In the News

 News Update on Rwanda

December 1, 2016

Sarah Schmidt Erickson

News Associate


Rwanda’s Catholic Church issued an official apology for its role in the country’s 1994 genocide. The Bishops of the Church released the statement as part of the Church’s annual ‘Jubilee of God’s Mercy,’ and they asked for forgiveness from those affected by the crimes committed on the orders of, and at the acquiescence of, the Church.

The United Kingdom began appeals proceedings on November 28 to extradite five Rwandans suspected of genocide. The Rwandan government was previously denied their request to extradite the suspects despite showing that the government is now strong enough and willing to put the men through criminal proceedings. The hearing will span eight days, ending with a redetermination of whether the UK High Court decides that Vincent Bajinya, a medical doctor; Celestin Mutabaruka, a former pastor; and three former mayors, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, and Emmanuel Nteziryayo, would be given fair trials if extradited to Rwanda.

Canada has extradited a former Rwandan military officer, Jean Claude Seyoboka, to Rwanda to stand trial for his participation in the Rwandan genocide. Seyoboka is a former second lieutenant of Rwanda’s military and allegedly participated in the killing of at least 72 Tutsis during the genocide. He is also accused of attending numerous military meetings where Tutsi killings were planned.

The Rwanda Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit issued a statement revealing that it is currently searching for over 500 Rwandans, located in countries around the world, who are suspected of perpetrating genocide. The GFTU said that most of the fugitives are hiding in Europe, specifically Belgium and France. The Rwandan government, with the backing of the United Nations, is requesting the extradition of all known fugitives to Rwanda to stand trial for the crimes of which they are accused.