Five Rwandan files kept on the back burner

05 July 2004 by our correspondent

On June 8, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted France of failing to prepare its case against the Rwandan priest Wenceslas Munyeshyaka within a reasonable timeframe. The initial complaint, implicating him in the 1994 genocide, was filed nine years ago in July 1995. Although this is the first time such a case has been heard before the ECHR, the situation is not unique. Complaints filed between 1995 and 2001 against four Rwandans suspected of genocide who are residing in France are still pending in the French courts.

Sosthène Munyemana, a former doctor, Laurent Bucyibaruta, the ex-prefect of Gikongoro, and Laurent Serubuga, a former officer of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) are all wanted for their alleged participation in the genocide. Indictments were issued in 1995 for the former and in 2000 for the two other suspects. A fourth, Cyprien Kayumba, another ex-FAR officer, was accused in 2001 of supplying arms to those who carried out the genocide. The complaints, which were filed by individuals and backed by the International Federation of Human Rights, the Human Rights League and the association Survie (Survival), have still not been heard by the courts.

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