KIGALI - Kenya and Rwanda yesterday signed an extradition treaty.
Kenya’s Attorney General Amos Wako referred to the treaty as a historic occasion that will further enhance the diplomatic relations between both countries.
At the ceremony to append signatures to the treaty, Wako said that the cross-border movement of people and goods between the two countries has grown by ‘leaps and bounds’ since the end of the Genocide and continues to grow today.
“We are sometimes hindered by the cumbersome processes we have to go through to get some things done. This historical day marks the beginning of an easier process,” he said.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, explained that the first extradition treaty between the two countries was signed in 1990 but a proposal to sign a fresh one arose when both realized it was outdated.
“We (Kenya and Rwanda) realized that there were crimes that had not been included, among them; genocide, terrorism, money laundering among others,” he said.
Karugarama added that the treaty was not only good for both countries, but also for the region too.
“This treaty is recognition of human rights. It’s our recognition of the need to put in a place a system that protects its people and their property,” he said.
Karugarama revealed that Rwanda would soon have more of these treaties since talks were going on with several countries within the region and globally.
Rwanda has been aggressively urging countries all over the world to sign the treaties.
By June this year, several African countries had reached an advanced stage of negotiations with Rwanda. They include Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Burundi among others.
It is also seeking to renew the treaty with the Democratic Republic of Congo which is home to thousands of genocide suspects.
Rwanda’s Spokesman for the prosecution; Augustin Nkusi, said that securing the extradition treaty with Kenya will be a major boost to efforts to track down suspects, especially those responsible for the 1994 Genocide.