Can UK try or extradite wanted Genocide suspects to Rwanda?

Actions should follow good remarks from UK leaders.

Editor,

RE: “UK minister for Africa pays tribute to Genocide victims, pledges more support” (The New Times, November 8).

Actions should follow good remarks from UK leaders.

It’s good that Rory Stewart, the United Kingdom minister for Africa and the Department for International Development (DFID), who was in Rwanda recently, visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial where he paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He left a heartfelt message that reveals that he was undoubtedly shocked by the savage Genocide against the Tutsi. 

He said, “This is the most troubling and emotionally moving thing. It is impossible to imagine what the people of Rwanda went through. It is one of the horrifying events in the history of the world…This museum tells the very exact story of what happened. It teaches you so much, not just what happened in Rwanda but the responsibilities of other countries for what they could have done to help stop the causes of this. It also sends a strong message to (members of) the International Community (including) the United Nations”.

The last sentence of this quote pushes me to think about members of the International Community that could have done something to stop the Genocide. I wonder what that Community does to hold accountable the perpetrators of this genocide.

Well, some countries have tried and sentenced them, others have extradited them to Rwanda. However, for some countries when it comes to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi, things change.

Following the words of the UK minister for Africa, can we believe that the safe haven provided by his own country to perpetrators of the very genocide the diplomat said countries should have done something to stop will be no more going forward? Can we believe that Vincent Bajinya, Celestin Mutabaruka, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza and Emmanuel Nteziryayo will be at least tried in UK court if they can’t be extradited to the country where they committed the crimes?

Let’s believe that the minister’s remarks will be followed by concrete action.

Bemba

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