Interpol intensifies hunt for Genocide fugitives
The International Police (Interpol) has pledged to step up the search for fugitive perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi
The development follows a two day meeting that ended yesterday September 17, between officials from Rwanda Public Prosecution Authority, Rwanda Interpol National Central Bureau and Interpol representatives from General Secretariat.
The meeting focused on strategizing new ways and means of bringing to justice genocide fugitives who are roaming in different parts of the world.
In a press briefing after the meeting, Stefano Carvelli, the Assistant Director of Interpol FugitiveÂ Investigative Support Sub-Directorate, said that the meeting aimed at streamlining and enhancing strategies of bringing to justice perpetrators of the genocide.
â€œOur meeting with the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit and Interpol-Kigali discussed mainly new operational factors and initiative as means to intensify our hunt for genocide perpetrators,â€ saidÂ Stefano.
He added that part of what they discussed included the progress made in tracking genocide, the challenges that were faced and how to adapt to different needs in order to have all genocide suspects arrested.
Interpol Fugitive Investigative Support Sub-Directorate was established in 2004 to support Rwandan authorities and the international criminal mechanisms is the search for the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
John Bosco Siboyintore, the Head of Genocide Tracking Unit in RPPA, hailed the existing cooperation with Interpol.
Irrespective of the fact that the perpetrators keep changing their identity to evade justice, Siboyintore said, Interpol has kept tabs on and sometimes even arrest, extradite or deport them to Rwanda.
â€œWe provide Interpol with details including identities and locations of the perpetrators but we are still challenged with the fact that there is still lack of border control in Europe which facilitates the fugitives in their movements; sometimes we indict a fugitive in one country and he moves to another. Without Interpol facilitating the arrest of these people we would be nowhere as of today,â€Â SiboyintoreÂ said.
Among the challenges that Siboyintore hinted on include lack of cooperation from some western country to arrest fugitives.
â€œAmong the strategies we have laid is engaging these countries since genocide is a crime against humanity and not just a responsibility of Rwanda; the world bears responsibility to bring these people to justice. We are optimistic about bringing these people to justice,â€ he added.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tonny Kuramba, the Head of Interpol National Central Bureau-Kigali, said that since there are still many suspects who are still at large, entities agreed to intensify their efforts in bringing them to book.
With regards to genocide perpetrators, Interpol has issued more than 200 red notices at the request of the Rwandan government over the years; among those, about 40 have been honoured.Â According to Interpol, the 40 arrests is considered a major milestone going by its perspective as it is “much more difficult tracking criminals of yesterday compared to modern-day fugitives.”
As part of efforts to track genocide fugitives, in July last year, the United States government recommitted to working closely with Rwanda, Interpol and a UN tribunal in renewed effort to bring to book the nine key suspects of the Genocide .
Top on the lists of the fugitives is Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the Genocide; Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious Presidential Guards, and former defence minister Augustin Bizimana.
The trio, dubbed â€˜the big fishâ€™, has eluded justice for nearly two decades now.
Other prominent suspects on the run are Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Fulgence Kayishema, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Charles Rwandikayo and Charles Sikubwabo.
The United Statesâ€™ Reward for Justice Programme offered up to US$5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of each of the nine Genocide fugitives.