Rwandaâ€™s Genocide Survivors Want Perpetrators Severely Punished
Rwandaâ€™s Genocide survivors say it is time genocide architects are punished severely instead of courts joking around with cases that rendered them orphans and widows.
Their statement was in form of appreciation to the Germany court, after it sentenced Onesphore Rwabukombe, former mayor of Muvumba commune to life in jail for genocide crimes.
â€œWe are happy with the sentence Rwabukombe was given,â€ Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, president of Ibuka, an umbrella of Genocide survivorsâ€™ Association has told KT Press.
Dusingizemungu also said, â€œseveral courts, including the Arusha based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) have been decreasing the length of sentence given to the Genocide convicts, thus negating real justice to victims and survivors of the tragedy.
Example being given was the last case at ICTR where Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Shalom Ntahobari were sentenced to 47 years in jail in appeal, against life sentence in trial chamber.
The duo was found guilty of murder and rape among other crimes against humanity committed in Butare, southern Rwanda.
In other countries, Dusingizemungu says, cases are politicized.
â€œLike in France, the case of Ignace Murwanashyaka is stalling after a new report on Franceâ€™s role in Genocide against Tutsi was published.â€
There have also been cases where countries are reluctant to extradite genocide suspects, â€œfor fear that they may not face fair justice in Rwanda.â€
Rwabukombe 57, was found guilty of taking part in the killings of 400 Tutsi who had sought refuge at Kiziguro parish, near Muvumba commune headquarters during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.
The Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest appellate court, rejected the sentence of 14 year imprisonment Rwabukombe was handed by Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt in 2014, because it was too lenient compared to the severity of the crime.
The court has today ruled that Rwabukombeâ€™s killing were directed to an entire ethnic group, not a selection of individuals, as it was decided in the previous ruling.
Germany media reports that Rwabukombe, during his trial that started in 2010 refused to speak to defend himself.
The court then decided to rely on circumstantial evidences.
Rwabukombeâ€™s case is the first to be tried against a Rwandan on genocide crimes. The law in this country where Holocaust is considered among the worst genocide in the world provides for prosecution of any person suspected of genocide crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
For Dusingizemungu, â€œcountries are taking too long to try genocide suspects, but for the case of Germany, better late than ever.â€