Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, who is mopping up genocide cases investigated by a now-defunct UN tribunal has promised to press France to extradite a catholic priest and another who have been accused of inciting the 1994 genocide which killed some 800,000 people. Officials demanded the extradition of this catholic priest, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka while discussing with the prosecutor in the country’s capital, Kigali.

Judicial officials in France dropped charges against Father Munyeshyaka last year, saying there was a lack of evidence to prosecute him. The UN tribunal, which tried genocide suspects, failed to secure his extradition in 2007, with a French court ruling that the arrest warrant was invalid.

The Rwandan genocide also sometimes known as the genocide against the Tutsi was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government. It started April 7 and went all the way through to mid-July in 1994. The genocide was planned by members of the core political elite known as the akazu, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government. People began to leave the country to become refugees in other countries. However, when the refugees returned, the government began genocide trials.

Domestic and international courts have ever since been involved in punishing perpetrators and inciters of the genocide. Genocide is an international crime and a crime against humanity. It refers to violent crimes committed against a group with the intent to destroy the existence of the group.

Author: Ope Adedeji