UK ‘Denying’ Rwandans Justice 

Clock wise-Celestin Mutabaruka, Dr Vincent Bajinya, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza

Rwanda has said that UK is reluctant to take action against Genocide fugitives who have found safe haven in the country that claims to have equity justice.

Five fugitives of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that claimed more than a million in Rwanda have been appealing the extradition verdict for the last ten years which is making the case ‘Justice delayed, justice denied’.

“For the last 10 years, we’ve been trying to get 3 alleged perpetrators of the Genocide living in UK to stand trial in vain,” Johnston Busingye, Rwanda’s Minister of Justice said on Saturday.

On November 28, 2016 the High Court in London was supposed to hear the appeal of five Rwandans against their extradition back to Rwanda.

In the pending case since 2008, each of the five is alleged to have played leading roles in the genocide against Tutsi in 1994 that left more than 1,000,000 dead in 100 days.

The suspects include; Dr. Vincent Bajinya Alias Brown, presently a resident of Islington, North London. He is alleged to have been part of the powerful Presidential network that organized widespread massacres and killings of numerous Tutsis at roadblocks in the capital, Kigali, in conjunction with the Interahamwe militia.

Mr. Celestin Mutabaruka, a Pentecostal Church Pastor is alleged to have worked with interahamwe militia to organize and assist in the slaughter of about 20,000 men, women and children.

Mr. Charles Munyaneza: Former Mayor of Kinyamakara Commune in Gikongoro Prefecture is alleged to have assisted in the planning and implementation of massacres in areas where he had authority. He was living in Bedford when he was firstly arrested.

Mr. Emmanuel Nteziryayo the former Mayor of Mudasomwa, Commune in Gikongoro Prefecture is also part of the list. Nteziryayo is suspected to have assisted in the planning and implementation of massacres in areas where he had authority.

After arriving in the UK, he lived under a false name (Emmanuel Ndikumana) in Wythenshawe- Manchester claiming state benefits as an asylum seeker from Burundi.

Finally, Mr. Celestin Ugirashebuja, former Mayor of Kigoma Commune in Gitarama Prefecture is accused of having assisted in the planning and implementation of massacres in his commune.

Instead of protecting the Tutsi, Ugirashebuja tricked them and got them out of hiding and subsequently ordered their killing.  After the Genocide, he fled to UK and settled in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex.

On the eve of the latest hearing in this trial – November 27, 2016, Urumuri, an Umbrella Organization for the Survivors of Genocide against Tutsi in UK said that High Court in London should either extradite to Rwanda the Genocide fugitives who found safe haven in the country, or try them.

Speaking to members of Project Umubano, the UK Conservative Party Social Action project that concluded their mission in Rwanda on Saturday, Busingye expressed his hope that UK will end this era of giving the matter little importance.

“We trust in British justice, we continue to hope that one day these Genocide suspects will come in Rwanda and stand trial,” Busingye said.

Since 2007, UK’s conservative party and Rwanda established a partnership ‘Umubano Project’ that focuses on political benefits between the two countries.

Later on, the partnership widened to social activities.

The members on Saturday visited the Kigali Genocide memorial centre where they made a declaration against genocide and identity-based violence.

Holocaust Survivor Susan Pollack 86, also shared her testimony alongside Tutsi Genocide survivor.

Pollack shared the antisemism experiences she faced with her family before the Holocaust as many other Jews in Hungary.

“More than 50 of my relatives had been killed. I was left with nothing – no family, no education but I decided to be resilient,” Pollack said.

“I comfort those of you who lost their beloved during the Genocide, I know what it feels like to lose your family.

Busingye said, that the Genocide against the Tutsi and Holocaust were not just accidents, they were planned and implemented.

 




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