Slowly but surely, the wheels of justice are revolving, and one Genocide fugitive after the other are being bagged and arraigned before courts of law. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR’s) recent arrest of Callixte Nzabonimpa, a former youth and sports minister during the Genocide period, in Tanzania near the Burundian border, is one of the pay-offs of many vigorous efforts of the tribunal’s prosecutor’s office to bring to book all the fugitives on the tribunal’s “Wanted” list.
This comes hard at the heels of France acquiescing to the ICTR’s request that the two arrested fugitives who are living in France, Laurent Munyeshyaka and Laurent Bucyibaruta, be tried by French courts. We can only hope that the trial of two prominent suspects will not be a mockery of the victims of the Genocide and French justice, seeing as it is that France has not been very enthusiastic in heeding calls of cooperation with Rwanda and the ICTR in matters to do with apprehending or extraditing suspects to go and stand trial.
The violence that is taking place in Kenya is nothing to be proud of; but it is a manifestation that even a seemingly stable nation can plunge into chaos any time, and so depend on the goodwill of other nations to come to its aid.
Rwanda will continue appealing to all countries harbouring Genocide fugitives to arrest them so that they stand trial, not only in the sense of justice, but also of acting in a responsible fashion so as to merit help automatically when it falls due.
It is also important for the international tribunal to start considering imposing tougher penalties to fugitives who have refused to voluntarily step forward and answer to their charges. A reasonable degree of culpability must be enjoined to the fugitives’ continued evasion of justice.
There are many Genocide fugitives out there in hiding who are still wealthy enough to negatively influence decisions to do with Rwanda, and they should be brought to book. When they openly walk and talk in their countries of adoption, it becomes an affront to justice. These are people on Interpol’s list of wanted persons, so they should be arrested on sight, anywhere in the world.