For too long, Genocide suspects hiding in various cities across the world have lived freely as their host countries have been reluctant to question them over their roles in the death of more than a million Rwandans.
Thankfully, Léon Mugesera will not be counted among such fugitives that also include high profile genocidaires like Felicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya, Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, Augustine Bizimana and Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka.
The Canadian government must be lauded for its perseverance in the face of Mugesera’s legal team and the meddling of the United Nations torture committee. The commitment to stop harboring criminals should be replicated by other countries.
The culture of impunity, which made it possible for a citizen to kill another simply because of their ethnicity, made the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi possible. Doing away with impunity is one of the only ways that will ensure that such atrocities do not take place again.
The Rwandan judicial system has proved to be credible and capable to fairly prosecute these men and women. This is evidenced by various international rulings, including the ICTR Appeals Court that upheld the ruling to transfer Jean Uwinkindi to Rwanda for trial.
Léon Mugesera’s trial will give the Judiciary another opportunity to demonstrate how professional it is and should pave way for the deportation of other suspects living in foreign jurisdictions.