DRC, Uganda top countries shielding genocide fugitives

On 13 February 2018 at 04:18

A special Senate report has revealed that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda top other countries in hosting people suspected of participating in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

The report about the pursuit of genocide fugitives and extradition treaties by the Senatorial Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security was presented to senators on Monday.

The report says that DRC has a big number of genocide suspects with a total of 254 while Uganda comes second with 226.

Also the report shows that France has 42, Malawi 42, Germany 39, Kenya 28, Tanzania 25, USA 23, Netherlands 18, Congo Brazzaville 16, Burundi 14, Canada 14, Mozambique 12, Zambia 11, Central African Republic 8, Cameroon 7, Norway 6 and Belgium 6.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Michel Rugema said that political issues hamper the extradition and pursuing process of genocide fugitives.

“We can’t say that there is another obstacle in pursuing genocide fugitives in DRC than political issues;we have had political crisis for so long, but, that country shelters a big number of genocide fugitives who also continue to incite insurgencies against our country,” he said.

On the other hand, Rugema said that these countries deny the extradition process due to negligence or finding that there are no direct benefits in doing so.

Senator Richard Sezibera emphasized that it is a appalling to see a neighbouring Uganda with big number of genocide fugitives yet they have not extradited any.

“Uganda, as East African Community member country, you can’t understand how they didn’t extradite any suspect, didn’t try any case or expel genocide fugitive on their land,” he said.

The commission said that Rwanda has sent requests for ‘extradition treaties signing’ in 38 countries, but among them only six have reverted back.

Senators suggested that as Uganda and Rwanda are EAC member countries, Rwanda should use the opportunity and conduct campaigns by calling upon the parliaments’ collaboration towards providing justice by extraditing genocide suspects.

The commission urged for the establishment of staff to pursue suspects country by country and identify the reason behind failure to extradite them.

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), has established a team following cases of genocide fugitives from abroad and issued 835 arrest warrants in 33 countries. Genocide suspects whose cases were tried from outside are 21 and 18 were extradited.

USA extradited four: Enos Kagaba, Marie Claire Mukeshimana, JMV Mudahinyuka and Leopold Munyakazi. Canada extradited two; Leon Mugesera and Jean Claude Seyoboka while Uganda extradited three, Augustin Nkundabazungu, Jean Pierre Kwitonda, Jean Paul Birindabagabo.

Netherlands extradited Jean Claude Iyamuremye and Jean Baptiste Mugimba to face justice in Rwanda whereas they also sent Jean de Dieu Munyaneza to face justice in International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and ICTR sent Jean Uwinkindi, Bernard Munyagishari and Ladislas Ntaganzwa to face justice in Rwanda.

Norway extradited Charles Bandora and Germany sent Jean Twagiramungu to face justice in Rwanda.

Belgium tried eight cases for Alphonse Higaniro, Sister Julienne Kizito Mukabutera, Sister Consolata Mukangango, Vincent Ntezimana, Etienne Nzabonimana, Samuel Ndashyikirwa and Ephrem Nkezabera.