Arusha, 26 June 2007 (FH) - Theodore Simburudali, the president of the Rwandan collective Ibuka, gathering several associations of survivors of the1994 genocide, requested that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) not transfer accused towards France, because it is accused of having played a part in the 1994 genocide.

1 min 14Approximate reading time

The Prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, plans, if the judges of the United Nations Tribunal authorize it, to transfer to French courts the former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta and Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, both exiled in France.

"We vigorously protest because France was not neutral" in the conflict in Rwanda, stated the Ibuka president, at a press conference at the head office of the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. For him, the defendants residing in France must be transferred to the ICTR or "be extradited towards Rwanda". "We are not ready to collaborate with French courts", indicated Simburudali at the end of a two days visit to the Tribunal.

His visit, in company of the president of the Association of widows of the genocide (AVEGA), Bellancilla Umukobwa, aimed at challenging the heads of the ICTR on the question of compensation for the victims of the genocide and for the conservation in Rwanda of the Tribunal records.

"Justice here is rendered in only one direction", he explained, stressing that the compensation is "a problem of right, a problem of justice". "We ask with force that this Tribunal not close its doors in December 2008 before a solution is found to this problem", he enforced.

Furthermore, he invited the ICTR to handover its records to Ibuka at its closing. "We are legitimately the principal guardians of these records", he pleaded.

The two survivor representatives were in Arusha after having been in New York, where they were at the general assembly of the United Nations, to expose "the complaints" of the survivors to the Secretary-General.

© Hirondelle News Agency