The time to act against fugitives is now

The United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Rwanda said, this week, that action against Genocide fugitives, hiding in Europe, was taking longer than expected.

The United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Rwanda said, this week, that action against Genocide fugitives, hiding in Europe, was taking longer than expected.

The High Commissioner’s statement, made during celebrations to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday, speaks volumes. European countries, who pride themselves in championing the rule of law, are now reneging on Justice by not pursuing the fugitives more vigorously.

It is common knowledge that some of the suspects who committed the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi are living freely in various European cities, despite firm international appeals to bring an end to the culture of impunity.

The Rwandan Judicial system is widely acknowledged not only as competent, but also professional enough to try the suspects.

If there are countries that do not want to go through the judicial process, there is absolutely no plausible reason why the suspects should not be extradited and tried in Rwanda. After all, this is where the crimes were committed.

Time and again, the Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit has located many of the suspects living in various European countries.

They have shared their findings with the host jurisdictions and even provided charge sheets. However, delays in bringing these suspects to book are still persistent.

It is high time, firm international commitment to eliminate the culture of impunity is put into practice.

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