clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RWANDAN LEADER RULES OUT PROPOSED GENERAL AMNESTY

Rwandan Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, in an interview published Monday, flatly ruled out a general amnesty to encourage refugees in Zaire and Tanzania to return home.

"Nearly a million Rwandans have been massacred. . . . These people (responsible) must be arrested and judged by an international tribunal," he told the French daily InfoMatin.The massacres, ignited by the April 6 assassination of Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana, have been widely blamed on the Hutu government then in power, its army and tribal militia allies.

Western governments want Rwanda's new government, led by Twagiramungu and dominated by former rebels of the mostly Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Front, to reassure more than a million refugees living in squalid camps outside Rwanda - many of them Hutus - that it is safe for them to return to their homes.

But the government has begun detaining increasing numbers of Rwandans, raising fears that it may retaliate for the massacres.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that about 2,000 Rwandans had been detained over the past 10 days.

Twagiramungu said it was "incomprehensible" that the West would propose a general amnesty.

"As we speak, there are committees looking for Nazis around the world, 50 years after (World War II). But here, after a few months, we should proceed to a general amnesty!" he said.

"Before all are judged, there is no possibility that we would accept an amnesty or negotiate with people who planned and carried out the massacres," he said.

He also dismissed as "rumor" reports that former Hutu soldiers were rearming in Zaire in an effort to spark a new civil war in Rwanda.