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Posts from — December 2010

High Court to decide on Ingabire’s bail on Friday

The High Court sitting in Kigali will on December 17th decide on an appeal filed by Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza after the Court House of Gasabo last month prolonged her provisional detention for 30 more days to allow Prosecution complete investigations into her case before it is brought to court for trial.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the yet-to-be registered FDU-INKINGI party filed an appeal at the High Court on November 30, four days after the Court House of Gasabo ruled in favour of Prosecution to detain her for an additional 30 days as she sought the High Court to overturn that decision to allow her to be tried while out of detention.

Prosecution accuses Ingabire, who was arrested on October 14 and Major Vital Uwumuremyi her co-accused, of plotting to form a terrorist group, CDF as an armed wing of FDU-INKINGI and depriving the country of stability.

In her opening arguments, Ingabire said Prosecution has no case against her since they’ve failed to find a single crime against her in the last ten months that they’ve been investigating her meaning that they are finding it difficult even to fabricate charges.

Ingabire denied trying to overthrow the government saying that she has no problem with any Rwandan leader but only disagrees with them on political issues. She said her party doesn’t have an army and that the Rwandan army does a good job.

Ingabire said the case against her was a political one because she is a politician. She asked Prosecution to bring the case to court for trial instead of leaving her to rot in jail. She asked court to provisionally release her as Prosecution fabricates charges against her.

Ingabire’s lawyer, Gatera Gashabana said they were disappointed that the Gasabo judge, Shumbusho Abraham was biased by siding with Prosecution. He added that Prosecution has all along contradicted itself by coming up with new charges every time.

He also accused the Gasabo judge of attempting to deny his client the right to defend herself. He said that the grounds for Ingabire’s earlier detention have since expired therefore she should be released.

The Prosecutor, Ruberwa Bonaventure told court that contrary to assertions by Ingabire and her lawyer, it wasn’t surprising for charges to change because as investigations unearth new information it was normal for charges to change accordingly.

Ruberwa reminded Gashabana that as a lawyer, he should not complain that Prosecution is taking long to complete investigations because in a criminal case like this one, Rwandan law allows them to ask for provisional detention of a suspect up to 12 times as investigations go on.

Ruberwa said that Ingabire can not dictate how many witnesses they interrogate because this will depend on how much information they want. He also accused Gashabana of undermining and disrespecting the Gasabo judge adding that if the judge does not agree with his arguments, this does not mean that he is biased.

After listening to both sides’ submissions that lasted over two and a half hours, the presiding judge, Nzamuye Jean Marie Vianney set the ruling for Friday, December 17th at 2pm.

[Contact FM]

December 14, 2010   No Comments

Dutch police honour Rwanda’s request and confiscate documents and computers from Ingabire’s house in the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Dutch prosecutors have confiscated material from a Rwandan opposition leader in two Dutch houses after a request from the African country where she is suspected of terrorism, the prosecutors said on Monday.

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was charged in October with helping to form the Coalition of Democratic Forces, a militant group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was also charged with threatening national security and public order.

“This involves a legal request from Rwandan authorities for an investigation that has been running for several months. She is suspected of terrorism in that investigation,” a Dutch prosecutors’ spokesman said.

Dutch prosecutors have confiscated documents and computers and a Dutch court will judge whether legal procedures have been followed correctly before the material can be sent to Rwanda, the spokesman said.

The ruling may take a few months, he said.

Ingabire, the outspoken head of the unregistered United Democratic Forces (UDF) party, returned to Rwanda in January from exile in the Netherlands to contest presidential elections but was barred from standing.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges in a court hearing in October and said she believed the case against her was political.

[Reuters]

December 14, 2010   4 Comments

Exiled ex-RPF leaders create new opposition political party, the “Rwanda National Congress”

Australia

Exiled Rwandan military officers Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick Karegeya have formed a political party, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), Daily Monitor has learnt.

Other leaders of the new party include Jerome Nayigiziki, Gervais Condo, Dr. Gerald Gahima, Jonathan Musonera, Dr Theogene Rudasingwa, Joseph Ngarambe, Dr Emmanuel Hakizimana and Jean Paul Turayishimye.

Rwanda’s Information Ministry spokesperson Ignatius Kabagambe confirmed knowledge of these new developments. He, however, could not comment further on the matter. “It is true we have formed a new political party with the aim of resolving the explosive political impasse that prevails in Rwanda,” Gen. Nyamwasa told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview.

