Rwandan genocide suspects in Zambia: a call for justice

London/Kigali/Johannesburg, African Rights, REDRESS and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre have sent a confidential report to President Rupiah Banda of Zambia detailing the names and roles of 16 key suspects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda who are believed to be living in Zambia.

The report follows a visit of President Banda to Rwanda in mid- January 2010 during which he expressed determination to take timely and effective action to ensure that Zambia is no longer a safe haven for individuals who are alleged to have taken part in planning, organising and executing the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The three organisations urge the Zambian government to carry out official investigations in relation to the individuals identified in the report as well as to take steps to identify any further suspects that may be living in Zambia.

The report highlights that over the past years Zambia developed into a ‘power base’ for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a finding that is supported by the November 2009 report of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The FDLR has brought destruction to the people of the Kivus and Rwanda and is a central force fueling instability in the entire Great Lakes Region.

The three organisations call on the Zambian government to meet its obligations under the relevant regional and international human rights instruments to ensure that those responsible for the most egregious crimes do not escape justice.

The organisations stand ready to extend whatever assistance might be deemed appropriate in the search for justice for the victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, recognising the central role of justice in the achievement of durable peace in the Great Lakes region.

African Rights and REDRESS have been working together for several years to promote justice for survivors of the 1994 genocide. Given the large presence of genocide suspects in Southern Africa, we are delighted that the Southern Africa Litigation Centre has agreed to join us in our efforts in the Southern Africa region.

For further information, please contact:

Rakiya Omaar, African Rights at +250 788 480755; Rakiya.omaar@gmail.com

Juergen Schurr, REDRESS at: +44 (0)20 7793 1777; juergen@redress.org

Nicole Fritz, Southern Africa Litigation Centre at: +27 (0)82 600 1028; nicolef@salc.org.za