2012 August — Rwandinfo_ENG
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Posts from — August 2012

Kagame and Mozambique President Discuss Congo Crisis

Rwanda President Paul Kagame on Tuesday received Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique and current Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

President Guebuza was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Oldemiro Baloi and the executive secretary of SADC, Tomaz Salomao.

During their meeting, President Kagame and President Guebuza discussed the current unrest in Eastern DRC and clarified that the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) is leading the process to resolve the problems in the DRC, including inviting other organizations to contribute to ongoing efforts.

President Guebuza pointed out SADC’s preparedness to play a positive role in the process and requested the SADC secretariat to coordinate efforts with ICGLR.

Speaking to press after the meeting the Executive Secretary of SADC, Tomaz Salomao said:

“The most important thing is that SADC member states and Great Lakes member states work together to ensure problems faced in eastern DRC can be addressed and resolved based on a dialogue and mutual understanding of the consensus.”

President Guebuza, became President in February 2005 and was re-elected for a second five-year term in October 2009.

He was elected Chair of SADC at the last summit in Maputo earlier this month.

Source: chimpreports.com

 

August 29, 2012   No Comments

Son of Rwandan Senate President Ntawukuriryayo stabbed in Brussels

by Edwin Musoni.
A son to Senate president Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo was on Saturday stabbed in the stomach in Brussels as he was in transit back to school in the US.

Roger Ntawukuriryayo, a university student, left Rwanda last Thursday after a two month holiday before making a stopover in Brussels on Saturday to pick some documents that he needed, according to his family.

Reports indicate that Roger, in his early 20s, was ambushed by a gang of about eight black men, in the company of two Rwandans and one Congolese friend.

He was stabbed in the abdomen and later rushed to a hospital where he was admitted in the intensive care unit.

“He is out of the intensive care, I managed to talk to him on phone today but he sounded very weak,” his father, Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, told The New Times last evening. He was at the Kigali International Airport shortly before boarding a Brussels bound plane to go and see his son.

No suspects have been arrested yet but it is believed that those who attacked Roger are linked to a ring of Congolese gangs, who have been accused of carrying out violent attacks on Rwandans living in Brussels in recent months.

The attack came weeks after another Rwandan, Jules Mwiseneza, 22, was attacked by a Congolese mob at Merode subway station in Brussels, and was later admitted in hospital with a fractured jaw.

Mwiseneza is a son to Charles Uyisenga, once an employee of the Rwanda’s Embassy in Belgium, who now works with the National Electoral Commission in Rwanda.

The attacks came in the wake of eruption of fighting in eastern Congo between government troops and the M23 rebels, who mutinied in April following the collapse of a 2009 peace deal under which they had been integrated into the army.

Kinshasa has accused Kigali of backing the rebels but the latter has denied the allegations.

Speaking in Kigali on Sunday, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, said Brussels was aware of the attacks targeting Rwandans, saying they would ensure justice for the victims. “We have organised all possible activities for proper prosecution. It is unacceptable – we have the police, the logistics, we will do whatever it takes,” Reynders told journalists at the end of a two-day visit to Rwanda.

The association of the Rwandan Diaspora in Belgium petitioned the authorities over the attacks, which are supposedly linked to allegations of Rwanda’s involvement with the DRC conflict. On August 18, the group staged a peaceful protest against the attacks in Brussels.

There have also been reports of targetted attacks and torture against Rwandans in DRC in recent months.

Source: The New Times – Kigali.

August 28, 2012   No Comments

Kagame Warns Exiled Generals On Destablising Rwanda

President Paul Kagame has warned exiled Rwandans planning to destablise the country that the Kigali establishment is fully prepared for them, Chimpreports reveals.
 
