21 September 2015
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is taking its fight – for war-crimes accused Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa’s refugee status to be revoked – to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Last week the group lost an application for leave to appeal a high court decision which refused to revoke Nyamwasa’s refugee status to South Africa.
His qualification as a refugee was initially challenged by the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants South Africa (Cormsa) about three years ago, but they lost the case.
Nyamwasa arrived in South Africa in 2010 after he fled Rwanda in the wake of a fallout with the government over the 2010 bomb attacks in the country’s capital Kigali.
Shortly after he arrived in South Africa, Nyamwasa survived an assassination attempt near his home in Johannesburg.
Nyamwasa was accused of committing war crimes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo when he served as a general in the Rwandan Army.
He is the subject of extradition requests by Spain, France and Rwanda.
SALC director Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh said the group would press ahead to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals.
“The aim of this case is to protect the integrity of the asylum system. We do not believe that individuals that are accused of war crimes should be granted the status. We are asking for his refugee status to be withdrawn, that’s all,” she said.
Cormsa also tried to take the matter to the Constitutional Court but that had also failed. Last year three Tanzanian nationals Hemedi Dendengo Sefu, Hassann Mohammedi Nduli, Sady Abdou and a Rwandan national, Amani Uriwane, were sentenced to eight years for the attempted murder of Nyamwasa.