in the footsteps of war criminals

Delivered. In Liberia, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Rwanda, soldiers, civilians or militiamen have committed all forms of atrocities within the framework of civil wars, ethnic cleansing or genocides. Then, once the guns fell silent in their country, some arrived in France, hidden in the flood of refugees. In Tracking is my job, Colonel Eric Emeraux, former director of the Central Office for the Fight against Crimes Against Humanity (OCLCH), describes in detail the spinning operations, telephone surveillance, arrests and hearings of these war criminals wanted for acts of the highest gravity and therefore imprescriptible. The book, which reads like a thriller, also recounts travel in countries where abuses were committed. Because, in order for suspected criminals to be brought to justice, clues are essential.

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In the book, the stories of the criminals are edited for legal reasons and they overlap to confuse the issue. But the testimonies are genuine. They often reach heights of atrocity. “My husband took a stab in the back and we fell into the hole together, remembers Désirée, a survivor of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. The fall was long. Many bodies were already present. There were living people too. My husband cushioned my fall. He didn’t die instantly. Another Tutsi, at the bottom of the hole, saw me and pulled us aside because the corpses were raining. Each time, you had to climb on the bodies. ”

A genocidaire turned priest

The former Rwandan captain accused of organizing this massacre has been arrested in Haute-Savoie. After a passage in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he did his major seminary in Orleans and was ordained… priest. A particular man of the Church who, before his arrest, maintained a few mistresses and financed the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a DRC rebellion known for its abuses and the use of child soldiers.

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In Liberia, Big Fat Man (alias “BFM”) was a warlord, close to Charles Taylor, sentenced to fifty years in prison for crimes against humanity for acts committed in the late 1990s. arrest, in 2018, in Rosny (Seine-Saint-Denis), he lived by doing a little guarding and especially drug trafficking. In Liberia, as witnesses tell Colonel Emeraux, “BFM” has spread terror by slaughtering villagers with his men and raping their wives. “They cut up the corpses and scattered them around the villages to impress, Steve says. The more these warlords killed, the more they were feared. “

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The OCLCH, which was created in 2013, was put in the spotlight in May after Colonel Eric Emeraux’s team arrested Félicien Kabuga, accused of being the “Financier of the genocide of the Tutsi”. For editing issues related to Covid-19, the hunt for this man, considered one of the most wanted in the world, is unfortunately not included in this book. Félicien Kabuga, whose run lasted twenty-six years, half of which spent in France as revealed The world, lived in Asnières-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine). He lived “Like a quiet grandfather even if he rarely said hello in the elevator”, said his neighbors. But “Hora fugit, stat jus” is the motto of the OCLCH: time flies, justice remains.

Tracking is my job, by Eric Emeraux, Plon, 336 p., € 21.

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