The pictures of rows of skulls are a constant reminder of the genocide in the central African nation of Rwanda. Now 16 years after the appalling slaughter France has sent two judges to investigate suspected rebels alledgedly involved in the massacre who live and work in France. One long-term suspect lives and works in France as a free man.
“I have never been in touch with any militia. I was not a militia. I did not have any relationship with a militia. I have never been with any militia in any house of anybody,” explained Callixte Mbarushimana.
France has been criticised in the past for harbouring suspected criminals from its former African colonies. For one man who was in Rwanda during the genocide such enquiries are too late.
“Something should have been said and done 10 years ago. Fifteen years ago. Five years ago. It should have been done, and it wasn’t,” said Gregory Alex, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator during Rwandan Genocide
Healing the wounds of the genocide is a painful process. There are technical legal reasons why France cannot extradite suspects to Rwanda as it applies the death penalty. This enquiry along with President Sarkozy’s, ‘reconciliation’ visit next month may help the process.