Rwandans look up to the Norways, not France

From July 4, 1994, the shaken and grieving Rwandans did not immediately demand for justice. Even where they called for it, it was to remind the world that the justice they sought was owed to them.

From July 4, 1994, the shaken and grieving Rwandans did not immediately demand for justice. Even where they called for it, it was to remind the world that the justice they sought was owed to them.

Justice is an inalienable right, and for a people ravaged by mass slaughter of their kinsmen, maimed during the killings and left nursing untold psychological scars, that they should remind the world to do their part and heal the wrongs committed against the Tutsi in 1994 is shame in itself.

But that is what fate seemed to have conspired to slap Rwandans with.

The perpetrators of the Genocide scattered across the continent but it offered them little protection. The choice was to either go underground forever or flee to the few African countries that would believe their ‘stories’, and European havens.

Countless reminders from the people of Rwanda that these suspects be extradited to answer for the charges against them have returned with excuses, including that the Rwandan justice system could not guarantee a fair trial.

Tribunals formed to try suspects had just a handful or ‘small fish.’ The masterminds continued to enjoy their freedom in Europe, especially in France.

Fast-forward, some democracies begun to appreciate that continued sponging of Genocide suspects was living in the past. Norway, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, among others, have since moved to either try or extradite some suspects.  

France, the one foreign country that played a major role in preparing and executing the Genocide against the Tutsi, continues to wear a metal for a conscience. Even where they are pushed against the wall to try Pascal Simbikangwa, it daunts as a smokescreen.

Time heals the wounds, but if France is wishing for the hand of time to make Rwandans forget and stop yearning for justice, they are wrong. The resilience of Rwandans is second to none. There is all the proof in the transformation of the country in the last 20 years.

Instead, time will make France and its cronies bow as the Norways put them to shame. From Charles Bandora to Eugene Nkuranyabahizi, it is clear that Rwandans have a friend in Norway and other Western nations that believe in justice.

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