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UN Residual Mechanism Renews Commitment to Track Genocide Fugitives

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:28 pm

Dr. Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor of ITMCT(Right), and Rwanda Prosecutor General in Kigali

The Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations’ International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (ITMCT) has reaffirmed the organ’s commitment to further investigation and tracking the 1994 Genocide suspects still on the run.

In Kigali, Dr. Serge Brammertz, met with Rwanda’s Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana on Thursday.

UN Mechanism Tribunal Chief Prosecutor said that his office will this July brief the United Nations Security Council on the progress made in tracking fugitives.

Brammertz said that currently, an active investigation is going on to track at least eight suspects on the run and cooperating with 15 countries to bring them to justice.

“So far Rwanda has submitted a request to try the fugitives and once arrested, five of them will be sent for trial in Kigali but the other three who include Kabuga Felicien, Bizimana Augustin and Mpiranyi Protais,” Brammertz said.

Brammertz also said that there has been progress in tracking genocide fugitives and sending them to trial but the issue of witness intimidation and altering testimonies remain a concern for both sides to tackle.

For example, five people have been arrested in Rwanda for using bribery and coercion to secure reversal of witness testimonies in the case of Augustin Ngirabatware.

His visit comes shortly after one by IRMCT Judge Carmel Agius in April, in which he promised to single handedly turn table in the operations of the UN mechanisms’ and tracking fugitives.

The UN prosecutor will be meeting some of the witness protection focal persons and officials of other institutions which include the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).

Rwanda has been for the last 25 years asking other countries on the local, regional and global scene to aide it in tracking over 130 genocide fugitives that have been indicted by Rwanda for committed genocide crimes in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Rwanda’s prosecutor general Mutangana said that there are efforts in place to encourage more countries to join the hunt.

By last year, numbers showed that half of the nearly 1,000 fugitives indicted by Rwanda over the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi live in neigbouring countries and sub-Saharan Africa.

DR Congo and Uganda top the list of countries that harbor most indicted Genocide fugitives with 254 people and 226 people, respectively.

France and Malawi have 42 respectively while Belgium is safe heaven to 39 fugitives.