Rwanda desires Zimbabwe to extradite suspected genocide fugitives

A former mass grave remains open at the Murambi genocide memorial in Nyamagabe, southern Rwanda, on 21 April, 2022.

A former mass grave stays open on the Murambi genocide memorial in Nyamagabe, southern Rwanda, on 21 April, 2022.

  • Zimbabwe says it is working with Rwanda to extradite suspected genocide criminals believed to be within the nation.
  • The overseas affairs ministry says Zimbabwe complied with worldwide treaties within the looking down of Rwandan warfare criminals.
  • An organisation connecting support survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide lambasted nations offering refuge for genocide fugitives.

The Zimbabwean authorities mentioned it was working carefully with Rwanda to search out and extradite a number of alleged fugitives of the Rwandan genocide believed to be within the nation.

This was revealed by Zimbabwe’s ministry of overseas affairs per week after the monitoring down of suspected Rwandese genocide fugitive Potrais Mpiranya’s stays to a 2006 grave in Harare buried below the identify “Ndume Sambao”.

Mpiranya’s stays have been found by a United Nations (UN) physique that dealt with excellent warfare crimes instances for Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

In a press release, Zimbabwe’s overseas affairs minister Fredrick Shava mentioned the nation was processing quite a few requests from Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s authorities to extradite suspects believed to be in Zimbabwe.

“We’re not solely cooperating and helping the UN mechanism, however we’re additionally helping Rwanda bilaterally and requests for extradition of some fugitives allegedly believed to be in Zimbabwe are at numerous levels of processing,” he mentioned.

Final yr, Zimbabwe and Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on authorized mutual help on felony issues and cooperation within the area of prisons/correctional companies.

The MOU meant that Rwandese refugees that had been in Zimbabwe earlier than 1999, as per a UN decision, ought to be declared unlawful immigrants as a result of they fled quickly after the genocide and a few have been wished for warfare crimes.

READ | Navy officer linked to Rwandan genocide arrested within the Netherlands

The genocide began on 6 April 1994 when a aircraft carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down. Underneath the duvet of warfare, Hutu extremists launched their plans to destroy your entire Tutsi civilian inhabitants. In about 100 days, an estimated 400 000 to 800 000 primarily Tutsi have been killed. Some estimates place the determine above one million.

The genocide resulted in tons of of hundreds fleeing throughout Africa and past.

Nevertheless, it is the genocide enforcers who have been being focused for a return dwelling to face their alleged crimes.

In Zimbabwe, Rwandese refugees had, on quite a few events, pleaded to not be deported. They feared persecution below Paul Kagame’s authorities as a result of they have been thought to be critics of it.

There are formally 658 Rwandan refugees in Zimbabwe housed on the Tongogara refugee camp. However there’s additionally a Rwandan neighborhood outdoors the camp, from which most investigations have been carried out in monitoring Mpiranya.

Flight from Rwanda

Whereas following Mpiranya’s path, the UN investigators mentioned the “flight from Rwanda” by genocide enablers and actors noticed a lot of them leaving the nation after the Rwandan Patriotic Entrance, led by Kagame, got here into energy.

The fugitives discovered a haven within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), and Cameroon. Nevertheless, when Théoneste Bagosora, a navy commander and genocide warfare felony was arrested in Cameroon, many left as a result of their security was not assured.

The one secure place for the warfare criminals was the DRC in 1998 when a second warfare broke on the market.

They served as troopers of fortune, pushing for the autumn of Laurent-Désiré Kabila. 

The UN investigators mentioned Mpiranya and quite a few others joined the Zimbabwe Defence Power (ZDF) who have been within the DRC to defend Kabila’s authorities.

They mentioned Mpirinya led a navy unit referred to as Horizon Brigade which, “operated extensively with the ZDF within the DRC. Deployed collectively and concerned in violent battles”.

Hiding warfare criminals

In its report, UN investigators mentioned Mpiranya and lots of different fugitives’ arrival in Zimbabwe have been facilitated by senior navy and authorities officers.

“Zimbabwean officers facilitated his entry into Zimbabwe and Mpiranya facilitated the secure passage of his closest associates,” the investigators mentioned.

Ibuka, an organisation connecting support survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, lambasted nations that housed Mpiranya.

“The nations the place he lived from 1994 to 2006 had the accountability to arrest him, however they did not,” mentioned Ibuka’s Jean Damascene Kalinda.

Quite a few stories after the invention of Mpirinya’s stays had “painted” Zimbabwe in a foul gentle, the overseas ministry mentioned.

READ | Harare denies sheltering Rwandan genocide fugitive

“The federal government of Zimbabwe desires to placed on file that it met all its obligations below worldwide legal guidelines. 

“Zimbabwe totally cooperated with the UN residual mechanism in its investigations of the Rwandese fugitive who was indicted by the Worldwide Felony Tribunal for his function within the 1994 Rwandan genocide,” Shava mentioned.

He additionally mentioned that the UN prosecutor’s workplace was not allowed to “come, exhume and take samples of a deceased particular person buried in Zimbabwe with out authorities authority”.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Basis. The tales produced by means of the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that could be contained herein don’t mirror these of the Hanns Seidel Basis.

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