Arrest of top genocide suspect is "big catch," says Rwanda minister
Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi, a fugitive suspect in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, has been arrested in Uganda, police said on Friday. Rwanda's Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told RFI's Billie O'Kadameri that many genocide suspects might still be hiding in neighbouring states.
Tharcisse Karugarama: All the people that feature on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda arrest warrant are important enough. They are high up in the hierarchy and were involved in the planning and executing genocide. So yes, that the arrest of Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi would be a big catch.
Billie O'Kadameri: The information we are hearing is that he had changed his name and was trying to settle as a local peasant in Western Uganda. Does this show to you this is a trick commonly used by genocide suspects to evade arrest?
T. K.: Definitely, that’s why we are very concerned about these so-called refugees, either in Uganda or in the DRC. Most of these are people running away from justice. Most of them are fugitives running away from charges that have been brought against them. And they pretend to be refugees, and yes, some of them have changed their names. If you remember one of them was arrested in western Uganda. The suspect was living in a village, looking after goats, planting tobacco, and bore a Ugandan name. So yes, there is a lot of camouflage going on. And we are concerned that genocide suspects will continue to call themselves refugees. They dupe human rights organisations and give interviews about how they ran away from Uganda and fled harassment.
B. O.: So it is actually possible that many of those remaining on the wanted list may be living within the region and not outside of it because that is where they can easily blend in and change identity?
T. K.: Yes, a big concentration of genocide suspects might actually be in the region itself, in Uganda, in the Congo and elsewhere. But there are spillovers, in Africa, in North America and in Europe, everywhere. If they have an opportunity to jump out of the region they will do just that. But those trapped in the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania have failed to secure the necessary documents to get out of the country.