KAMPALA - The family of Senator Stanley Safari, have confirmed that he is in Uganda. In a letter addressed to Amnesty International (AI) dated June 3, 2009, his children appealed to the organization to intervene to prevent him from being extradited back to Rwanda.
Safari was last week found guilty of multiple counts of Genocide-related charges by a Gacaca court in Huye and sentenced to life in prison. He absconded a few days before his sentence was read.
“….with the assistance of Rwandan and non Rwandan friends, the Senator left Rwanda and is now in Uganda,” the children say in the letter to AI.
“He is seriously sick and cannot attend due to fear of being handed over to the Rwandan authorities on the basis of an agreement between the two countries (Rwanda and Uganda).”
When The New Times contacted the Uganda Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, she refused to comment whether Safari was in the country, claiming she was rushing for a meeting.
She instead referred this newspaper to the Director of Interpol Uganda, Elly Womanya and the Inspector General of the Uganda Police, Major General Kale Kayihura. Despite insistent calls, both were unable to pick up their phones.
However, Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero said that his country was not aware of Sen. Safari’s presence in Uganda.
“If he was in Uganda, we would definitely facilitate his arrest and extradition,” said Kabonero.
“Uganda has no space or place for any person who participated in the Genocide that is why we would not entertain him in anyway.”
Senator Safari Stanley’s Genocide trial began last year, but he objected to his home town supplying the jury claiming they were biased.
The National Gacaca Jurisdictions then brought in the Kimironko Gacaca court in Kigali to try the case. He was accused of organizing the murders Kayitesi Helena and seven others who had taken refuge at his house in Huye during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
It was alleged during his trial that the Senator gave militiamen Rwf 100,000 to carry out the dirty work.
According to several witnesses, including some former militia members who took part in the operations, Sen Safari, Ceazar —the son of former president Theodore Sindikubwabo — and some presidential guards, were implicated in the operations which exterminated 60 Tutsi at the National University of Rwanda, 600 Tutsi at Gateme in Tumba Sector, and other massacres that took place at Rango in the then Butare Town (Huye).
Reliable sources also revealed that Safari had a pending case in Gatenga, Kicukiro District in Kigali which was still in the investigative phase.
The Rwanda National Police has issued an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.
Edwin Musoni and Kennedy Ndahiro contributed to this report.