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No peace for the wicked as Chakwera led Malawi govt. smokes out Rwanda war-crime fugitive

Niyongira

A hiding space for war-crime fugitives in Malawi has, apparently, ran out as all refugees have been converged to their designated establishment zone – Dzaleka.

The incident which has received all-praises from various stakeholders minding about domestic security of the host country has been highlighted with a major incident that has seen an accused genocide and war criminal from Rwanda being smoked out extradited to Kigali to face justice which he escaped.

Over the years, Malawi has been a peaceful and warm-hearted destination of first choice to those escaping civil wars and violent conflicts in countries like Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi among others. Arriving, first, at designated refugee camp of Dzaleka in Dowa, the refugees could effortlessly and seamlessly, thou illegally, osmose into the society, integrate and in some instances dominate in business circles.

It has been established, however, that some of those run-aways who integrated with the Malawi society have a dark and scary history of perpetrating gruesome killings of many people in a war that they eventually escaped. Old habits die hard, they say, and for some of these refugees this statement has been particularly true. Some of them have been tried and convicted of violent robberies in Malawi courts, some have been convicted of murder charges and other assorted violent crimes. The warm-heartedness was not paying off in a good way for Malawi – one would say.

The recent operation to, by force of law, relocate refugees who had unlawfully osmosed into local communities back to Dzaleka has caught up with these perpetrators, some of whom had transitioned into business moguls. They did not only disregard the laws governing their settlement, they willfully and purposely broke it only that this time the law has turned up and broken them all indiscriminately.

Rwanda seems particularly impressed by the move which has, by the way, smoked out the hiding criminals. A statement from Rwanda’s National Prosecution Authority dated 12th June 2023 particularly shows Kigali appreciating Malawi’s efforts in the subsequent arrest and extradition of one fugitive, Theoneste Niyongira also known as Kinyoni, who is facing charges of war crimes related to genocide in Rwanda.

“The NPPA commends Malawi authorities for the deportation of Mr. Niyongira as well as the collaboration in the effort to fight impunity”, reads the statement in part.

Kinyoni has been hiding in Malawi under the pretense of a business mogul, but has been on Rwanda’s wanted list for many years following the 1994 genocide.

Kinyoni is not the first case out of Malawi involving a fugitive. Years back, Malawi also extradited one Vincent Murekezi back to Rwanda. He, too, was on Rwanda’s wanted list for war crimes of genocide. The recent incident has simply confirmed that Malawi, a nation which has drifted into a rule-of-law zone, is no longer a safe cave for those running away from the wheels of justice.

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