Survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda under their umbrella association “Ibuka” have appealed to the international community to cooperate in apprehending genocide suspects still at large.
Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, president of Ibuka, told reporters Monday that genocide suspects still roam freely in several countries across the world.
On April 7, Rwanda kicked off commemoration activities to mark the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 genocide that claimed about 1 million lives, mostly ethnic Tutsis.
The memorial observance begins with a commemoration week for activities like visiting and laying wreaths at memorial sites, holding burial for exhumed genocide remains, giving testimonies, public lectures, and candle lighting vigils.
The activities officially last a week, but the commemoration will continues toward July 4, marking 100 days of genocide.
No form of entertainment is allowed during the main commemoration week.
“We are calling upon the international community to cooperate with our country to track and apprehend genocide perpetrators who have vehemently eluded justice for the past two decades,” Dusingizemungu said.
He cited lack of political will in countries for partly complicating the arrest and trial of genocide suspects.
According to Rwanda Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit (GFTU), since 2007, more than 620 indictments and international arrest warrants have been issued against suspects in 32 countries in Africa and beyond.
Presently, 12 people accused of committing genocide have been extradited from Uganda, DR Congo, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands and ICTR to stand trial in Rwanda.
The top fugitives, the so-called “big fish” sought by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, include Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the genocide, Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious Presidential Guards, and former defense minister of the genocidal regime Augustin Bizimana.
Rwanda’s prosecution said Zimbabwe and DR Congo were among the countries still reluctant to return suspected genocide fugitives. Enditem