Genocide fugitives

France: A new Lawsuit against a genocide fugitive Félicien Baligira


French activists on Monday filed a fresh lawsuit against one Félicien Baligira, who is accused of masterminding the death of more than 6,000 in the former Cyangugu Prefecture during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Baligira, who currently resides in Nantes, a city in western France, is said to have unleashed members of the Interahamwe militia on thousands of Tutsi who had sought refuge at a Catholic church.

The group that filed the lawsuit, the Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), said the French judiciary has previously refused to extradite Baligira to Rwanda under the pretext that the Rwandan criminal law had not anticipated penalties for the crime of Genocide before it was committed.

They said the decision by the French Court of Cassation was a “blind application of the principle of non-retroactivity.”

He was sub-prefect of Ruhengeri at a time when Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother of the former first lady Agathe Habyarimana Kanziga was prefect. He was a stalwart of the then ruling National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) political party.

Baligira, according to the CPCR, participated in several Genocide preparation meetings from 1993 and in April 1994 in the former Communes of Gisuma and Gafunzo, as well as in recruitment of youth for military inscription, at the hospital in Bushenge.

“He equally participated in the planning and execution of massacres of the Tutsi who had sought refuge at Bushenge hospital and at the Catholic Church parish of Shangi, in Mibilizi, and at the Kamarampaka stadium,” CPCR president Alain Gauthier said in an e-mail.

First appeared in the New Times

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