EDITORIAL: Countries have an obligation not to impede justice

Parliament will soon debate a bill that intends to pave way for an extradition treaty with Congo Brazzaville. While it will regard all sorts of criminals, it is mostly informed by some Genocide suspects believed to have taken refuge there.

Parliament will soon debate a bill that intends to pave way for an extradition treaty with Congo Brazzaville. While it will regard all sorts of criminals, it is mostly informed by some Genocide suspects believed to have taken refuge there.

So far, 11 extradition requests are yet to be executed and it is possibly due to the fact that there were no extradition instruments that linked both countries.

 

But as the saying goes; “Charity begins at home”. Hundreds – if not thousands – of genocide suspects are still roaming freely around the world.

 

The most astounding thing is that many are just across our borders, in countries that we share common goals under the East African Community.

 

Our immediate neighbours, those who should be on the vanguard of truly understanding the impact and scope of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, have a lot on their plates.

46 indictments are yet to be acted upon by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 38 in Uganda and 12 in Burundi.

The Burundian indictments are mainly for former Burundian refugees in Rwanda who actively participated in the Genocide. Many went on to occupy prominent positions in their country and it is highly unlikely they will face justice soon.

The disorganization in DRC also makes the execution of the indictments a tall order, but what about Uganda?

Most of the major architects of the Genocide that were tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda were arrested in Nairobi in July 1997 in what was known as Operation NAKI(Nairobi-Kigali).

Since then, most who had found a safe haven in Kenya moved on, mostly to Europe, and some are slowly being called to account.

Since most countries have shown little goodwill to fulfill their international obligations regarding crimes against humanity, the government should seek bilateral cooperation as in the case of Brazzaville. Otherwise some countries will continue to look the other way and defeating the cause of justice in the process.

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