The US is strongly committed to contributing to the arrest of 96 Rwandan genocide suspects who have taken refuge in several Western countries, US roving ambassador for war crimes, Clint Williamson, said here Tuesday.
Speaking at a news briefing after laying a wreath at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the US diplomat said time had come for the international community to end the culture of impunity.
“Some estimates show that at least about one hundred of the main authors of the Rwandan genocide are still hiding in Western countries,” he told reporters.
“Tracking these fugitives who are behind the genocide remains a priority for the US government to ensure they are arrested and brought before the relevant legal authorities.” Williamson added.
He noted that his country’s commitment would continue even after the end of the proceedings of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), whose tenure will expire in December 2008.
“If these Rwandan fugitives are not arrested at the expiry date, we will do everything to ensure they are tried even before other relevant national legal authorities,” the US diplomat noted.
The Gisozi Memorial, the country’s biggest, hosts the remains of some 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide, which claimed 800,000 lives.