25 January 2013

Rwanda: Renewed Calls for France to Extradite Genocide Suspects

Photo: SteveRwanda/Wikipedia
Kigali, Rwanda.

The latest arrest of a Genocide suspect in France should not be taken as a serious attempt to really clamp down on Genocide fugitives living there, says a France-based rights group.

Rwanda has indicted 20 Genocide suspects living in France. Rwanda wants them to be extradited or tried on French soil, but nothing has happened.

France, which maintained close ties with the genocidal regime in Rwanda, has been accused of blocking The group was responding to the arrest of Innocent Musabyimana, alias Ibrahim Niyonsenga, at Longvic, a commune in Dijon, eastern France, on Tuesday.

Musabyimana, 40, is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. Prosecutors in Kigali issued an international arrest warrant for him last November. Interpol's red notice says he was born in Giciye, former Gisenyi prefecture.

"There is little chance that he will be handed over to the authorities of his country seeing that no court [in France] has, to this day responded positively to similar requests," Collective Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR) president, Alain Gauthier, said in an e-mail sent to The New Times.

Suspects living with glee:

Gauthier said since no Genocide suspect has been brought to book [in France], Musabyimana could as well live "happily" for days in France.

"Twenty-five other Genocide suspects await their turn, probably without much anxiety. But they [the French system] should not ignore the commitment of all those who, like the CPCR, are fighting so that justice is rendered to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda," he said.

Rwanda's Prosecutor-General, Martin Ngoga, last month criticised the French Appeal Court's rejection of the extradition requests for Hyacinthe Rafiki Nsengiyumva, a former Rwandan minister, and Vénuste Nyombayire, both accused of involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Ngoga said there is need to rethink "our strategy as France, the country that supported the Genocide, cannot be the one to dispense justice."

Last week, however, after meeting Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, the French envoy to Kigali, Michel Fresch, assured that he will do something about the delicate issue of Genocide suspects on French soil.

"We have to move forward together, create a spirit of partnership and not to look backward. We should develop mutual benefit," Fresch said.

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