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The Clock Is Ticking for Genocidal Fugitives

The wheels of justice are turning, and the net is slowly closing in on the Rwandan genocidaires, who have been hiding in plain sight for too long. Two perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi are now facing trial in Belgium, where they have been charged with “war crimes” and “crimes of genocide”. This is a crucial moment in the fight for justice for the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Séraphin Twahirwa and Pierre Basabose were arrested in Belgium in September 2020, under international arrest warrants. Now, after a long and arduous process, they are finally set to face trial in the fall of 2023 before the Brussels Assize Court. The trial is expected to last around two months, and the charges against the accused are serious.

According to reports, Pierre Basabose was a wealthy businessman close to the Rwandan power structure at the time of the genocide. He is suspected of having financed genocide propaganda, using his wealth and influence to spread hatred and incite violence against the Tutsi population. His alleged crimes are reminiscent of those committed by Nazi propagandists during the Holocaust, who used their influence to fan the flames of anti-Semitism and sow the seeds of hatred that led to the genocide of millions of innocent people.

Seraphin Twahirwa, on the other hand, stands accused of commanding the Interahamwe that is said to have perpetrated horrific massacres of Tutsi people in the former Gitarama province of Rwanda. The Interahamwe, akin to the Khmer Rouge militias in Cambodia, were notorious for their extreme brutality and savagery during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Twahirwa’s alleged crimes are abhorrent, and the victims of his actions have been waiting for almost three decades for justice to be served.

Twahirwa and Basabose are accused of committing heinous acts, such as “murder,” “attempted murder,” “rape,” and “attack on a school,” which are the epitome of barbarism. These crimes have caused indescribable suffering to the victims and their families, leaving a lasting scar on the collective memory of Rwanda. The gravity of their actions cannot be overstated, and the need for accountability and justice is paramount.

But Twahirwa and Basabose are just two among many. Across the globe, there are still those who participated in genocidal campaigns, hiding in plain sight, evading justice, and living free despite the atrocities they committed. Some may believe that they have escaped retribution and that they will never be held accountable for the horrific acts they committed. But the clock is ticking, and time is running out.

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