Rwanda’s quest for justice for Tutsi genocide survivors is picking up pace as Western countries begin to facilitate the deportation of genocidal refugees to Rwanda.
On Thursday, the United States deported Oswald Rurangwa, a genocidal refugee who was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the local court in Gacaca in 2007 for his role in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi.
According to Rurangwa’s indictment, he is accused of being active in mass murders in the former Prefecture de Kigali (now Kigali City) participated, especially in the suburb of Gisozi. Almost 300,000 people have been killed in the city, 250,000 of the victims rest in the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
“The NPPA commends the US judicial authorities for the deportation of genocidal refugees and their continued cooperation in mutual legal assistance and contribution global efforts to combat impunity, “said Rwanda’s National Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
Rurangwa, 59, also headed the then ruling Mouvement Révolutionaire National pour le Développement (MRND) party in Gisozi, his birthplace and residence during of genocide.
In 2008, one year after his conviction, Rurangwa, also known as Oswald Rukemuye, was persecuted in Ohio where he was studying at Central State University in Wilberforce.
The US has so far deported six of the 23 genocide refugees living in the country. Since 2007, the Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit (GFTU) has issued 1,146 indictments and arrest warrants against genocide refugees in 33 countries. Only 47 refugees were extradited or tried.
Rurangwa’s deportation comes after the US deported Beatrice Munyenyezi in April to answer for genocidal crimes such as murder, conspiracy to commit genocide, rape and extermination. She was deported after spending 10 years in prison in the US for lying about her involvement in the Tutsi genocide in order to obtain citizenship.
During his presentation to Rwandan MPs about the current status of the persecution of genocide refugees Jean Bosco Siboyintore, head of the GFTU, said that among other challenges, the countries have the political will to either extradite the refugees to Rwanda or bring them to justice.
Of the remaining 1,099 genocide refugees, 408 are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 277 in Uganda, 63 in Malawi, 52 in Tanzania, 47 in France, 42 in Brazzaville Congo and 40 in Belgium.
35 others live in Kenya , 22 in the United States, 18 in the Netherlands, 15 in Zambia, 15 in Burundi, 14 in Canada, 13 in Mozambique and 11 in the Central African Republic.
Rwanda has so far had extradition treaties e signed with 10 countries.