Ibuka stand on ICTR acquittals justified

Following the acquittal of two high profile Genocide suspects by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, have cried foul, calling the decision irrational and are now considering mass protests to demonstrate their discontent. The two former cabinet ministers; Casmir Bizimungu of Health and Jerome Bicamumpaka of Foreign Affairs were,  last week, acquitted in the Government II Trial.

Following the acquittal of two high profile Genocide suspects by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, have cried foul, calling the decision irrational and are now considering mass protests to demonstrate their discontent.

The two former cabinet ministers; Casmir Bizimungu of Health and Jerome Bicamumpaka of Foreign Affairs were,  last week, acquitted in the Government II Trial.

The survivors are justifiably enraged given the numerous testimonies that adduce to the fact that the two former high ranking officials had a crucial role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

However, as the president of Ibuka, the umbrella body of survivors’ associations said, taking to the streets, should be the last option after all other channels are exhausted.

These acquitted Ministers’ roles in the Genocide were disclosed, in detail, by Jean Kambanda, the Prime Minister of the interim government that orchestrated the massacres.

The ICTR should also heed to the request by the tribunal’s prosecutor, to allow some of the remaining cases to be transferred to Rwanda for trial, where the crimes were committed and where evidence and witnesses are available in abundance.

The ICTR, which is due to soon close shop, should strive to leave a legacy that impunity is unacceptable.

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