Africa Internally Displaced Persons Voice (Africa IDP Voice) wants Zambia to cooperate with Rwanda and hand over any Rwandan genocide suspects Rwanda believes the Southern African nation has been harbouring for years, Executive Director, Joseph Chilengi said on Saturday 27th November 2009.
Meanwhile, Tanzania says it never and will not even contemplate to indulge in despicable, reckless and worthless causes in trafficking in arms which foment violent conflicts against friendly neighbours like Rwanda and the DRC.
Joseph Chilengi, Africa IDP Voice Executive Director and member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars said the fact Rwanda claims that Zambia has not cooperated and had not delivered suspected Genocide suspects to the Rwanda war crimes tribunal s part and parcel of the impunity prevalent in Southern Africa that Rwanda is talking about.
Zambia has always behaved well at Sub-regional, regional and international levels and she is expected to continue behaving well, said Chilengi when responding to questions to participants at the ongoing training on equal status and human rights of Women in East Africa at the Indian Ocean Beach Resort in Mombasa , Kenya. Mr Chilengi is the Consultant facilitating the training being attended by participants from all East African States including Ethiopia.
The Rwanda government said this week that Zambia and other Southern African States are not cooperating with Rwanda and are failing to act against Genocide suspects on their territories.
“Zambia can’t have it both ways, .so I think we have to presume that both countries will get down to work and sort out the matter as soon as possible” said Chilengi.
Chilengi also recommended that Zambia like many other countries should establish specific practical arrangements for the investigation of serious international crimes such as specialised units within immigration, police and prosecution authorities that will ensure that serious international crimes are investigated on a consistent basis and enable practitioners to develop experience and expertise in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.
“My country currently chairs the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region process which has set itself the highest norms and standards in preventing Genocide and dealing with the problems of Genocide including removing impunity on Genocide suspects and all other offences, Chilengi responded to participants.
“I can assure you that Zambia as country will play its rightful role in relation to Sub regional, regional and international obligations and responsibilities. . .
“Zambia needs to co-operate genuinely, and deliver any Genocide suspect as we have all to gain to that”, emphasized Chilengi in a heated question and answer session.
“I will remind my country to behave responsible…this is a serious matter as we all work and pray that what happened in Rwanda does not repeat itself and anywhere else on the continent responded Chilengi. We will send him down the road to Arusha,” Chilengi said, referring to the location of the tribunal.
We need to rescreen all those claiming to be Refugees in my country. I know of Refugees for example claiming to Burundese when they are actually Rwandese and use names that are not their real names. We need to expose these and if they are found wanting, they be sent to face justice
And Tanzania has denied accusations from the United Nations Group of five Experts whose report purports to implicate Tanzania with the illegal supply of arms to FDLR rebels operating in (DRC) against Rwanda and the Congolese populations living there.
Briefing journalists during the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port-of –Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister said the accusation was an outright malicious lie concocted with the evil intention of tarnishing the good name of Tanzania and its government.
Mr. Membe said Tanzania has never and will not even contemplate to indulge in such despicable, reckless and worthless causes in trafficking in arms which foment violent conflicts against friendly neighbours like Rwanda and the DRC.
He said on the contrary, his country will always join hands in efforts to end the conflict rather than engage in acts which will fuel them.
Mr. Membe further said the report does not even shade light on where these weapons are sourced from but only offers second hand quotes, hearsays, farfetched assumptions, which in most cases are by unnamed sources.
He said the work of the Group has left the government of Tanzania surprised at such level of incompetence and un-professionalism for a panel put together by the United Nations, an organization the government considers serious and esteemed.
“AS such, we are left with no option than to consider these allegations contemptible and malicious,” he warned.
Mr. Membe has since asked the United Nations to ignore the report and treat it with contempt that it deserves.
He stressed that Tanzania has always been a very responsible member of the region and the United Nations family, adding that it has done so much to advance the cause of peace in the Great Lakes Region and beyond.
Mr. Membe also said his country has since 1959 to date, provided safe haven for refugees fleeing wars, killings and persecution in their countries in the region.
He said of recent, Tanzania has agreed to do something which nobody has ever done by agreeing to consider application for Tanzanian granted citizenship for over 160,000 Burundi refugees who did not feel like going back home.
Mr. Membe has since demanded an apology from the Group.