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Video: American attorney Peter Erlinder speaks of his jail time in Rwanda

American attorney Peter Erlinder speaks of his jail time in Rwanda (Seen live on DetriotCityTV).

November 26, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda starts sale of its shares in brewer Bralirwa

Rwanda said on Monday it would raise 22.1 billion Rwandan francs from the sale of its 30 percent stake in brewer Bralirwa, the first initial public offering in the central African country.

Finance Minister John Rwangombwa told a news conference the government would sell 128.6 million shares, or 25 percent of the company, at 136 francs. He said the shares were valued at 170 francs but offered at a discount to encourage buyers.

The other 5 percent of the government’s stake will be sold to the Heineken Group, which already holds the remaining 70 percent of Bralirwa.

The share offer runs from November 23 to December 17.

Bralirwa sells brands such as Amstel, Guinness, Mutzig and Primus, a local brand. It bottles Coca Cola products.

Rwanda launched its over-the-counter bourse in January 2008 and the IPO is part of the government’s strategy to strengthen the country’s nascent capital markets.

The exchange has so far mainly attracted Treasury and corporate bonds although it now also boasts two cross-listed Kenyan companies –Kenya Commercial Bank and Nation Media Group.

Earlier this month, the bourse said it had cut taxes in line with recommendations in East African common market proposals to attract investors and issuers.

Withholding tax on dividends on listed companies is now 5 percent, down from 15 percent. Tax interest on listed bonds with a maturity of three years is now 5 percent from 15 percent and corporate income taxes were reduced to the lower rates ranging from 28 percent to 20 percent.

The government is set to sell off its 10 percent stake in mobile operator MTN Rwanda. The South African-based MTN Group has a 55 percent stake in the Rwandan operation.

Rwanda also plans to sell a 20 percent stake in the country’s biggest insurer, Sonarwa (Societe Nouvelle d’Assurance du Rwanda). Nigeria’s IGI owns a 35 percent stake in the firm.

[International Business Times]

November 26, 2010   No Comments

Kagame wants US law professor Peter Erlinder brought to Rwanda, ‘dead or alive’

By Ann Garrison.

Professor Peter Erlinder, with the shaved head and pink prison costume that opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, whom he traveled to Rwanda to defend, wears now.

According to high-level Rwandan officials present at a meeting in Kigali in mid-October, President Kagame ordered that Minnesota’s William Mitchell Law Professor Peter Erlinder be brought back to Rwanda “dead or alive.”

Professor Erlinder is a longstanding critic not only of President Paul Kagame, but also of the U.S. Pentagon and State Department’s manipulation of regional forces in East/Central Africa, and of U.S. use of Rwandan soldiers as military proxies on the African continent.

However, the U.S. is now, in accordance with its Constitutional obligation to protect its own citizens’ and their freedom of speech, obliged to protect Professor Erlinder, as his Minnesota Senators and Congressional Representatives insisted when he was under arrest in Rwanda in May and June of this year.

Former members of the government, now in exile, reported that Kagame said “Erlinder’s release was a mistake” and that he and Paul Rusesabagina of Hotel Rwanda fame, were responsible for drawing worldwide attention to the detailed 600-page UN report released Oct. 1, that exposes the role of Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front and its army in the Congo “genocide” 1993-2003.

Erlinder notified federal and local law enforcement and the State Department of the threat from Kagame and requested protection both for himself and for the confidential source.

Regarding a return to Rwanda under these circumstances, Erlinder said:

“On Oct. 6, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda declared the prosecution against me illegal under UN immunity rules, and I have no obligation to answer an illegal prosecution. Since my illegal arrest, UN reports of mass-murder by the Kagame regime in Rwanda and Congo, as well as assassinations and trumped-up prosecutions of Kagame’s opponents, make clear that returning to Rwanda would be suicide for anyone Kagame considers a threat to his absolute power.”

Nearly all opposition leaders have been arrested, or killed in the past four months. The Rwandan government’s New Times, reported last week that Rusesabagina’s Hotel Rwanda Foundation was part of an Obama administration and UN conspiracy to discredit the Kagame regime. Last year Rwanda’s Ambassador publicly accused career U.S. State Department officer and former Ambassador to Rwanda, Robert Flaten, of supplying “guns to the genocidaires” at a meeting organized by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Rwanda's FDU-Inkingi opposition leader Victoire Ingabire in Rwanda's High Court with the shaved head and in prisoner's pink clothes

FDU-Inkingi Party
Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi opposition leader Victoire Ingabire in Rwanda’s HIgh Court, with the shaved head and pink garb of Rwandan prisoners that Professor Peter Erlinder wore in Rwanda in May and June.

Erlinder also said:

“As Kagame’s ‘enemies’ list’ grows, the accusations take on the stench of desperation which only makes the regime all the more dangerous anywhere in the world, and I must take the death threats seriously. UN documents in evidence at the UN Tribunal show Kagame is responsible for the Rwandan Genocide already and RPF culpability for 6-million deaths in the Congo is now public too. A regime capable of these crimes is capable of eliminating its opponents anywhere it can reach them.”

Professor Erlinder also says that, if he is prosecuted a second time, Rwanda will only further confirm the importance of the “Rwanda Documents Project” that he has collected and put into evidence at the UN Tribunal for Rwanda that exposed the role of Kagame and the RPF in the “Rwandan Genocide” and provide further credibility to the threat the documents pose to the legitimacy of Africa’s most bloody dictatorship.

[Digital Journal]

November 26, 2010   1 Comment