Saturday, 28 December 2013

[RwandaLibre] 2013: the year that was in the justice sector

2013: the year that was in the justice sector

Submitted by peter on December 27, 2013 – 7:30 pm

Rwanda was this year accused by the UN experts and donor countries, of
supporting the M23 rebels in the DR Congo, an event in 2013, which led
to the cutting of foreign aid, subsequently leading to a low economic
performance at the start of this year.

Luckily enough the M23 have gone and Rwanda has been cleared of the
accusation, and slowly by slowly the economy has recovered, with some
donors reinstating Rwanda's budget support, and the country now has
prospects of even performing better among the top six African

During the state of the nation address 2013, President Paul Kagame
said that the country cannot afford moving backwards since it has made
significant transformation which has resulted to European countries,
through the European Court of Human rights, trusting the justice
system to start extraditing genocide suspects to Rwanda.

He said that the recognition of Rwanda's justice system was a basis
for Rwanda to act more and especially speeding up the local court
cases and process of justice.

"We must increase service delivery at all levels especially the
grassroots. I repeat…we must make a step in service delivery, despite
the fact that we are ranked well. This is not enough. What we have
managed to achieve means that we can do better than that" he stressed.

Genocide cases in this year saw the Rwandan government winning the
trust of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the
European Courts of Justice agree that Rwanda was suitable place to
prosecute genocide fugitives who have been arrested in various
European countries, including France who in 2012 didn't feel that the
suspects would face fair justice.

Prior to June 2011, the ICTR rejected several requests from the ICTR
Prosecutor to transfer detainees to Rwanda, saying that Rwanda did not
fulfill the conditions for a fair trial. This year UN court has
changed its position following a series of judicial reforms in Rwanda.

Some of the notable cases included the extradition of Leon Mugesera
(Canada), Charles Bandora (Norway) and Bernard Munyagishari.

In 2014, it will be an eye opener as Rwanda prepares for the
extradition of five UK based genocide suspects- Emmanuel Nteziryayo,
Charles Munyaneza and Celestin Ugirashebuja who were all mayors
(bourgmestres), plus Celestin Mutabaruka-former head of an
agricultural project) and Vincent Bajinya (former medic), who was a
medical doctor who have been living in London, UK.

Next year will also be interesting to see how French government will
handle cases of genocide suspects, of whom it has been confirmed that
they will be extradited to Rwanda.

Some of the French cases include – Pascal Simbikangwa, a former
Rwandan intelligence officer, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, who
practicing in the Gisors parish of northern France, while France's
highest court, the Court of Cassation, is expected to decide on an
appeal against a decision to extradite two men of Rwandan origin,
Claude Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana to Rwanda.

Closing of the ICTR into a residual court was a moment to reflect on
whether justice was achieved. The ICTR has managed to indict some 93
people, all of whom were arrested with the exception of nine most
wanted men – Augustin Bizimana, the Minister of Defence of the interim
Government during the time of the atrocities;

FélicienKabuga, who is believed to have financed the genocide; Protais
Mpiranya, who as Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion in the
Rwandan Army allegedly oversaw all the units in the battalion; as well
as Fulgence Kayishema, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Charles Sikubwabo, Aloys
Ndimbati, Ladislas Ntaganzwa and Charles Ryandikayo.

US Government also put a US$5 million cash bounty on these Genocide
Fugitives and listed them among the most wanted in the world. The US
'Reward for Justice' Program still targeting genocide fugitives and
the state department has pledged continued support to track down
fugitives wanted for their role in the 1994 Genocide against the
Tutsi, to face justice

In the meantime, the ICTR has also postponed to the beginning of next
year 2014, the hearing of cases of Mathieu, Ngirumpatse, who was
president of the MRND, and his vice -president Karemera.

The 75 most high-profile genocide suspects were tried by a special
U.N. tribunal based in Tanzania which has now finished hearing cases.
Rwanda tried an estimated 2 million suspects through its "gacaca"
system of community courts. It is estimated that 65 percent of those
were convicted.

The sector also registered success with some of the cases of genocide
suspects like Grégoire Ndahimana getting sentenced for their role in
the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This year will also not go without mentioning the death of Rwandan
born model Lina Keza, who was murdered by her former spouse David
Kikaawa. This case caused a big uproar from the Rwanda communities
locally and international, with social media becoming a means of
criticizing the incident.

The good news was the UK Police has since managed to arrest and
incarcerate Linah murder suspect- who actually turned himself in.

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“Uwigize agatebo ayora ivi”. Ubutegetsi bukugira agatebo ukariyora uko bukeye n’uko bwije.

"Ce dont j’ai le plus peur, c’est des gens qui croient que, du jour au lendemain, on peut prendre une société, lui tordre le cou et en faire une autre."

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.”

“I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore I die in exile."




1.Kumenya Amakuru n’amateka atabogamye ndetse n’Ibishobora Kukugiraho Ingaruka ni Uburenganzira Bwawe.

2.Kwisanzura mu Gutanga Ibitekerezo, Kurwanya Ubusumbane, Akarengane n’Ibindi Byose Bikubangamiye ni Uburenganzira Bwawe.