30 Years Post-Massacre: Five Rwandan Genocide Suspects Reportedly Living without Charges in the UK

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Three decades after the Rwandan genocide, which saw 800,000 lives lost, suspects are still freely residing in Britain, sparking concerns over prolonged delays in a UK police investigation that commenced six years ago.

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Both MPs and Rwandan officials are urging the Metropolitan Police to expedite their decision-making on whether to proceed with cases against five men who sought refuge in the UK following the 1994 atrocities.

These individuals, who have spent several decades in the UK, refute any accusations tied to the genocide and have yet to stand trial. Among them, one is accused of orchestrating attacks in a village where it’s claimed 40,000 Tutsis perished.

The British High Court has denied Rwanda’s requests for extradition, citing concerns over fair trial prospects in Rwanda.

However, Kigali officials are advocating for trials to occur within the UK, pointing out Britain’s delay in addressing such allegations compared to actions taken by France and Belgium.

This has prompted campaigners and politicians to demand the UK government ensure “justice is served,” especially as the 30th anniversary of the genocide approaches and the potential for legal action diminishes over time.

The controversy aligns with Rishi Sunak’s contentious plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a country currently deemed unsafe for such transfers.

Senior Tory MP Stephen Crabb, leading the war crimes APPG, expressed frustration over the stagnant police investigation, noting the Met’s engagement in other international cases without facing resource constraints.

The suspects, all in their 60s and residing in England for two decades, are Celestin Mutabaruka, Vincent Brown (formerly Vincent Bajinya), Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, and Emmanuel Nteziryayo. They staunchly deny any wrongdoing, with one suggesting political motivations behind the allegations.

Despite an extradition request by the Rwandan government, a 2017 judgement ruled against extradition due to justice concerns, leading Rwanda to support a UK-based investigation by Scotland Yard’s war crimes team.

Yet, after multiple visits to Rwanda and interviews under caution, no arrests or charges have been made.

One suspect, Celestin Mutabaruka, now a pastor in Ashford, Kent, defends his innocence, emphasizing the independence of the police investigation.

Rwanda’s high commissioner Johnston Busingye implores the UK to quicken the investigation, stressing the importance of justice for victims.

The situation raises questions about international justice, with Amnesty International calling for swift action to prevent suspects from evading trial due to death.

Critics argue the UK’s justice system should be equitable for all victims, regardless of nationality, highlighting the urgency as time continues to pass.

The Met Police maintains that their investigation into 1990s genocide allegations remains active, with cooperation from the Crown Prosecution Service and Rwandan partners. However, such cases’ complexity often results in lengthy investigative processes.

Regarding the government’s stance on challenging extradition refusal in light of deportation policies, the Home Office emphasizes the independence of police inquiries, distancing extradition matters from the Rwanda deportation partnership.

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