Rwanda: Chaos Denies Rwanda Genocide Victims Justice

Kigali — THE much-anticipated prosecution of some perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide has degenerated into shambles after open defiance of international law and tensions at the Security Council.

The chaos follows the controversial release of some masterminds, local authorities' failure to arrest hundreds of fugitives and defiant countries not surrendering suspects for trial.

Only South Africa has committed to cooperate and surrender an unnamed fugitive located in its territory.

Serge Brammertz, prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), said his office had credible intelligence on the whereabouts of some eight prime fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

However, approaches to states to facilitate their handover were unsuccessful.

"It appears that some countries do not give priority to cooperating with the Office in bringing genocide fugitives to justice. Only on July 16 did South Africa confirmed commitment to cooperating in the case of a fugitive located in its territory," Brammertz said.

He said Rwandan authorities had meanwhile not located more than 500 suspects.

IRMCT was established in 2010.

Valentine Rugwabiza, Rwanda's envoy to the Security Council, nonetheless lashed the IRMCT for releasing eight genocide convicts, reducing sentences for 23 others and releasing or acquitting nine convicts.

Convicts were released on basis of "good behaviour."

"None of them expressed even a shred of remorse. They are unrepentant extremist ideologues who held key positions prior to and during the genocide," Rugwabiza charged.

An estimated 1 million people were killed in the Rwandan genocide 25 years ago.

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