Why France is not about to help bring 1994 Genocide masterminds to book

Editor, RE: “Genocide: One day, Paris will have no veil to hide behind” (The New Times Editorial, April 22).
Genocide suspect Bernard Munyagishari (C) upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport in July, 2013. He was transferred to Rwanda by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rw....
Genocide suspect Bernard Munyagishari (C) upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport in July, 2013. He was transferred to Rwanda by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rw....

Editor,

RE: “Genocide: One day, Paris will have no veil to hide behind” (The New Times Editorial, April 22).

 

Even now Paris has no veil whatsoever to hide behind; theirs is a brazen case of obstruction of justice. Given the fact those sought are close allies with whom France was actively complicit in the Genocide against the Tutsi, there is hardly any surprise Paris is shielding them from justice.

 

It is obvious the French authorities are extremely wary that these Genocide suspects would spill the beans about the details of France’s own role in abetting the Genocide, before, during, and after the fact, if they ever appeared before a court of law.

 

As such, the French political-security-judicial establishment seem to have concluded that it is more preferable to face opprobrium for their country’s failure to cooperate with efforts to bring the key Genocide suspects on its territory than let them be brought before a court of law and, under close examination, confirm all the suspicions about France’s own role in those same crimes.

The decision to opt for such an obstructionist position will no doubt also have been bolstered by the belief that none of its major allies will feel any obligation to overly tax their French friends in the interest of rendering justice for mere black African victims, be they of a crime the post-war community of nations solemnly pledged to prevent and punish as being the ultimate of crimes.

I won’t hold my breath expecting the French to act in accordance with their treaty obligations to cooperate in the punishment of those who have been accused of genocide, nor that the French can expect any serious pressure from their allies to respect those legal engagements. That is the world in which we live.

Mwene Kalinda

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