Over the weekend, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) disclosed that the Arusha based court was hunting down close to 11 Genocide crime fugitives that are holed up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Hassan Bubacar Jallow said this at the sidelines of the annual general assembly for Rwanda’s Public Prosecution Authority held at Serena Hotel. In the same meeting was DRC’s chief government prosecutor, Flory Kabange Numbi.
Though volatile Eastern DRC continues to be home to a sizable number of these fugitives, the good news is that the barriers that have for long shielded them in this country are fast diminishing.
The restoration of ties between Rwanda and DRC has created a window of opportunity to, not only apprehend these criminals but to also deal squarely with negative forces that have for long wrecked havoc in the region.
The will to deal with this historical menace has never been more pronounced than we see today. The exceptional manifestation of this resolve was brought to the limelight when Rwanda and the DRC agreed to carry out joint military operations to deal decisively with the rebel outfit, FDLR.
As a result of this operation, FDLR was left in disarray, leaving hundreds of its rank and file to surrender for repatriation with dozens more killed and its operational structures dismantled.
Therefore, if the two governments can agree on joint military operations, an act evidently more complicated, the issue of tracking down fugitives should be easier.
Gone are the times when these key fugitives would fly through Kinshasa airport to link up with their terrorist leadership in Western capitals.
The ICTR needs to take advantage of these good relations by sharing information with both governments to act collectively in arresting these fugitives.
Otherwise, the writing is on the wall---FDLR and the Genocide masterminds within the rebel outfit are simply living on borrowed time.