“Those in exile who may intend to destroy what we have achieved should know that we will not accept this,” warned Kagame.
“When you build something, you have to ensure it lasts, and guard it against destruction,” he added, in what was perceived as a warning to Rwandan political activists and military men living exile who have since threatened to cause trouble in his country.
The President made the remarks on Monday afternoon in Gicumbi during a citizen outreach programme.
During such trips, Kagame freely interacts with locals in one-on-one discussions to understand issues affecting them.
Kagame’s warning to exiles bent on destablising Rwanda comes hardly a month when his former army chief of staff Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa threatened to oust the Kigali government.
Speaking to City Press a few weeks ago, Nyamwasa warned: “At the moment I don’t envisage war. I believe we can get rid of Kagame through peaceful means.”
“We are hoping for an uprising in Rwanda. In that case, he’ll be gone within three months. He’s a coward; he’ll run. Don’t be surprised if we extract him from a pipe like the Libyans did with Muammar Gaddafi,” he said.
The statement provoked the South Africa government’s wrath, cautioning Nyamwasa against such threats.
Meanwhile, Kagame told Gicumbi residents he would be visiting regularly for discussions on progress and what’s missing in their lives.
Others who have in the past threatened to topple Kagame include his former Spy Chief Col. Patrick Karegeya.
“I am here to ask you to continue with the struggle because we still have hurdles ahead, we can’t slow down now,” Kagame inspired Gicumbi residents.
He asked the residents to trade with residents of the neighbouring country but avoid trade in Kanyanga.
“The government will deliver the necessary infrastructure. It’s upon us to utilize the infrastructure adequately for our gain. Gicumbi residents are part of our liberation history and therefore part of the story of our progress,” he advised.
“We should all work hard and eradicate, not reduce poverty. You all know this is possible if we work together. Every one of you has what it takes to get where they want. If we all work together, we can even go beyond our expectations,” said Kagame.
The president was concerned by locals’ complaints that Pembe flour industry does not buy their wheat.
Kagame asked concerned ministries to find a lasting solution to the problem.
On the same day, Kagame asked the Gicumbi Mayor to ensure workers complaining of nonpayment by a defaulting entrepreneur are helped.
He also asked authorities to look for the entrepreneur and bring him to book.
Kagame was impressed by a poultry farmer who transformed his life from rags to riches because of hard work.
The President said the farmer had achieved a lot because he built on support by Government to attain his dreams.
Thereafter, a local presented Kagame with a gift symbolizing national liberation and protection.
 
Source: Chimpreports.com-Uganda News.

August 27, 2012   No Comments

Story of Rwandan Ibrahim Nsanzimana caught with M23 fighters

Rwandan Ibrahim Nsanzimana caught with M23 fighters

Rwandan Ibrahim Nsanzimana caught with M23 fighters

GOMA, Congo (AP) — Ibrahim Nsanzimana says he can no longer return to his home in Rwanda for fear of death. The 28-year-old recounted the tortured history of his Rwandan family’s entanglement with neighboring Congo, and his latest recruitment by Rwanda to fight in eastern Congo.

When the bitter memories and bleak prospects for his future confronted him, his eyes glazed and a tear ran down his cheek.

“They’ll kill me,” he said bluntly, referring to Rwandan officials and their vigorous denials that he is among many men trained in Rwanda and brought to Congo to fight alongside the M23 rebel movement. Out of work and desperate to make a living, he said he agreed to join the Rwandan army in early July.

“Our area chief called a youth meeting, I think it was July 1, and there were about 300 of us young men at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali (Rwanda’s capital). Military police in red berets told us we were all going to become soldiers, and they promised us a salary” equivalent to $60 a month, he said.
They were crowded into five Rwandan Defense Forces trucks and driven at night to Gaviro military camp, home to Rwanda’s School of Infantry near the border with Uganda, where they spent a week learning how to shoot with AK-47 assault rifles.

“Only then did they tell us that we had come here to fight to take North Kivu province (of eastern Congo) and to make it part of Rwanda,” Nsanzimana said. He said the announcement came from Rwandan army Capt. Francois Mugabo.
“When I woke up the next morning, we were in the volcano area in Congo,” he said, brought to fight a war led by the Tutsi tribe that he considers a mortal enemy of his Hutu people.