Gen. Nyamwasa said they would undertake widespread consultations with other political parties within Rwanda for appropriate interventions. “We now have a co-coordinating committee put in place to consult with other political parties in Rwanda to see how we can effectively end the political crisis in the country,” he said. “We encourage all Rwandans of good will to overcome fear and mistrust, and to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of the ideals, values, principles and goals that this proclamation embodies,” the party leadership said in a statement yesterday.

Party ideals

They said the RNC has been built on a democratic foundation that values stopping violent conflicts, including genocide and grave human rights violations, promote individual, community and national reconciliation and healing.

The leadership said it intends to eradicate human rights violations, create a conducive and progressive environment for inclusive social and economic development, establish, nurture and institutionalise democratic governance, particularly the rule of law.

[Daily Monitor]

December 14, 2010   6 Comments

Interview: Ingabire’s daughter speaks about Europe and the Kagame regime

by Ann Garrison.
KPFA News
[wpaudio url=”http://www.thepriceofuranium.com/images/mp3s/kpfa_%20raissa_rwanda.mp3/” text=”Interview offered by Victoire Ingabire’s daughter, Raissa Ujeneza, to Ann Garrison” dl=”0″]

On December 6th, the government of the Netherlands froze budget support for Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s regime, citing human rights abuse and concern that imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza cannot receive a fair trial in Rwanda, where she is charged with terrorism and genocide ideology.  Kagame then met angry street protest, during the rest of last week, at a European development conference in Brussels, where several European leaders avoided meeting or being photographed with him.   KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison:

Professor Ed Herman, co-author, with Noam Chomsky, of Manufacturing Consent and many other books, describes Rwandan President Paul Kagame as “the worst killer on the planet.”

On April 30th this year, a legal team including American Law Professor and international criminal defense lawyer Peter Erlinder sued Kagame, in an Oklahoma City civil court, for the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian Presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide, and racketeering to plunder the resources of Rwanda’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, costing millions more lives.

In mid-July Spanish demonstrators took to the streets with hands and faces drenched in red paint to simulate blood, chanting “Kagame!  War Criminal!  Assassin!” and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero refused to meet or be photographed with Kagame.

On December 6th, the Netherlands froze budget support to the Kagame regime, and during the rest of the week hundreds of exiled Rwandan and Congolese demonstrators banged drums in the streets of Brussels, chanting “Kagame! Murderer!” after he arrived there for a European development conference. They urged European donor nations to follow the Netherlands lead, but Britain’s Foreign Minister David Cash argued for ongoing support and, by the end of the week, both Britain and Sweden had pledged major cash grants.

Raissa Ujeneza, the daughter of imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, spoke to KPFA the Netherlands, where Ingabire lived in exile for 16 years before returning to Rwanda Ujeneza and Ingabire’s husband and two other children continue to live in exile.  Ingabire  for 16 years before returning to Rwanda

KPFA:

Are you encouraged by the Netherlands’ decision?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes, I am. Very much so.

KPFA:

What about the church groups?  There were a number of church groups collecting signatures to ask the Dutch government to call for respect for your mother’s human rights?  Did you have any contact with the church groups?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Not myself.  My father, my grandmother, and my aunt are in contact with the church groups.  They have spoken and set up collecting signatures.

KPFA:

Do you think it’s been significant that you and your family, like most people in the Netherlands and in East/Central Africa, are Christian?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes, but also, every person who is religious feels a connection and is connected with others who are also religious, and that helps us in standing stronger together, helping my mother and supporting her in her action.

KPFA:

Do any other European nations now seem inclined to follow the Netherlands lead?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Spain, definitely is supporting actions for Rwanda to act better, but I think it will be a slow process.

KPFA:

Your mother spoke to KPFA a number of times, between her February arrest and her re-arrest and imprisonment on October 15th, and she always said, adamanty, that she rejected violence, and that the country’s problems had to be resolved by democracy and debate.  Can you imagine your mother being involved in a violent terrorist conspiracy?

Raissa Ujeneza:

I cannot imagine my mother being involved in a violent terrorist conspiracy at all.  Her purpose is for Rwanda to be a country where all citizens feel free and have equal rights.  And she fights for reconciliation and stability in Rwanda, and not by violence but by peaceful methods.  I really do believe that the accusations are a way for the Rwandan government to put her down and to shut her off.

KPFA:

What would you most like the world to understand about what she represents, in Rwanda and the wider region, including Congo?

