President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda will officially ask South Africa to look into the need to arrest genocide fugitives who are said to be living in South Africa.
Rwandan Genocide suspect Fulgence Kayishema, is believed to be hiding in South Africa along with another suspect Protais Mpiranya- a former head of presidential guard in Juvenal Habyarimana’s government.
As reported by the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz the process to bring him and others in South Africa to justice has been impeded by lack of political will.
“We had located him (Mpiranya) in South Africa and even though the cooperation didn’t work the way we wanted, we have not given up. We will continue working on that case. I am not pessimistic,” Brammertz said during his visit in Kigali this May 2020.
Asked about what Rwanda thinks of the political will around this concern, Kagame said that the IRMCT is fully in charge and Rwanda cannot force the South African counterparts to do their part to bring them to justice.
However Kagame said that Rwanda will have its part to play through diplomatic channels and raise the issue with South Africa on this matter, but the key is in the hands of those where the suspects live.
“It doesn’t stop us from raising our voice and ask our friends to be helpful, if they choose to do so,” Kagame said.
“We will be doing that. We haven’t done it, but we shall do that definitely,” Kagame noted adding that normally the UN mechanism is supposed to do their part of ensuring this happens.
Kagame was on Monday December 21 responding to media questions after he delivered the 2020 State of the Nation Address in an interactive format with citizens and the local media.
The comments comes days after South Africa sent its new envoy Mandisi Bongani Mabuto Mpahlwa, after spending at least two years without any representation in Kigali, after the sudden recall of its former envoy George Nkosinati Twala in December 2018.
Mpahlwa presented his letters of credence to President Kagame last week, and said that this is a moment making a new move to patch up ties between the two nations.
“This is something that I think must be a positive sign on the direction that the two countries are taking in terms of continuing to strengthen their relations,” Mpahlwa said adding that he had a lengthy discussion on the way forward in this relationship.
In the meantime, Rwanda has submitted over 1000 indictments for the arrest and extradition of other Rwandan genocide suspects from across the world.