up strong on these elements dozens of whom were even indicted by the Rwanda National Public Prosecutions Authority, and the indictments contained physical addresses of some of these fugitives.
The extradition treaty arrangement should also be seen as a two-way traffic, much as Rwanda is currently looking at all possible avenues to put to book persons responsible for the Genocide, it will also be easier for them to apprehend criminals from their countries who might want to seek safe haven in Rwanda.