Raissa Ujeneza:

I would like the world to understand about my mother that she stands firm in what she believes.  She’s a smart, strong, and kindhearted person, who cares very much for her country and wants to make a difference.   And every person who would observe her would see that she has all the qualities that are needed to bring the necessary changes.  Too many people are still dying and still suffering.

KPFA:

Do you think that the Rwandan people and those of the wider region have had a lot of hopes that Barack Obama, the first African American president would make a significant difference in the region?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes I do believe a lot of people have a certain faith in him and I really hope he can live up to those hopes.

KPFA:

Raissa, thank you for speaking to KPFA.

Raissa Ujeneza:

You’re welcome, and Merry Christmas.

KPFA:

For Pacifica/KPFA Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.

December 14, 2010   No Comments

Karegeya and Nyamwasa to the UN: “Kagame is one of the major (if not the principal) stumbling block to peace and stability in the Great Lakes region”

by Col. Patrick Karegeya.

Karegeya and Nyamwasa react on the “United Nations Security Council Expert Report on the DRC”

December 7, 2010.

The President,
United Nations Security Council
New York
NY,
United States of America.

Your Excellency,

Re: United Nations Security Council Expert Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I write this letter on my own behalf and on behalf of Lt General Kayumba Nyamwasa.

In its 6th December 2010 edition, ‘The New Times’, a Rwanda daily newspaper owned and run by the National Security Service (the intelligence service of the Government of Rwanda) published an article entitled, ‘UN Report Pins Kayumba, Karegeya on FDLR.’ The newspaper article alleges, inter alia:
– that “independent sources” had linked me and Gen. Nyamwasa to the Rwandan armed group known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (the FDLR);
– that General Nyamwasa has facilitated contacts between the Forces Patriotique pour la Libération du Congo (the FPLC) and the Federal Republican Forces (the FRF) rebel groups;
– that “credible testimony” has suggested that former officers of the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (the CNDP) have been in contact with us;
– that the UN Group of Experts on the DRC had “directly witnessed” a conversation between me and the former officers of the CNDP;
– that Gen. Nyamwasa may have sent an emissary to meet FDRL, FPLC and Mai Mai Leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in February 2010;
– that both of us are believed to be the masterminds of grenade attacks that took place in Kigali, Rwanda, in early 2010
– and that we have been charged with forming a terrorist group, fomenting ethnic divisionism, threatening national security, undermining state authority, and spreading harmful propaganda.

We have also had the opportunity to read the United Nations Security Council Experts’ Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (the Experts’ Report on the DRC), and note with both surprise and regret that the report states that ‘Several independent sources, including one in Kampala and one within FPLC, informed the Group that FRF had agreed to join the FPLC coalition, all alleging, without providing further details, that those contacts may have been facilitated by Kayumba Nyamwasa, the dissident former Rwandan general(para. 73).
The Experts’ Report on the DRC further states: “In addition, according to credible testimony from various sources, former CNDP officers have been in contact with Rwandan political dissidents in South Africa, including Col. Karegeya, the former head of Rwandan intelligence, and Lieutenant General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who survived an assassination attempt in June 2010 in Johannesburg. The Group directly witnessed a conversation between Karegeya and former CNDP FARDC officers in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September. According to United Nations sources and combatants interviewed by the Group, Kayumba may have sent an emissary to meet with FDLR, FPLC and Mai Mai leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in February(para. 164).

While we have no reason to question the good faith of the authors of the Experts’ Report on the DRC, we would wish to put it on record that the extensive allegations contained in the Rwanda Government newspaper article referred to in the foregoing paragraph and the more limited allegations set out in the Experts’ Report on the DRC are all absolutely false and unfounded.

As we have done before, we would like to reiterate that we do not seek to destabilize Rwanda or any of her neighbors. We advocate for democratization in Rwanda through peaceful political change.
Together with our colleagues, Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa and Dr.Gerald Gahima. we articulated (in our widely circulated paper, ‘Rwanda Briefing‘) our political views on the situation in Rwanda and our thinking on a way out of the political impasse that Rwandan society finds itself, proposing political reforms in Rwanda as a peaceful alternative to the current dictatorship that can only lead to more conflict and bloodshed.
Our political stand on Rwanda’s grave state of affairs remains the same. We are not in any way whatsoever linked to the FDLR, or indeed any other rebel organisation operating on the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC) or elsewhere.
We have not had and we do not maintain any contact or relationship of any kind with the groups in question.
We have not been involved in the criminal activities (including the grenades attacks in Kigali) that the Government of Rwanda falsely attributes to us through its media propaganda or politically motivated criminal cases that have been instituted against us in the military justice system of Rwanda.

