Le Collectif des parties civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), a civil society body based in France has implored the French government not to welcome the remains of the top genocide architect Col Théoneste Bagosora who succumbed to a disease in a Malian prison on Saturday, September 25.
He was serving a 35-year sentence handed to him by the then International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Founded by Alain and Dafroza Gauthier, CPCR is a non-governmental organization that aims at bringing before justice all the suspects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi mainly those living in France.
In a statement released on Sunday, the organisation said; “We urge the French authorities to refuse that the remains of Bagosora get buried in France where several members of his family reside,” reads the statement in part.
‘Place of pilgrimage’
The civil society also warned France to avoid becoming a haven of genocide fugitives.
“France, which is already a land of asylum for plenty of people suspected of having participated in the genocide against the Tutsi, should not become a ‘place of pilgrimage’ for those nostalgic for the genocidal regime of Juvénal Habyarimana,” read the statement.
CPCR based their request on the fact that France has already received the remains of Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, the former president of CDR, an extremist political outfit. Barayagwiza was also a founding member and head of RTLM, the hate radio that was key in facilitating the Genocide against the Tutsi.
France has also received the remains of Simon Bikindi, who was one of the then regime propagandist musician and song-writer whose compositions were aired on RTLM and other extremist outlets.