Terrified that he was going to be killed, Nsanzimana fled into the forest and wandered for days before he was captured three weeks ago by Congolese soldiers. He is being held in an overcrowded holding cell of the military intelligence agency in Goma, Congo’s eastern provincial capital. There, he gave The Associated Press details of Rwanda’s alleged complicity in the latest rebellion in eastern Congo.
Similar stories have been told to officials in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo by fighters who have been captured or turned themselves in to Congolese troops. Some said they were trained at Kanombe military barracks just outside Kigali; others said they received training only once in Congo, near its borders with Uganda and Rwanda.

Eleven Rwandans who surrendered in May said they were recruited as early as February — three months before the rebellion started, according to Patrick Garba, head of the U.N. demobilization office in Goma.
That testimony helped form the backbone of a controversial July report by a U.N. Group of Experts that accuses high-ranking Rwandan officials, including the minister of defense, of helping to create, arm and support the M23 rebellion and some Congolese militias. Their fighting over the past three months has brought some of the worst violence in years to eastern Congo, forcing some 280,000 people to abandon their homes as the rebels have seized a huge swathe of eastern Congo.
Rwanda denies the charges it has backed a rebellion, and has refused to allow back home the captured and surrendered Rwandans, initially arguing that they were not Rwandan.

Garba said his office now has 45 Rwandan fighters, and the AP interviewed some of a group of 30 being held by Congo’s military intelligence.

A military intelligence colonel who spoke on condition of anonymity said they have sent proof to authorities in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, including the identity card of a Rwandan Defense Force captain, other Rwandan ID cards, uniforms and guns and mortar shells that make up part of the Rwandan army arsenal and are not part of Congo’s. He said captured Rwandans are using AK-47 rifles with folding butts, while the Congolese army issue has fixed butts.

The U.N. report has led several Western countries to suspend some aid to Rwanda, a country they consider a critical ally in helping to bring stability to this Central African region plagued by foreign rebels and local militias. A bipartisan group of U.S. legislators on Aug. 3 sent a strongly worded letter to Rwandan President Paul Kagame saying they are “absolutely convinced that Rwanda is involved in supporting the unrest in the Kivus.”

Kagame has a history of intervention in eastern Congo. Rwanda first invaded its neighbor to the west in 1996, pursuing Rwandan Hutus who fled after committing the 1994 Rwandan genocide of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. It took Kagame a year to admit that his troops had invaded eastern Congo. They deployed after U.N. and Western powers failed to act as the “genocidaires” used the cover of massive refugee camps to arm themselves and make incursions into Rwanda.

Remnants of the genociders in Congo formed the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, which is at the heart of a never-ending cycle of violence in eastern Congo, and which Kagame’s government fears will one day invade Rwanda. Kagame then orchestrated a rebellion of Congolese Tutsis led by Rwandan soldiers that toppled Congo’s longtime dictatorship and precipitated back-to-back civil wars that drew in the armies of eight African nations in a scramble for Congo’s massive mineral resources. Some 5 million people died before the war ended in 2003.

After Rwandan troops withdrew under international pressure, Kagame turned to proxies, supporting a Congolese Tutsi-led rebellion that engulfed east Congo in 2008. To end that insurgency, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila signed a pact allowing the rebels to integrate into the army and for Rwandan troops to come into Congo for three months to again hunt down the FDLR. The mutinying soldiers who began this year’s insurgency were part of the 2008 rebellion.

Nsanzimana said he was 10 when his family first came to Congo, among more than a million Rwandan Hutus who fled after the genocide. He was here in 1996 when Kagame’s troops bombarded refugee camps, killing genociders and innocent civilians indiscriminately. Then they chased those who fled in an orgy of massacres across the breadth of Congo, a country the size of Western Europe.
His father and one brother died in that flight. His sister escaped to neighboring Republic of Congo. One brother remained as an FDLR commander.
Nsanzimana and one remaining brother finally returned home to Rwanda, only to find that their father’s properties had been seized by Tutsi neighbors.
“When we tried to reclaim our property, those who had stolen it made false accusations against us about the genocide, and we landed up in jail,” he said.
In 2004, the brothers were released and given back one house and a farm. Life remained a struggle, he said, living off the land on the farm.