It is ironical that President Kagame, who has a long track record of working with elements from the highest echelons of the leadership of FDLR when it suits his ambitions to acquire and keep power at any cost, should seek to de-legitimize other political leaders with false allegations of contacts with the same organisation.
President Kagame’s uncompromising intransigence on political reform and respect of fundamental liberties destabilizes Rwanda more than any other factor.

Paradoxically, it is President Kagame himself whose policies and actions perpetually destabilize the Great Lakes region.
The United Nations Security Council Experts should have taken cognizance of the historical perspectives of Rwanda’s involvement in the DRC conflict since 1996.
President Kagame bears very heavy personal responsibility for the human suffering and physical destruction that conflict has caused in the DRC.
President Kagame has twice ordered invasion of the DRC, against the advice of many of his colleagues, and in violations of Rwanda’s laws (that require parliamentary approval of declaration of war) as well as international law.
The policy of the Government of Rwanda on the DRC (dictated by President Kagame, as Rwanda lacks a system of government with appropriate checks and balances) is to keep the DRC perpetually weak and vulnerable to his manipulation, blackmail and exploitation.
President Kagame has historically sought to weaken and destabilize Congo by forming, training, arming and militarily intervening in support of rebel groups used to wage aggressive war against the legitimate governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Kagame has personally been responsible for the establishment of several of the rebel groups that have been involved in the conflict in the DRC, including some whose activities are discussed in the instant report.

President Kagame was responsible for the creation of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Liberation du Congo- Zaire (the AFDL) under late President Désiré Laurent Kabila. While the Government of Rwanda was involved in AFDL’s formation  and  operations  from  the  beginning to  the  end,  it  repeatedly  denied  its involvement in the first (1996 – 1 997) DRC war.
However, then Rwandan Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame subsequently granted an interview to the Washington Post on 9 July 1997, in which he not only admitted the role that his troops had played a key role in the ADFL campaign, but proudly claimed credit for removing President Mobutu from power.
By Kagame’s own admission, Rwanda’s campaign strategy during the first Congo war comprised three elements, namely:
– to destroy the refugee camps,
– to destroy ex-FAR and Interahamwe structures based in and around the camps
– and to overthrow the Mobutu regime.

The Government of Rwanda had planned the AFDL rebellion in advance, recruiting Congolese combatants, providing the recruits with training in facilities in Rwanda, supplying the Congolese rebels with arms and munitions.
According to Kagame, operations – in particular key operations – were directed by Rwandan mid-level commanders. Contrary to his denials and deceptions, Kagame in fact personally managed the campaign.
President Kagame is a micro-manager who is always intervening at all levels in the chain of command, and was directly involved in key operational decisions of the AFDL rebellion.

In 1998, President Laurent Kabila fell out with Paul Kagame (largely due to Kagame’s arrogant, over-bearing and irrational behavior) and President Laurent Kabila expelled Rwandan forces from the DRC. President Kagame retaliated by forming another rebel group, the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (the RCD) that he used to try and overthrow President Kabila’s government.
President Kagame again at first denied the presence of Rwanda’s troops in the DRC. When the RCD negotiated a political settlement with the DRC Government, President Kagame retained part of the RCD and formed the CNDP to continue destabilizing and controlling Eastern DRC.
After President Paul Kagame fell out with General Laurent Nkunda (the leader of the CNDP) in 2009, Kagame replaced General Nkunda with General Bosco Ntaganda.
We have no doubt that even today, the Government of Rwanda is talking to splinter groups of CNDP namely, the FPLC and the FRF, as indicated in the Experts’ report on the DRC.

President Kagame’s claim to being a stabilizing influence in the Great Lakes region is ridiculous. The President is in fact the single greatest source of instability, violence and bloodshed in both Rwanda and the DRC.
For the last fourteen years, President Kagame has visited mayhem on communities across the DRC. Given this historical perspective, and the chronology of President Kagame’s reckless and ruthless strategy to keep DRC’s Kivu region as a de facto extension of Rwanda through proxy forces, it should be obvious to Rwanda’s neighbors and the wider international community that it is President Kagame, not his opponents like ourselves, who has the motives (weakening the DRC state and getting access to its resources), opportunity (proximity to the DRC) and the means (the final resources of both the Government of Rwanda and the RPF) to form and sustain groups that are detrimental to peace, stability and development in the DRC.
In public, President Kagame adopts the language of friendliness towards the DRC and other neighboring countries. In private and through his actions, President is an unrepentant belligerent who seeks to weaken and destabilize other fragile neighboring states struggling to emerge out of conflict.

