Rwanda still hunting for perpetuators of 1994 genocide

Some of the victims of the 1994 genocide

The government of Rwanda is still hunting down and seeking the extradition of perpetuators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Joseph Rutabana, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to Uganda has said.

Rutabana said this ahead of the 30th commemoration of the genocide. The civil war, which occurred between April 7 and July 15, 1994, is reported to have claimed over one million lives. Most of the victims of the genocide, mostly the Tutsi, moderate Hutu, and Twa, were killed in their villages and towns, many by their neighbours and fellow villagers.
At least 10,983 victims of the genocide were buried in Uganda. Three memorial sites were established at Ggolo, Mpigi district, where 4,771 bodies were buried; Lambu, Masaka district, 3,337 and Kasensero in Rakai district where 2,875 people were buried.
At the end of the civil war, the government of Rwanda established Gacaca courts, which have since tried over one million perpetrators of the heinous crime. Despite the allegations of lack of fairness in the trial process, Rutabana said the trial process has been so transparent to the point that several suspects were proven innocent and walked scot-free.
“We always appeal to governments all over the world to track, extradite, or try the orchestrators of the Rwandan genocide in competent courts of law for justice to be served. You have witnessed many people being extradited back to Rwanda to face the court of law,” he said.
Several suspects have since been tried in the Hague, the UK, and Australia. Some other countries opposed the extradition of the suspects of the genocide on the grounds that the East African country is not safe for them.
“Under the theme Remember-Unite-Renew, on April 20, 2024, we shall have our main commemoration event in Mpigi District at the Ggolo Genocide Memorial site. We shall walk to remember and vigil in remembrance of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi on May 4, 2024, in collaboration with Rwandan students in Uganda,” Rutabana said.
He said the 30th commemoration marks a generational cycle since the genocide was put to an end and is an opportune time for a call to reflect on the transformational journey that Rwanda has undergone for the last thirty years, building on the legacy of strength, resilience, and unity that the new generation is called upon to sustain and carry forward to adapt to today’s global challenges and future aspirations.
“The commemoration seeks to engage all segments of Rwandan society. The celebration is an opportunity for every Rwandan to face the past and prevent the intergenerational transmission of traumas through dialogue and remembrance. The preservation of memory is pivotal in shaping a cohesive and forward-looking nation. It is a solemn undertaking, and the world joins together to say never again to such heinous human rights violations,” he said.

Source: The Observer

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