31 October 2012

Rwanda Seeking Over 50,000 Genocide Suspects

Kigali — More than 50,000 people suspected of having participated in the 1994 genocide are still at large in various African and European countries, according to the Rwandan Prosecutor General's office.

The Rwandan judicial authorities have only issued arrest warrants for 146 of these suspects but state they are working on the case files of the others.

Most of these people have been tried and convicted in absentia by the semi-traditional gacaca courts which finished working at the end of June.

"We have confidence in our cooperation with the different states concerned," said Jean Bosco Siboyintore, head of the genocide accused tracking unit of the Rwandan Prosecutor's office."Sooner or later these people will be arrested."

"They must either serve their sentences here, or get their trial reviewed," he told Hirondelle.

Most of these fugitives of Rwanda justice are living in Africa, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, according to Siboyintore.

The highest numbers of genocide accused in Europe are to be found in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, he said.

"Several countries have already reacted by either extraditing the suspects to Rwanda or starting judicial proceedings under their own national systems," said Siboyintore.

Several European countries such as France, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Norway have sent commissions to Kigali to conduct investigations into Rwandan suspects living on their territory.

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