President Kagame’s military commanders and security operatives (and not ourselves) are responsible for the formation and sustenance of the rebel groups that the Rwanda Government accuses us of fraternizing with.
I was in prison in 2005 when the CNDP was established. I spent almost three years in illegal detention in solitary confinement and under house arrest before escaping from Rwanda.
Gen. Nyamwasa was serving as Rwanda’s Ambassador to India until March 2010. Neither of us have had any motive or opportunity to have any relations with the rebel groups in question.

The allegation that ‘Kayumba may have sent an emissary to meet with FDLR, FPLC and Mai Mai leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in February is totally unfounded. Gen. Nyamwasa did not, prior to the publication of the Experts Report on the DRC, have any knowledge of the existence of the FPLC and FPLC rebel groups. Consequently, it could not have been possible for him to facilitate the contacts between the two groups.
I escaped from Rwanda in 2007. The groups that the report discusses were formed when I was no longer in government service and I cannot possibly know any of the individuals who are part of these groups.
Gen. Nyamwasa did not send an emissary to FDLR and Mai Mai as alleged in the report, as he does not agree with the two groups ideologically.
Since 1998, Gen. Nyamwasa was always concerned about the political, social and strategic implications of the formation of anti-government Congolese rebel groups. He unsuccessfully opposed the formation of such groups during the time that we both worked for the Government of Rwanda.
Disagreements over Rwanda’s nurturing and patronage of such groups partly accounts for the political differences that eventually arose between General Nyamwasa and President Kagame. General Nyamwasa was still serving as Rwanda’s Ambassador to India in February 2010. He did not have any prior plans to visit Rwanda in February 2010. Gen Nyamwasa’s unplanned visit to Rwanda in February 2010 was only compelled by the death of one of his parents. It is very distressing that this sad episode is being cynically used by the Government of Rwanda to frame and victimize him. We are inclined to believe that the authors of the report met Rwandan intelligence operatives in Uganda, where many of these operatives are deployed to hunt down and kill President Kagame’s opponents throughout the region.

We are completely mystified by the significance that the Experts Report on the DRC attaches to a conversation that is alleged to have taken place between me and former officers of the CNDP who have been integrated into the DRC National Army (the FARDC) that the Group of Experts is reported to have witnessed. The report does not indicate how the committee verified that the person that the alleged CNDP officers claimed to speak to was actually me. Neither does the report indicate how the content of the conversation constituted a crime or conspiracy against either of the two states.
I do not recall ever having the conversation referred to in the Experts’ Report on the DRC. I definitely did not initiate any calls to any known member of the CNDP. Neither have I had any discussions with real or presumed members of the CNDP (or indeed any other person) regarding a conspiracy to destabilize Rwanda or the DRC.
It is unfair for the committee to assume, without verification, that the person that the alleged CNPD officer claimed to talk to was indeed me. Our suspicion is that the UN Security Council experts on the DRC must have been duped by Rwandan intelligence operatives who remain embedded in FARDC, of whom there is to our knowledge a very large number. The truth about the alleged conversation could not be established without giving me an opportunity to explain its circumstances. Unfortunately, the team of experts did not provide me with an opportunity to rebut the erroneous impression that the agents who must have duped them created.

The Government of Rwanda keeps a tight grip on the population of Eastern Congo through the former CNDP fighters. At the behest of the Government of Rwanda, during the peace agreement between the CNDP and the government of the Democratic of Congo, it was agreed that unlike all other government forces, CNDP fighters would never be transferred from Eastern Congo. It is most probable that the United Nations Security Council experts interviewed stage-managed witnesses or proxies of the Government of Rwanda.
We believe that the so-called ‘independent sources’ that are alleged to have linked us to the rebel groups in the DRC are likely to be compromised elements of the CNDP, which was created, is maintained and still remains under the influence of the Government of Rwanda.

