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Uganda, DRC Biggest Safe Haven for Rwanda Genocide Fugitives

by Dan Ngabonziza
11:54 pm

Ladislas Ntaganzwa waiting to be airlifted from DRC

Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are the biggest hosts of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, KT Press can reliably reveal.

A list obtained by KT Press indicates that Uganda and DRC are home to nearly 55% of the 835 fugitives indicted by Rwanda’s prosecution across 34 countries in the world.

Of the 835 fugitives, the prosecution says, 254 are in DRC while 226 are camped in Uganda, which makes a total of 480 suspects.

According to Jean Bosco Siboyintore, Head of Genocide Suspects Tracking Unit, most fugitives in Uganda and DRC were those who could not afford means to move far.

“Most of these perpetrators were foot soldiers. They could not move far,” he told KT Press.

DRC is home to the so-called Forces Démocratiques pour Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) – an armed group comprised of remnants of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In DRC, a little was done to have the suspects arrested. The latest and rare move in DRC was in 2016 when Ladislas Ntaganzwa was deported to Rwanda.

Lieutenant Seyoboka upon deportation from Canada

Ntaganzwa is a former mayor of Nyakizu commune in current Nyaruguru district. He is the first suspect to be arrested among 9 genocide perpetrators the US Government had placed a $5 million bounty.

In December 2015, Ntaganzwa was arrested from the Democratic Republic of Congo and transferred to Rwanda in March 2016. He is charged with eight counts related to Genocide crimes and crimes committed against Humanity.

Ntaganzwa is accused to have killed about 20,000 Tutsi.

Uganda and DRC proximity to Rwanda is similar to other neighbors; Burundi and Tanzania – but the two accommodate lesser fugitives with Burundi (14) and Tanzania (25).

Siboyintore’s worry, however, is that the biggest host countries have not been doing enough to help Rwanda bring these fugitives home – despite indictments sent as back as 2007.

Clock wise-Celestin Mutabaruka, Dr Vincent Bajinya, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, genocide fugitives in UK

For example, in 2005, Rwanda signed an extradition agreement with Uganda but not much was done to its effect.

“With the number of fugitives hiding in Uganda, only 3 suspects have been sent to Rwanda. Our next phase is to start discussing with these countries to push them and see these fugitives extradited,” Jean Bosco Siboyintore said.

Meanwhile, on the third position of the list, France and Malawi have 42 fugitives each while Belgium has 39 and Kenya, 28 fugitives.

All these countries have a particular history in regard to Genocide suspects with France known for shielding notorious suspects, to mislead about the role its officials played in the Genocide.

In France, Collectif des Parties Civiles Pour le Rwanda – CPCR has always put pressure on the country’s judiciary to change that attitude.

Dr Leopold Munyakazi Genocide convict who was tried in Rwanda after extradition from US in September 2016

In Kenya, there has not been much after the arrest of two Genocide convicts, namely Jean Kambanda and Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, both cabinet members of the Genocidal regime in 1997.

Some countries like the United States – 23 convicts, the Netherlands with 18 convicts and Norway-6 have arrested some suspects in the past, but Rwanda is pushing for more commitment.

“Victims need justice…this is the right time for these countries to collaborate and help bring these fugitives. The victims have waited for justice for 23 years,” Siboyintore told KT Press.