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KIGALI, RWANDA, July 26, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The United States says it has renewed support for a global manhunt for hundreds of fugitives involved in the execution of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, and fleeing the country.
Stephen Rapp of the US Office of Global Criminal Justice said in Rwanda July 25 that Washington was committed to get the job done. Rap was leading a high-level US delegation.
"We want these individual arrested and brought to trial to face the accusers, the survivors," he told journalists in Rwanda's capital Kigali. "And if they are found guilty, be punished."
In April 2014, Rwanda commemorated the 20th anniversary of the genocide that resulted in massacre of more than a million Tutsis by Hutu militias under state sponsored mass slaughter. Nine most wanted fugitives are yet to be arrested, despite a US$5m reward for information leading to arrest of each of the suspects.
Rwanda has sent about 240 indictments to 30 countries around the world. Justice Minister, Jonson Busingye says keeping the fugitives is "unacceptable".
The suspects, he added, "are still free 20 years after they were first suspected, while the survivors have endured the agony of not seeing justice done."
"All we are asking for is for those countries to do the most honorable thing they ought to do; help us bring these suspects to face justice."
Felicien Kabuga, the alleged chief financier of the genocide, tops the list, followed by Protais Mpiranya, who commanded the notorious Presidential Guards, and Augustin Bizimana who was Defence Minister.
Rapp said the US maintains the financial prize for any lead on the suspects. "It's not a 'wanted dead or alive' bounty, but a 'wanted alive' bounty," he said.
Rwanda's Prosecutor General, Richard Muhumuza said some suspect "have already been given citizenship" in host countries - complicating the whole situation.
For the survivors of the genocide; "Justice needs to be rendered to the victims," said Prof Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the head of IBUKA, an umbrella grouping of survivors' associations.
Victoria Nuland, US Department of State spokesperson, who was with Rapp in Rwanda, said countries need to redouble their cooperation with the Tanzania-based international court.
"Countries harbouring fugitives obstruct justice and stand on the wrong side of history," said Nuland.
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