Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Johnston Busingye, has called on the country’s government to invest more efforts in bringing to justice the genocide fugitives who are at large.
“We know the names of these men, the UK knows their names, the world should know their names. They continue to live freely in the cities we share. All we ask is that they have their day in the courts in the UK, that they are put to their defense and that justice prevails,” he said.
Busingye was speaking at an event marking the 28th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which claimed over a million lives.
In attendance were members of the Rwandan community abroad from across the UK, members of the diplomatic corps from London and the British government as well as Commonwealth officials.
High Commissioner Busingye, also a former justice minister of Rwanda, says “for genocide survivors, justice delayed is justice denied”, pointing to the five alleged genocidaires, who continue to evade justice for sixteen years now.
“Last year, an all-party parliamentary group was formed to lobby the UK government to bring these people to justice. We are grateful for this effort. The relevant institutions in Rwanda are cooperating fully with the ongoing process to bring justice. be rendered.
“We should not and we will not rest until the perpetrators of the genocide are brought to justice,” he added.
Andrew Wallis, researcher and author of Stepp’d in Blood: Akazu and the Architects of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi, also stressed the importance of trials and called on genocide suspects in the UK to be tried.
“Trials bring much-needed solace to victims and survivors, a certain sense of closure, a certain sense that the law is finally being made. Trials silence denial.
He named the suspects who must face justice: Vincent Bajinya, Célestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo and Célestin Mutabaruka.
Referring to the 25 European countries with laws that address Holocaust denial, Busingye encouraged countries to enact laws to combat genocide denial and offered them Rwanda’s support in this endeavour.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Arjoon Suddhoo hailed the great strides Rwanda has made in its development journey and looked forward with great enthusiasm to the upcoming CHOGM2022 summit, to be held in Kigali in the week of June 20.
Other dignitaries, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps who shared their messages of solidarity with the people of Rwanda include UK Africa Minister Vicky Ford, who wrote on April 7; “Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. My thoughts are with all the people of Rwanda at this time.”
Meanwhile, Busingye told those present that Rwanda and Rwandans have since changed.
“No leader can say that Rwandans are different, no leader can again incite citizens to send other citizens out of Rwanda through the Nyabarongo River. No army leader can boast of preparing an apocalypse and actually do it, no leader can allow a woman to be raped, a citizen stopped at a checkpoint, a student to be denied a place in school or a scholarship because of their ethnicity.”
These ridiculous things have dehumanized people in unimaginable ways, he added.