The claim that we were the masterminds behind the grenade attacks that exploded in Kigali early this year is absurd.
The Government of Rwanda has time and again conveniently changed the narrative about the grenade attacks, depending on whom the Government seeks to victimize at a particular time.
Initially, Rwanda’s Minister of Security reported that the grenade attacks were the work of the FDLR.
Responsibility for the attacks was later shifted to opposition leader Mme. Victoire Ingabire, who has now been incarcerated on trumped-up charges.
When Gen. Nyamwasa escaped from Rwanda on account of a planned attempt on his life at end of February, the grenade attacks were blamed on him.
The same grenade attacks were said to have been perpetuated by another imprisoned opposition leader, Deo Mushayidi.
The government’s continuing allegations that we are responsible for the grenade attacks are driven by the vindictive nature of President Paul Kagame, who, having failed in the course of several attempts to assassinate Gen. Nyamwasa and me in South Africa, ordered the arrest and incarceration of Gen.Nyamwasa’s brother, Lt Col. Rugigana, forced many of his family members to exile, and ordered the murder of John Rutayisire, a relative of mine.

In the aftermath of the publication of the DRC Mapping Report by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, President Kagame is desperately searching for anything on the horizon to deflect attention from his crimes by creating scapegoats for the suffering and mayhem that he has visited on millions of Rwandans and citizens of the DRC.
The allegations that the government of Rwanda is leveling against us (as well as other Rwandans who are demanding an end to dictatorship) are also intended to deflect the attention of the people of Rwanda and the international community from Rwanda’s internal crisis, to disguise President Kagame’s continuing role in destabilizing neighboring states and to salvage his tarnished image in the aftermath of the publication of the DRC Mapping Report.
Those types of allegations are characteristic of a regime engulfed by crisis. Trumped-up charges of corruption, terrorism, connections with the FDLR, divisionism, genocide ideology, and even moral impurity are some of the tools that President Kagame always uses against real or perceived opponents.
We challenge the Government of Rwanda to release the dossiers in respect of the criminal cases that have been filed against us (and our colleagues, Dr. Rudasingwa and Dr. Gahima) to the public so that the people of Rwanda and the international community can see for themselves how the sham criminal cases that are being prosecuted against us are nothing but a blatant abuse of the judicial system for purposes of persecution of political opponents.

As we have indicated in our paper (Rwanda Briefing) and other declarations, Rwanda is in serious crisis. Peace and stability in several of the neighboring states remains tenuous. By virtue of his unapologetic attempt to destabilize sister states through the use of proxy rebel groups, President Kagame is one of the major (if not the principal) stumbling block to peace and stability in this fragile region. The conflicts waged by the various armed groups that the Government of Rwanda has formed, supported and used to destabilize states in the region have caused immense horrendous suffering. President Kagame bears personal responsibility for the gross human rights violations that are a result of the wars that he has waged and continues to foment in the DRC.
We firmly believe that time is long overdue for the international community to hold President Kagame accountable for the crimes that he has committed, and continues to commit, directly or through proxy rebel groups, to the peoples of the region.
We, on our part, reiterate our commitment to seeking a peaceful transition to democracy in Rwanda and our support for peace and stability in the Great Lakes region, especially in the DRC.
We affirm our desire to meet the team of experts on the DRC both to clear the aspersions that have been made against us.

Accept, your Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Col. Patrick Karegeya.

cc:
– Members of the Security Council
– The Secretary General, United Nations
– Members of the UN Security Council Committee of Experts on the Democratic, Republic of Congo

Contact:
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Email: ngombwa@gmail.com
Telephone: +1-510 717 8479.

December 11, 2010   1 Comment

Rwanda: UN Report Pins Kayumba, Karegeya On rebel forces in Congo

Kigali — A United Nations Security Council experts report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has linked Rwandan fugitives, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.

The report, submitted last week by the Security Council Committee established to look into rebel activities in the DRC, concluded that “independent sources” have linked the two renegades to the terrorist outfit in Eastern DRC.

“Several independent sources, including one in Kampala and one within FPLC (Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo), informed the Group that FRF (Federal Republican Forces, a rebel group in DRC) had agreed to join the FPLC coalition, all alleging that those contacts may have been facilitated by Kayumba Nyamwasa, the dissident former Rwandan general,” excerpts from the report state.

“In addition, according to credible testimony from various sources, former CNDP officers have been in contact with Rwandan political dissidents in South Africa, including Patrick Karegeya, and Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.”

The report further confirmed that the Group of Experts directly witnessed a conversation between Karegeya and former officers of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) reintegrated into the DRC national army (FARDC), suggesting that the former army officers are involved in divisive activities.

