The galley of eight Rwandans in exile acquitted by ICTR and

The eight Rwandans who were released by the ICTR and released after serving their sentences are still waiting in Niger. By early December, they had been transferred from Arusha to Niamey on the basis of an agreement between Niger and the UN mechanism responsible for the final acts of the ICTR. But in late December, Niamey changed his mind. On February 7, an ICTR judge had ordered that the eight men be sent back to Arusha, the time to find a host country. But Niamey never carried out the order.

as reported from The Hague, Stephanie Maupas

This time it is Tanzania that opposes the return of eight Rwandans in its territory. For years, they lived in Arusha in a UN residence. However, Dodoma now considers that the temporary agreement that was in force before their departure for Niger is no longer valid.

In November, the ICTR mechanism ended reaching an agreement with Niger. Niamey agreed to welcome the Rwandans on its land. But in late December, following protests from Rwanda, a deportation order was issued by Nigerian justice. The ICTR judge had to note the authorities in Niamey’s breach of the agreement and report the case to the UN.

Seized by lawyers, the mechanism’s judge acknowledged his impotence last week. In a decision, he declared that the fate of the eight is now political and diplomatic.

On the side of the mechanism it is stated that it is always “status quo”. Discussions continue to find a territory for the eight Rwandans, who refuse to return to Rwanda. Especially since Kigali had made no secret of his intention to try any of them again.

Meanwhile, the Rwandan home in Niamey is still under surveillance by Niger police. And according to their lawyers, they still have no papers.

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