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Rwanda Asks South Africa To Arrest Nyamwasa

The Rwandan government has asked South Africa to arrest renegade Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, a diplomat has said.
Mr Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan envoy to Uganda, told Daily Monitor on Friday in Kampala that Kigali has negotiated with South African authorities to arrest and extradite Gen. Nyamwasa.

Although we do not have an extradition treaty with South Africa, they have agreed to cooperate with us to arrest him,” Mr Mugambage said, “In fact we have also alerted Interpol to arrest him whenever he is sighted and we hope very soon we shall catch up with him.”

Daily Monitor could not establish whether the South African embassy had officially received Rwanda’s diplomatic request as known mobile phone lines of most officials were switched off.
Gen. Nyamwasa is wanted in Kigali to answer various criminal charges among them allegations that he was involved in a plot to topple President Paul Kagame.

Daily Monitor – monitor.co.ug

March 16, 2010   No Comments

Girls Education in Rwanda: New Secondary School opens in Kiziguro

Rwanda School Girls

Rwanda School Girls

Last week on the 8th of March, people all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day.

Despite the wonderful leaps in gender equality that the world has seen in recent years, a new publication reports that some 40 million girls and women world-wide miss out on any form of education. In many instances this is due to the perception that educating girls is not nearly as important as educating their brothers and male counterparts.

Even if young women do make it into educational institutes, there are often deterrents that discourage continuing with schooling. Problems such as poor sanitation and living facilities, along with the threat of sexual harassment and bullying serve to decrease female enrollment.

However, things in Rwanda have taken a turn for the better, the government has recently announced they are prioritizing women’s education and Plan UK has stepped in to help to fund new facilities to support this initiative.

Schools such as Kiziguro Secondary now enjoy new dormitories and hygiene facilities, as well as varied classes that teach creative skills and provide classes for those whose education has been cut-off. The school has 600 places and allows those from far away to board and not miss out on the opportunity to learn.

“My parents live in Nyagatare district more than one and a half hours drive from school. I’m in senior four – Computer Science. The Kiziguro dormitory is the only place where I can stay for my studies.” explains 17 year old Joyce, who boards at the school. “This new building comes at the right time. We used to sleep two per bed.”

The classes offered range from sciences to humanities and also cater to those whose education has been hampered in some way. English, creative writing and literary studies help women to build confidence and express themselves.

Jackline, who is 17 and took part in the classes, said “During the classes we leant that given opportunity girls can perform better than boys. I also discovered that reading improves my English, which helped me to perform well.”

These schools offer new beginnings to young women country-wide.

Valerie – goallover.org – http://www.goallover.org/?p=5913.

March 16, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda’s Democratic Credentials Under Fire

In an article published today in independent.co.uk, Daniel Howden of independent.co.uk writes:

Rwanda’s democratic credentials under fire:
Host of UN environment event accused of clamping down on its Green party

<i>President Paul Kagame has openly warned his leading rival Victoire Ingabire, leader of the UDF, that she could face prosecution under Rwanda's controversial "genocide ideology" laws</i>

President Paul Kagame has openly warned his leading rival Victoire Ingabire, leader of the UDF, that she could face prosecution under Rwanda's controversial "genocide ideology" laws

Rwanda’s democratic credentials have been questioned amid evidence that authorities are blocking efforts by the country’s Green Party to contest this year’s elections. The new Greens have been repeatedly thwarted in their attempts to register the party, their meetings have been violently broken up or blocked by police and their leader has had anonymous death threats.

The central African nation has won international praise for its green record and is the host of this year’s UN World Environment Day. “[But] through police harassment and intimidation they are stopping us registering the party which is a legal requirement for taking part in the elections,” said party leader Frank Habineza. The politician, formerly an official with the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, has also had a series of death threats, culminating in a recent front page in the newspaper, Umuseso, headlined, “Frank Habineza to be killed in sixty days“. The report which cited anonymous sources claimed security agents would target the politician.

The government dismisses what is written in Umuseso but then it tends to come true,” said Mr Habineza. “I am scared but I still believe a government should protect its citizens. I am not a criminal; I just have different ideas.”

In February, at a hotel in the capital, Kigali, the party leader was threatened by an individual claiming to speak for security forces. Two attempts to stage a party conference, a first step to registering the Democratic Green Party, have also been stopped by police. Repeated attempts to contact Rwandan authorities for a response to the threats and police actions were unsuccessful.

