31.07.07 - RWANDA/FRANCE - KIGALI REQUESTS PARIS TO EXTRADITE GENOCIDE SUSPECTS

Arusha, 31 July 2007 (FH) - Kigali requested that Paris extradite suspects of genocide who would be living in France, declared Tuesday, to the AFP, the Secretary of State for Regional Co-operation, Rosemary Museminari.
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Mrs. Museminari, notably, set this as a precondition to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, broken off in November the 2006.

She, in addition, required "initially that all the questions at the origin of the diplomatic rupture be solved beforehand".

Kigali unilaterally broke off its relations with Paris following the issuance of arrest warrants against nine persons close to President Paul Kagame in the French investigation into the attack, 6 April 1994, against President Juvénal Habyarimana.

This assassination had sparked the genocide which resulted, according to Kigali, in a million dead, mostly Tutsis.

The government, who took power in July 1994, has always accused Paris of having supported the persons responsible for the genocide. France rejects those allegations.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Kouchner, will soon go to Kigali on the invitation of the Rwandan authorities, declared Rosemary Museminari, quoted by AFP.

He should discuss with his Rwandan counterparts all the issues, including those which are litigious, according to a French source who requested anonymity.

The organization for the defense of human rights based in London, African Rights, published on 24 July a list of Rwandans suspected of genocide by their government who would be living in France. This list was published a couple of days after the arrest by Paris, at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), of the former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta and Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka.

The list of African Rights mentions, in particular, Dominique Ntawurikuriryayo, former sub-prefect of Gisagara (southern Rwanda), indicted by the ICTR. The organization mentions, in addition, Dr. Sosthène Munyemana, a former physician in Butare (southern Rwanda), and, François Ndayisenga, former lecturer at the university in Butare.

African Rights invites the French authorities to bring them to justice.

France has already handed over two persons to the ICTR, the former Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, and, the former commander of the reconnaissance battalion, an elite unit of the former Rwandan army, Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye.

AT/MM
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