Burundian accomplices in 1994 genocide against Tutsi to be pursued

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 15 February 2017 saa 09:23
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Rwanda National Prosecution Authority has unveiled a plan to liaise with international organizations in which Burundi is member to pursue Burundians accused of complicity in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

It is said that identities of Burundians suspected of involvement in genocide were recorded in Gacaca court files.

In July 2015, the head of Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit Jean BoscoSiboyintore said that they were in collaboration with umbrella organizations of 1994 genocide survivors in collecting identifications and evidence of Burundians’ role in genocide.

Prosecution says it has issued 578 arrest warrants of genocide fugitives abroad from 2013.

In a press briefing held on Monday this week, the Prosecutor General ,Jean BoscoMutangana said that the government started following up the matter of Burundians involved in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

“We have issued arrest warrants for these suspects but the process requires the Burundi’s willingness and Interpol intervention,” he said.

“We don’t have to pressure any country to implement its laws because every country is independent. However we ensure that we talk to prosecution departments in various countries to see whether our requests can be implemented. Genocide crime is a special case because it never gets old,” he added.

Mutangana said that a close collaboration across the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Prosecution from Burundi among others is the best way of easing the investigation.

Talking on challenges of the process of investigating Burundians ,Mutangana said “ The process has not been fast for various reasons but the process is ongoing,” he said adding that other platforms being explored include diplomatic approaches and political will.

Mutangana explained that Rwanda and Burundi are members East African Association of Prosecutors which can facilitate the execution.

“We will approach them through these associations to seek for a solution. There is a principle popular in law that demands for the trial of a suspect or deport him/her to the country where the crime was committed. It is against the law to fail taking action when you ratified agreements to prevent genocide crime .You have to execute the laws,” he said.

Rwanda granted Burundians asylum back in 1972 and 1989 but some of them participated in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi ,returned to their country later but were not pursued.

Burundians are accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in regions of Nyakizu, Ntongwe, Kinazi, in Ruhango district, Mugina in Kamonyi district, Rilima in Bugesera and in some parts of Gisagara district in former commune of Muganza, Kigembe and Kibayi among others.