UK asked to bring to book genocide fugitives before CHOGM Kigali

On 9 December 2020 at 10:38

Stuart Polak, one of members of House of Lords (the second chamber of the United Kingdom Parliament) has requested the Government to bring to justice genocide fugitives wandering freely, a decision that should be implemented before the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled on Sunday 21st June 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The parliamentarian made the appeal on Monday 7th December 2020 as the parliament reviewed the amendment UK Trading Law.

He was insisting on the request of his colleague, Andrew Mitchell.

Polak affirmed that his country kept a deaf ear to Rwanda’s request to bring to book suspects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi roaming in the UK.

He explained that his country relented on willingness to do so, which is contrary to other countries that have deported fugitives to Rwanda or tried them.

“Five suspects for role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi live freely in the UK and receive full benefits. Yet the United States of America, Canada, France, Belgium, Sweden and other countries have extradited suspects to face justice in the Rwanda justice system where the death penalty was abolished over 10 years ago," said Polak.

He said that it is shocking that UK failed to do the same, thus calling the UK for urgent action before the next CHOGM to take place in Rwanda.

“I call upon the Government to weigh in this matter before the next CHOGM that will be held in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda next year,” said Polak.

The five genocide fugitives living in the UK are; Célestin Mutabaruka, Vincent Bajinya nicknamed Vincent Brown, Célestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza and Emmanuel Nteziryayo.

As he commented to the arrest of Paul Rusesabagina, Andrew Mitchell criticized The Guardian (a British daily newspaper) which reported that Rwanda seeks to intimidate Rusesabagina but rather asked to draw emphasis on how genocide fugitives can be brought to book.

“Before leaving this topic, your newspaper should support the arrest of five Rwandans accused of role in Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda still roaming freely in UK living on benefits of British nationals for over ten years,” he said.

Mitchell explained that British legal system didn’t draw attention on the case despite Rwanda’s efforts to bring to book these fugitives which remained futile.

In 2018, Rwanda’s ambassador in the UK, Jo Lomas said that the investigation department in his country had started preliminary investigations to the suspects.

He made the revelation after holding talks with Rwanda’s Justice Minister, Busingye Johnston. At the time, Lomas revealed that his Government is closely following the case waiting for the Prosecution’s decision.

At the time, Minister Busingye said that no progress had been made despite Rwanda’s request to deport these suspects.

He revealed that the most important thing is to bring the fugitives to face justice where they can be convicted or acquitted.