KIGALI - Years after the Rwandan government sent indictments of nine Genocide fugitives living in Mozambique, the country’s Minister of Justice, Levi Benvinda, has said that her government has vowed to offer support and collaboration in tracking down the suspects and bring them to justice.
Benvinda made the remarks yesterday after meeting President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village.
“I am here to deliver a special message of peace to President Kagame from his counterpart Armando Guebuza, and the main objective is keeping the relations between the two countries firm and sound,” Benvida told the press after the meeting.
On the presence of Genocide fugitives in her country, Benvida said; “we are working together with the government of Rwanda to track these people and bring them to book. If someone is suspected of Genocide, we have to take him or her to court”.
Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama who also attended the meeting said that President Kagame welcomed Mozambique’s move to assist in arresting and extraditing the suspects.
“The special message to the President indicated that the two countries enjoy bilateral relations and clearly stated that Mozambique will not be a haven for Genocide perpetrators,” Karugarama told the press.
He however added that the exact number of Genocide fugitives in Mozambique is not yet known, but Rwanda has so far sent nine extradition requests to Mozambique.
“So far we have tracked nine suspects living in Mozambique and these have been indicted by the Rwandan courts,” said Karugarama, who also double’s as Rwanda’s Attorney General.
He added that Rwanda recently sent a request backed with a proposal for the two countries to sign an extradition treaty.
“The response is very amazing…Mozambique indicated that they received the request and accepted it; what remains is to sign the treaty,” he added.
Mozambique was once home to Callixte Gakwaya, a lawyer who was working with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as a defence investigator and was accused of participating in the Genocide.
He later died before he was apprehended to answer charges levelled against him which included spearheading killings in Gikondo, a Kigali suburb.
Reports say Genocide fugitives in Mozambique are running thriving businesses.
Other African countries said to harbour many Genocide suspects include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.