The Minister of Justice and Human Rights in Mali, Mamadou Ismaïla Konaté who has been in Rwanda on a five-day visit has condemned the act of allowing Kambanda, a genocide convict jailed in Mali, to access the media saying it is against Mali’s agreements with UN in 1999.
In July 2015, ITV based in England talked to Jean Kambanda, former Prime Minister in the government which prepared and executed 1994 genocide against Tutsi jailed in Koulikoro prison of Mali.
Jean Kambanda was handed life sentence for genocide crimes.
Talking to ITV, he said they were facing powerful opponents that they could do nothing to stop genocide. He explained that the arms he had released were meant for self-defense not killing Tutsi. Similar act had occurred in 2004 when BBC journalist, Venuste Nshimiyimana was allowed by ICTR to talk to inmates for media dissemination.
Such acts awakened the Ministry of Justice, organizations protecting interests of genocide survivors and Rwandans in general to question Mali and ICTR’s spirit of doing so.
Talking to the media, Mamadou has criticized such acts and pledged immediate action against the matter.
“The matter of a convict given space in the media is not allowed. This violated the prison’s rights and our agreements with UN. There are wrong acts that must stop,” he said.
Mali agreements with UN on 12th February 1999 restrict a convict from ICTR to be given space in the media to neither deny their crimes nor allow them to spread hatred which was also used during the preparation of 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
“I will act beginning tomorrow as I arrive in Bamako. I will (not later than next Friday) send a letter to the leader of Koulikoro prison where 16 Rwandans are jailed, prohibiting Rwandans, Mali inmates to talk to outsiders through the media,” he said.
- Jean Kambanda interview with ITV in July 2015.