Africa We Want


Rwanda has called on countries hosting perpetrators of the 1994 genocide to repatriate them to the East African nation to face justice. Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Kenya Richard Masozera told The Standard that it was unfortunate that some of them were using the genocide as political capital and getting bolder on social media. By James Wanzala

Ambassador Richard Masozera, Rwanda’s High commissioner to Kenya

“One of the most important ways to stand together in our resolve to fight genocide ideology, prejudice and discrimination in all its forms is to cooperate in bringing genocide fugitives to justice,” Dr Masozera said.

“The government of Rwanda will never tire to urge countries around the world to cooperate more effectively in the prosecution of genocide fugitives or transfer them to Rwanda. We have sent out hundreds of indictments but few have been respected.”

The International Day of Reflection on the genocide victims was marked at United Nations offices in Gigiri, Nairobi on Wednesday.

Masozera said lack of cooperation sends the wrong message to the fugitives and is a threat to peace and security.

“Denial is that phenomenon where killers, the planners of the genocide and genocide denialists distort facts, deflect attention and even re-brand themselves as heroes. It is a determined and continuous effort to nullify and even downplay the role of perpetrators,” he said.

Genocide denial, he added, was the last phase of genocide and it denounces the victims and rehabilitates the perpetrators.

The Nairobi remembrance follows the April 7 one when Rwanda led by President Paul Kagame did the same at the Rwanda Genocide Memorial in the capital Kigali.

Every year from April 7, a week is set aside to remember victims of genocide for 100 days. In Kinyarwanda, it is called Kwibuka (to remember).

It’s now 29 years since the 1994 genocide over one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered within three months.

United Nations Resident Coordinator Stephen Jackson agreed with Masozera that the perpetrators should face justice and not expect forgiveness.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guteres said preventing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international law is a shared responsibility and is a core duty of every UN member.

’’Together, let us stand firm against rising intolerance. Let us be ever vigilant and always ready to act and let us truly honour the memories of all Rwandans who perished by building a future of dignity, security, justice and human rights for all,’’ said Guteres in a speech read by Dr Jackson.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs PS Korir Singoei said the genocide was one of the darkest periods in human history.

“It is a painful reminder of what can happen when hate and division are allowed to take root in society. It is also an opportunity to borrow and emulate Rwanda’s inspiring story of reconciliation and nation-building,” said Dr Sing’oei in a speech read by Ambassador Susan Mwangi.

Author: MANZI


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