ICTR needs to set precedence

For years now, Rwanda has been asking to have genocide suspects scattered all over the world brought to the country for trial.Some countries, especially in Europe have, over the years, arrested some of these fugitives but ended up releasing them for inexplicable reasons.

For years now, Rwanda has been asking to have genocide suspects scattered all over the world brought to the country for trial.

Some countries, especially in Europe have, over the years, arrested some of these fugitives but ended up releasing them for inexplicable reasons.

These countries’ reluctance to send the culprits to Rwanda is largely due to the pressure from certain human rights watchdogs that are well known for their efforts to undermine justice and reconciliation in Rwanda.

A case in point is the release of four Rwandans by a court in Britain, four years ago, after it was established that they could not be tried under the UK laws, and neither could they be transferred to Rwanda.

Such decisions are in most cases re-enforced by the ICTR’s reluctance to transfer suspects to Rwanda, or send convicts to complete their sentences in the country where they committed the atrocities.

This has not happened despite the fact that Rwanda signed an agreement  to have the convicts sent to Rwanda after the country’s detention facilities were inspected by the tribunal’s top leadership and passed them as ‘conforming to international standards.’

However, not a single Rwandan convict has been transferred to serve their sentence at home, instead, the tribunal decided to continue ferrying them to other countries in West Africa.

Ironically, Rwanda’s prison system is home to eight former rebel leaders convicted by the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone. If our prisons are good enough to host high profile foreign convicts on the UN request, they sure have what it takes to accommodate Rwanda convicts.

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