Nsanzimana believes Rwanda’s latest adventure has left him homeless. He thinks his only chance is to seek refugee status far from Rwanda and eastern Congo, where he believes the history of hatred between Tutsis and Hutus can never be resolved.
“The Rwandan Defense Forces are the same Rwandan Patriotic Front (rebels) that killed my brother and are responsible for the death of my father,” he said. “They are the same Tutsi military that trained me how to fight and brought me to this battlefield.”

Source: AP.

August 13, 2012   No Comments

Can South Africa legally bar Kayumba Nyamwasa from political activities?

by Kennedy Gihana,
practicing Attorney, of the South African High Court, specialized in Public International Law and International Human Rights Law.

An Analysis and opinion on the restriction of Refugees from political activities by South African Refugee Act 130 of 1998 as amended, reading it with other international Law instruments, based on the following statement by Director-General of the Department of International Relations and co operation of the Republic of South Africa.

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa: played key role in genocide against Hutus

Kayumba Nyamwasa

It has come to the attention of the South African Government that certain Rwandan citizens claim to have engaged in political activities against the Government of the Republic of Rwanda “with the approval of the South African Government”. South Africa and Rwanda maintain friendly diplomatic relations and such statements are devoid of all truth. Mr Nyamwasa is a refugee in South Africa and in terms of the law governing refugees, South African Refugee Act number 130 of 1998, he is required to refrain from engaging in any political activity or subversive action against any government as this would constitute a breach of the law and he could be liable to lose his refugee status.

Wanted for genocide crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity

Paul Kagame and Kayumba Nyamwasa

Who is General Kayumba Nyamwasa?

For those who do not know General Kayumba Nyamwasa, is former army chief of staff of Rwanda and former Rwandan Ambassador to India. In February 2010 he sought political asylum in South Africa. General Kayumba survived an assassination attempt near his home in Johannesburg in June 2010. General Kayumba’s supporters, family and some individuals in South African government linked the government of Rwanda to the failed murder on the General’s life.
He was prosecuted for and convicted of, making insulting and defamatory statements to the person of President General Paul Kagame of Rwanda, criticizing the oppression, tyranny and dictatorship of the current regime and was sentenced by the Rwandan Military High Court in absentia to 24 years in prison.

Participation in political activities/organizations with peaceful Agenda

As stated in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Policy document titled “Protection Policy and Legal Advice Section, Department of International Protection, 2003 (http://www.unhcr.org/protect), – “given the reasons for which individuals become refugees, it is unsurprising that many of them will become politically active while in exile.
Campaigning for change in their country of origin may, indeed, be the only way of increasing the chances of being able to return home eventually. In general, participation in such political organisations is guaranteed by a refugee’s human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression and association. If the situation were otherwise the “oppressive system in their country of origin would be watertight”.
Such organisations are entitled to carry out a wide range of activities, including publicising their views through the media, holding peaceful demonstrations and sending representatives to highlight their concerns before governments and international organisations. Moreover, host State toleration of, or indeed support for, such organisations will not place that State at risk of violating its obligations against any State whose authorities are the subject of the group’s criticism.
Similarly, refugees are entitled to join organisations concerned with domestic politics in the host State, for example those that wish to promote the position of foreigners in society. The fact that refugees do not have the right to vote or stand in elections does not mean that they have no right to express their views on matters of concern in the country in which they reside. In this case,
General Kayumba is a political refugee and like any other aliens legally in the country, surely has rights to participate in political activities and organizations that are peacefully in order to seek democratic change/ reforms in his country of origin.

