Theoneste Bagosora, Rwanda’s Himmler was arrested 15 years ago in Cameroon and later sentenced to life imprisonment for being the chief architect of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Justice seemed to have been done then.
But now, this devil incarnate has had his sentence reduced to 35 years. With time served, Bagosora will be 89, God forbid, when he walks as a free man. Or will he?
One of the charges the appeals court cleared Bagosora of is ordering killings at roadbloacks in Kigali. OK, let’s say he is not guilty of that, but when he left Arusha and warned of the “apocalypse now” what did he have in mind? Adding insult to injury, the appeals court found that Bagosora knew the crimes were going to be committed and did nothing to stop them. Alas!, the wheels of justice are flat.
The lessons about the genocide against the Tutsi keep unravelling. But this much we know : a crime against humanity was committed while the world looked on. That Bagosora can ever test freedom again sends the wrong message to those monsters who see genocide as the only means of settling political disagreements.
Out of the ashes and rivers of blood, Rwanda has risen mervelously and will never let those who perished be forgotten, no matter how many times our wounds are pierced again, and again. Bagosora is but an aberration to our sense of all that is good, and an insult to what is decent.