“The Group directly witnessed a conversation between Karegeya and former CNDP FARDC officers in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September. According to United Nations sources and combatants interviewed by the Group, Kayumba may have sent an emissary to meet with FDLR, FPLC and Mai Mai leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in February,” the report adds.

Both Kayumba and Karegeya are believed to be the masterminds behind the grenade attacks that exploded in Kigali, early this year.

The fugitives have since been indicted and face various charges including forming a terrorist group, ethnic divisionism, threatening national security, undermining state authority, and spreading harmful propaganda.

“We are not surprised by the UN report. The information we have is that they are involved in criminal activities and they are busy forming alliances with criminal groups,” said Defence and military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara.

“Their alliances with criminals are different; some are Rwandan, others are not, but we know their leadership is based in the region. We know that these groups are bent on creating instability in the region.” Rutaremara told The New Times.

The same report revealed that the FDLR, which mainly comprises of Ex-FAR and Interahamwe genocidal forces, was in possession of a large stockpile of uranium, used to make nuclear weapons, which they have failed to sell for the last two years.

The FDLR rebels discovered a deposit six 70-kilogramme canisters of the mineral in Walikale territory of eastern DRC, after a tip-off by local chiefs.

The minerals were found in 2008 in a hidden underground vault.

[The New Times]

December 10, 2010   2 Comments

Case Victoire Ingabire: Kagame interferes again in the judicial process

by Sylvain Sibomana
Secretary General, FDU-INKINGI.

Ms. Victoire Ingabire’s new bail appeal hearing: President Kagame meddling once again in the case, keeping the judiciary under a bayonet rule.

Opposition Leader Ms Victoire Ingabire, jailed by General Kagame

The bail appeal hearing of Democracy Leader, Ms. Victoire INGABIRE, Chair of FDU-INKINGI , is scheduled on Monday, 13th December 2010, at 8:00 am. She is under prison detention since 14th October 2010. As usual, President General Paul KAGAME unveiled the colour of the hearing. In a series of interviews recorded between 04-07 December 2010 in Brussels by Belgian journalists Colette BRAECKMAN and François MISSER, he unleashed his anger at Ms. INGABIRE, labelling her as a “genocide ideological minded”, without adducing the slightest evidence. Some excerpts of that smear campaign have been aired by the BBC French on 08 December 2010.

If for political reasons he can’t let the justice do its work, why he does not go all the way and rule judicial sentences directly and openly from the State House?

Given the kind of allegiance that the judiciary has toward the executive, this utterances from the highest executive office bearer, is tantamount to interference in a judicial process.

The ever changing charge sheet, as well as the endless investigations betray a hidden political agenda of the regime, to perpetuate a climate of instability and instil fear among the opposition. By dragging on the case, the regime intends also to cripple financially the opposition, by engaging it in hefty lawyers’ fees, thereby tying their hands and paralysing other political activities. The trials of the other members of the FDU-INKINGI interim Executive Committee  are scheduled for 05th January 2011. While many other members throughout the country are facing muscled interrogations.

Meanwhile, in an effort to counter the growing protest among the Rwandan exile, president KAGAME called on the latter to return home and see for themselves “the change that his regime has ushered in”.  The president should know that refugees are not green pasture tourists. They fled the country out of genuine fears of persecution. Instead of inviting them to come home, his regime would better stop the influx of exodus abroad, by dealing with root causes behind.

The case of Ms. Victoire INGABIRE, who volunteered and returned home only to be jailed, shows beyond any doubt, that the regime is not ready for a political settlement of the crisis.

Sylvain Sibomana

Tel. +250728636000).

December 10, 2010   4 Comments

Kagame’s message to EU Development Days Conference – read by Louise Mushikiwabo (video)

From 4th to 07th December 2010, General Paul Kagame was in Brussels to attend the 5th edition of European Development Days. It was a controversial visit for a President accused by the United Nations of very grave human rights abuses and crimes internationally recognized as genocide.

General Kagame failed to show up at his Keynote Address on first day of the Development Days. He was replaced by his minister of foreign affairs. Watch and listen to his message as delivered by Louise Mushikiwabo.

December 8, 2010   No Comments

Dutch Government decides to stop budget support to Rwanda

Today marks Victoire Ingabire’s first major result in influencing public policy and decision making! The Dutch government today December 7 reached it’s final decision concerning budgetsupport to Rwanda:

“Rwanda will get no budgetsupport because freedom of expression and political space in the central African country are insufficiently guaranteed”

Thus sending a strong signal to other donors!

