20 November 2012

Africa Must Set the Pace in Apprehending Fugitives


Information from the National Public Prosecutions Authority, that African countries have remained adamant in assisting the office in bringing to book fugitives responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is rather disturbing.

The Prosecutor General was recently quoted saying that fellow African countries like Mozambique and Malawi have turned themselves into safe havens for the fugitives.

As Africans, we must demonstrate some degree of unity, if we are to earn respect from other continents, and collaborating in this regard is the best way to demonstrate this harmony.

Meeting in Kigali last year for the General Assembly of African Prosecutor's Association, it was agreed that cooperation would be strengthened to ensure that criminals do not make any African country the place to hide.

It is, therefore, a shame that no African country has lived up to the promise regarding acting upon Genocide suspects.

Genocide is not a crime that was committed against Rwandans only; it was committed against mankind in its entirety, which compels everyone, especially African countries, to ensure that its perpetrators are brought to book. This is the only way of making sure that it would not happen again, not only in Rwanda but any other country.

It is absurd, therefore, that most of these countries, especially in Southern Africa, subscribe to the same regional groupings as Rwanda like the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which ironically has its headquarters in Zambia.

So continuing to protect these fugitives, most of whom are operating flourishing businesses in these countries and beyond, not only nurtures the culture of impunity, but also undermines the spirit of regional integration.

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