Substance of Applicable Law

The right of refugees to hold and express a political opinion is a fundamental in nature and indeed it is the suppression of this right that often leads to refugees situations.
Let us examine extend and scope of political rights of refugees in context of South African Refugee Act 130 of 1998 and International Law.
The Refugee Act 130 of 1998 is silent on the question of political activity of refugees, save to note that Sec 27 grants full legal protection to refugees, which including the rights set out in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (The Bill of Rights), these are fundamental rights as contained in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa, it enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedoms, the state must respect, protect, promote and fulfill the Bill of Rights (sec7).
Some of these rights in the Bill of Rights are the right to freedom of expression (sec16 (1)), However this is not absolute and is limited by subsection (2) of this section in case of propaganda for war or hatred or incitement to cause harm, freedom of association (sec18), freedom of assembly, demonstration, picket and petition (sec17), freedom of movement (sec 21).
It must be noted that The Constitution of The Republic of South Africa is the Supreme Law in the Republic, Sec 2 states that “the constitution is the supreme law of the Republic, law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid and that obligation imposed by it must be fulfilled”.
Sec 8 states that, “The Bill of Rights applies to all laws, and binds the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all organs of state”.
The interpretation of these rights in the constitution must be “generous and purposive” and must give expression to the underlying values of the constitution (S v Makwanyane 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC) para 9).
Freedom of expression (speech) and opinions of political nature or civil rights as the may be, is very important not because people have any intrinsic moral right to say what they wish, but because allowing them to do so will produce good effects for the rest of us. See Ronald Dworkin freedom’s Law (1996) 200
These rights in the Bill of Rights are limited only by the law of general application (sec 36) and must be justifiable and reasonable.

Rights of Refugees in International Law

The preamble of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 states that, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law”.
Refugee Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of refugees has no explicit provision dealing with the political rights of refugees. However, article 2 makes it clear that refugees have duties to the country of asylum, including respect for its laws and measures taken for the maintenance of public order.
The convention does lay down specific standards for the treatment of refugees in certain areas, but only one of these is relevant to the question of political rights. Article 26 requires that refugees lawfully within the territory be granted freedom of movement subject to any regulations generally applicable to aliens. For matters other than freedom of movement Article 7(1) must apply. It states that “Except where this convention contains more favourable provisions, a contracting state shall afford to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to aliens in generally.
As a consequence, refugees are to be afforded the same political rights as other aliens in the country of asylum.3 Furthermore, the rights covered by Article 7(1) are subject to Article 3 which therefore prohibits any discrimination between refugees in the enjoyment of political rights solely on the basis of their race, religion or country of origin. Finally, by virtue of Article 7(3), refugees shall continue to enjoy any additional rights to which they were entitled (for example, as a result of domestic laws in the country of asylum) at the date of entry into force of the Convention for the State in question. Thus, subject to any pertinent provisions in regional instruments, reference to international human rights law is necessary in order to flesh out the standards set out in the 1951 Convention.

Freedom of expression

This is the external manifestation of the right to freedom of thought/conscience and is central to the ability of individuals to carry out any meaningful political activity. The guarantee of freedom of expression in Article 19(1) of the ICCPR is universal in coverage – aliens, including refugees, fall within its scope. However, this right is not without limitations. As with many other provisions of the ICCPR, Article 19 explicitly acknowledges that the interests of the wider community need to be balanced against the interests of any one individual. Article19(3) states that freedom of expression may be subject to restrictions necessary for respect of the rights and reputations of others or for the protection of national security, public order, public health or public morals. In essence, these restrictions are not concerned with the effect of any political statements on a third State, but rather the interests of the host State. Therefore the right of aliens to express their political opinions, whether these be on matters pertaining to their country of origin or to the host country, is not absolute. However any restrictions would appear to be the same as that for citizens given Article 2(1) which prohibits any discrimination in the enjoyment of ICCPR rights on the grounds, inter alia, of national origin or race. Any imposition of greater restrictions on aliens rather than on citizens would appear to constitute unlawful discrimination in the absence of any reasonable, objective justification. Certain forms of expression are expressly prohibited by the ICCPR. Article 20 states that all propaganda for war shall be prohibited. Moreover “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.” Accordingly, the country of asylum is under a duty to prevent any individual or political organisation, including those run by refugees, from engaging in such behavior.
As for the ability of refugees to express publicly their political views, either individually or in a group, this depends greatly on the extent to which freedom of expression is generally respected in a State. In this case South Africa grants and respects this right as we have seen above.
With respect to the situation in African States, Article 19 in their report, ‘Voices in Exile: African Refugees and Freedom of Expression’ (2001) noted: “Not surprisingly, those governments that have a generally poor record of respect for human rights are more likely to be restrictive of refugee rights. But this is not universally the case. Many countries including South Africa have legislation granting freedom of speech to everyone. Examples include Belgium, Canada, Chile, USA, Mexico, Liberia, Italy, Germany,
Poland, Thailand and Turkey (Tiburcio in The Human Rights of Aliens under International and Comparative Law (2001)).

