The convicts, all men were convicted of Genocide related crimes and had either completed their sentences or were acquitted.
According to a statement released on December 27, 2021, Niger’s Interior Ministry ordered them to leave the country within seven days.
The ex-convicts are Protais Zigiranyirazo, Francois Nzuwonemeye, Innocent Sagahutu, Alphonse Nteziryayo, Tharcisse Muvunyi, André Ntagerura, Anatole Nsengiyumva and Prosper Mugiraneza.
They are widely considered among the masterminds of the genocide.
After the conclusion of their cases, they remained in Arusha, Tanzania where the UN court was based.
Their expulsion by Niamey came after an inquiry by the Rwandan government to the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) seeking clarification about circumstances under which the eight were transferred to the West African country of Niger.
While addressing a UN Security Council meeting in New York in early December, Valentine Rugwabiza, Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said that her country had not been informed by either the MICT or the host nation about the transfer of the genocidaires in question.
She pointed out that there was evidence that some of these individuals, after their acquittal by the former ICTR, have been engaging in subversive activities that contributed to the insecurity and instability of the Great Lakes Region for the past few decades.
The eight men had for long been stuck in Arusha, the former seat of the ICTR, after many countries had refused to take them in, including those hosting their families.
Previously, Rwanda said they may come back home to Rwanda if they so wish.