Zambia refuses to handover genocide suspects to Rwanda

The Zambian government says it cannot hand over Rwandan fugitives wanted for genocide in their country.

Rwandese government has written to the Zambian government to request for six (6) of their nationals living in Zambia as refugees who are alleged to have taken part in the genocide in 1994.

But Zambia, through its deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Effron Lungu says Zambia cannot handle over Rwandan fugitives hiding in Zambia because it has no extradition treaty with Rwanda.

He also disclosed that there are 6,340 Rwandese nationals resident in Zambia.

Lungu said according to the Zambian laws with respect to extradition Act, Chapter 94 of the laws of Zambia, only allows extradition of fugitives to other countries if there is an agreement on reciprocal basis between Zambia and that country.

Lungu explained  that in this regard, the Zambian government cannot hand over the said fugitives to the Rwandese government without an agreement.

He, however, said the Zambian government is ready to hand over the said suspects if the request is made by the International Tribunal for Rwanda which was established by the United Nations which Zambia is a state party.

He added that fugitives can only be handed over when the two countries negotiate and sign an agreement on a reciprocal basis to deal with the extradition in accordance with the Extradition Act Chapter 94 of the laws of Zambia.

Mr Lungu said the suspect would be handed over once the request is made by the International Tribunal for Rwanda established by the United Nations to which Zambia is a state party.

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