This week’s decision by the Appeals Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, to sentence Joseph Mpambara, a genocide suspect to life imprisonment for crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tusti, should send a warning signal to other suspects.
Mpambara was found guilty of crimes against humanity, which relate to his prominent role during an attack on a church where hundreds of Tutsis were massacred.
The presiding judge told the convict that he had acted in a genocidal manner and the only possible punishment is life imprisonment– the maximum sentence.
The ruling by the Dutch court is, without doubt, a positive step in the continuous struggle to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Genocide.
Genocide suspects are living in the various cities around the world, at times with the knowledge of the authorities.
Pursuing such cases in court may be lengthy and costly, however, it is important that the suspects are tried for the crimes they committed.
Genocide is a crime against humanity and it should be everyone’s responsibility to make sure that those who committed the crimes do not find safe havens in foreign countries.
Bringing them to justice will go a long way in curbing the culture of impunity and ensuring that Genocide does not occur anywhere again.