There are also widespread reports of intimidation and harassment of opposition parties as the country, which has been ruled by the same party for 15 years, gears up for the presidential vote expected in August. Human Rights Watch says all three opposition groups trying to contest the election have faced serious intimidation and bureaucratic blocks.

The Rwandan government already tightly controls political space,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director for the US-based rights group. “These incidents will further undermine democracy by discouraging any meaningful opposition in the elections.

A day after the February threats against Mr Habineza, a leading member of another opposition group, United Democratic Forces, was beaten by a mob in front of a local government office. The attack appeared to have been well co-ordinated, said HRW. Joseph Ntawangundi said he was attacked by youths who punched him, kicked and scratched him, threw him into the air, and ripped his clothes.

And President Paul Kagame has openly warned his leading rival Victoire Ingabire, leader of the UDF, that she could face prosecution under Rwanda’s controversial “genocide ideology” laws. The legislation is meant to guard against the ethnic divisions that led to the 1994 genocide, but rights lawyers say they have been used to silence critics.

Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent – independent.co.uk.

March 16, 2010   No Comments

Spanish Judge Seeking Arrest Of Fugitive Gen. Nyamwasa

Fugitive Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, accused of crimes against humanity

Fugitive Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, accused of crimes against humanity

Kigali: He fled Rwanda for safety but it looks likes fugitive Lt. Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was heading for more trouble. A Spanish judge who indicted him along with 40 others has written to the South African government to arrest him, RNA reports.

Judge Fernando Andreu on Thursday last week (March 11) wrote to Interpol informing them of the presence of the ex-army chief in South Africa, who is also, wanted in Rwanda on state terrorism charges.

Spanish daily El Pais reported that in the letter, Judge Fernando writes that Gen. Kayumba “ordered and supervised” the killing of Spanish missionary Joaquim Vallmajó in 1994 and members of medical charity Médecins du Monde including Flors Sirera, Manuel Madrazo and Luis Valtueña – all allegedly killed in 1997.

The Spanish nationals were allegedly killed in Northern Rwanda and eastern DR Congo. At the time, Kayumba, a Colonel, was heading the Northern Province – also battling the ex-Rwandan army which was attacking from DRC.

The contested indictment was adopted in February 2008 targeting Gen. Nyamwasa and 39 top officers. President Kagame is subject to the indictment but cannot be arrested owing to presidential immunity.

Judge Andreu claims that Gen. Nyamwasa “kidnapped and assassinated” missionary Joaquim Vallmajó. The Spanish missionary was supposedly killed on April 26, 1994. Indicative of how in control Gen. Nyamwasa was of his forces, he allegedly demanded for a report on the assassination.

Basing his indictment on testimony from former guerrillas, Judge Andreu says missionary Vallmajó was killed with machetes to avoid the “wastage of bullets”, and later incinerated.

Gen. Nyamwasa, according to Judge Andreu, “decided, ordered and supervised” the murder of three Spanish humanitarian workers in January 1997 in Ruhengeri – now part of the Northern Province.

The judge also alleges that Gen. Nyamwasa planned and executed the massacres of Rwandan refugees between 1992 and 1996. This essentially means the crimes go back even before the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) took over Rwanda.

Gen. Nyamwasa was until recently Rwanda’s envoy to India. He fled the country after supposedly being interrogated about links to a series of grenade blasts which have rocked the country. He has however dismissed this version of events, saying instead that he was summoned by senior RPF party and government officials.

Meanwhile, Kigali has asked South Africa to arrest the renegade officer. Government is said to be currently “negotiating” with South African authorities to arrest and extradite Gen. Nyamwasa.

“Although we do not have an extradition treaty with South Africa, they have agreed to cooperate with us to arrest him,” said Maj Gen. Frank Mugambage, Rwanda’s envoy in Uganda – where Gen. Kayumba passed.

“In fact we have also alerted Interpol to arrest him whenever he is sighted and we hope very soon we shall catch up with him.”

Mr Mugambage told Daily Monitor that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has declared that by next year, all Rwandan refugees in Uganda and other countries will be returned home saying Rwanda is now safe.

ARI-RNA

March 16, 2010   2 Comments