Michael Cashman, member of  the EU Parliament for (Tony Blair’s) Labour Party, said today that the Netherlands are wrong concerning human rights violations and  lack of democracy in Rwanda:

“Where is the evidence? We’ll have to be careful with accusing Rwanda”, he says.“The word ‘genocide’ is being used far to easily in Eastern Congo. Rwanda has known a genocide and wants to prevent that it will happen ever again.”

However Michael Cashman carries a lot of luggage with him! As head of the EU Electoral Observation Mission to Rwanda’s parliamentary election in 2008, Michael Cashman said:

“The process of democratisation in Rwanda since the end of the genocide is remarkable”

Filip Reyntjens, Professor at the University of Antwerpen explained in 2009 why this statement is contrary even to the content of the report of the EU observation mission itself.

Since 1994 several European and American politicians have kept very close relations with the regime in Kigali. Some even called Paul Kagame their personal friend. Obviously the findings in the Mapping Report won’t do much good to the reputation of the likes of Michael Cashman. The mapping report confirms previous findings by a Spanish judge. We can now safely say that French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière was right when he warned the US against closer ties to Rwanda.

Paul Kagame summarized the reasons for his liberation war in 1990 saying:

“the available options were either you had to choose to remain perpetualy a refugee and stateless, or you had to keep hoping that some day somebody in the international community would resolve the problem, or thirdly you had realy to face reality, since oppression is carried out by force, you had to deal with the matter using force.”

Exactedly the same arguments that movements like the FDLR and CNDP and some Burundian rebels would use today to combine forces which according to Filip Reyntjens is happening right now. In the words of Senator and former US ambassador to Burundi and Botswana Robert Krueger:

“as long as this man  (Paul Kagame) is the chief executive of the country, there will never be real democracy.”

According to Wikipedia a politician or political leader:

“is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making. “

Victoire Ingabire might not be a female Mandela or former IMF director , she certainly is no would be politican!

[Colored Opinions]

December 8, 2010   No Comments

Europe stays true to “murderer” Kagame

“Kagame! Murderer! Kagame! Murderer!” Hundreds of Rwandans and Congolese demonstrated in Brussels the last few of days. They were angry that President Paul Kagame was invited to the European capital. But the demonstration was in vain – Brussels and Kigali remain close friends.

Demonstrators against Kagame in Brussels – Dec. 2010

“The president of Rwanda is a criminal”, said Paul Rusesabagina, the famous manager of Hôtel des Mille Collines who was among the demonstrators gathered on Albertina square in Brussels.

“It is a disgrace that the European Union welcomes Kagame. The UN charge him with war crimes in Eastern Congo. We want to wake up the international community.”

Brussels is proud of the progress Rwanda has made since the 1994 genocide. During the European Development Days in a heavily secured congress centre, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, spoke of the equality of men and women in her country.

Buying influence

“In Brussels the idea exists that we wield influence if we support Rwanda”, said Dutch MP of the European Parliament, Hans van Baalen. “Even now, after the recent accusations stated in a UN report.”

Mr Van Baalen thinks this conviction will be proven false. And the Dutch government feels the same: The Netherlands will not send direct financial aid to Rwanda in 2011. “The government doesn’t want to donate money to a country in which human rights are being violated and where there is a lack of democracy.” Another cause of concern is the trial against Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.

But according to British member of the European parliament, Michal Cashman the Netherlands is wrong. “Where is the evidence? We’ll have to be careful with accusing Rwanda,” he said.

Netherlands stands alone

“The word ‘genocide’ is being used far to easily in Eastern Congo. Rwanda has known a genocide and wants to prevent that it will happen ever again.” Therefore Brussels should keep on supporting Rwanda, is the opinion of most politicians in the European capital.

Mr Van Baalen admits that the Netherlands stands alone in its opinion: “The Netherlands has taken a clear stance. But it is hard to find support in Brussels. I’m going to talk about the issue with the commission of Foreign Affairs and European parliament.”

Meanwhile the demonstrators in the centre of Brussels leave the square full of disappointment as they are sent away by police. They take their boards and banners and go back home.

President Kagame did not hold his announced speech during the European conference. He left early to Rwanda for more pressing issues. His minister of Foreign Affairs replaced him and thanked Europe for all its support.

The minister told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Rwanda “respects the decision of the Netherlands to stop direct aid for Rwanda. But our relationship with the European Union remains very friendly.”

[Radio Netherlands Worldwide]

December 8, 2010   No Comments