Why should anyone be surprised by France’s decision on Munyeshyaka?

I am not really surprised by the French decision to drop Genocide charges against one of the worst culprits of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Editor,

RE: “Govt slams France’s dismissal of Munyeshyaka Genocide case” (The New Times, October 7).

I am not really surprised by the French decision to drop Genocide charges against one of the worst culprits of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

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Suspected génocidaire Fr Wenceslas Munyeshyaka. (Net photo)

This decision is very consistent with previous French decisions to refuse to extradite or to try other génocidaires on French territory on the risible grounds that mass murder (i.e. genocidal extermination) was not a crime in Rwanda at the time those accused committed the acts for which they should be tried.

This French position is also fully in line with the view openly stated by François Mitterrand and reported in Le Figaro, then French president and a close ally of the genocidal Rwandan government of the time that, “In such countries (i.e. like Rwanda), genocide is not too important”.

No, none of us should be surprised at all by this latest French decision, even as these hypocrites deign to open a criminal case against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for alleged human rights crimes.

What should scandalise us instead are the backroom political deals that resulted in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) transferring the Wenceslas Munyeshyaka case for trial by the French prosecution, fully knowing the active role of that country in the Genocide for which this vile priest was supposed to be tried.
Of course, all that this case does is to underline, once again for us Rwandans, how highly compromised the ICTR and the so-called “international justice” really are by the interests of powerful states and UN realpolitik.
Justice has absolutely no place in this calculus.

Does France and the Catholic Church realise that this convicted génocidaire priest is now emblematic of who they are in the minds of Rwandans and many objective people around the world who know of this man’s role in 1994 the Genocide against the Tutsi?

In pulling out every well-honed tool in their respective bags of tricks to ensure they defeat justice by shielding a notorious génocidaire from deserved justice, both France and the Church have now elected Munyeshyaka as the poster child of what they both stand for—which, as an erstwhile Catholic, is really no skin off my nose.

But just so they understand what they are doing to their already tattered reputations, both of them having been fully complicit with the génocidaires as they committed the crimes Mr. Munyeshyaka is accused of and for which he has been convicted in absentia in Rwanda.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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