In many countries, no distinction tends to be drawn between the right of political expression of citizens and that of aliens. However, there are still a significant number of States where aliens are prevented
from freely expressing their views. For example, it was only in 1992 that the South African courts overturned as discriminatory, and therefore unconstitutional, legislation prohibiting aliens from taking part in speeches and discussions at public meetings about the internal politics of Bophutswana.( Nyamakazi v President of Bophutswana 1992 (4) SA 540 (BGD)).

Freedom of movement

Freedom of movement is guaranteed for all those lawfully within a State by Article 12 of the ICCPR subject to restrictions necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and which are consistent with other rights guaranteed by the ICCPR. This right would therefore also apply to all refugees lawfully within a State.

This is consistent with the approach taken in Article 26 of the 1951 Convention guaranteeing freedom of movement, to the same extent as aliens generally, only for those refugees lawfully on the territory.

Freedom of association

The guarantee of freedom of association in Article 22 of the ICCPR applies equally to aliens and citizens alike. This, in principle, accords refugees the right to form political organisations. However the formation or operation of such organisations may be restricted on the same grounds as Article 21. Thus, it is lawful
to ban a refugee organisation that incites hatred against a particular political group in the host country where this demonstrates a risk to public order. On the other hand, the right of refugees to belong to an organisation that merely campaigns for a peaceful change of government in their country of origin would seen to be protected by Article22.
The approach to freedom of association in respect of aliens under Article 11 of the ECHR is the same as that regarding freedom of assembly. With respect to the State’s ability to restrict such freedom on national security grounds, in the case of Ozdep v Turkey 8 December 1999, the European Court of Human Rights held that such action was not justified in the case of political parties that do not advocate the use of violence.

Freedom of assembly

The coming together of individuals is often an important prerequisite for political activity. Aliens, like citizens, benefit from the right of assembly under Article 21 of the ICCPR subject to restrictions necessary in the interests of “national security or public safety, public order (ordre public) of the state of asylum, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

Regional refugee instruments

The 1969 Organisation of African Unity (‘OAU’) Convention Governing Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problem in Africa (‘OAU Convention’), like the 1951 Convention, specifically states that refugees must respect the laws of the country of asylum (Article III(1)). However it goes further by (a) proclaiming that refugees must not take part in any subversive activities against an OAU member State (Article

III(1)) and (b) requiring all States parties to prevent refugees from attacking other OAU States or engaging in activities likely to cause tensions between such States (Article III(2)).

No definition of “subversive”, “attacking” or “likely to cause tensions” is given in the OAU Convention.
It is, therefore, possible, and arguably desirable, to interpret the limits on political activity set out in Article III in line with the human rights obligations of OAU States.
However, this provision limits refugees’ right to freedom of expression and contradicts the rights enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Article 9(2) “Every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law”.
For this reason, the formulation of the prohibition has been criticized as being overbroad. Others, such as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, have also warned of the consequences of the prohibition (See African Exodus: Refugee Crisis, Human Rights and the OAU Convention, 1995).
There is evidence that some OAU States have adopted a rather sweeping approach to Article III, interpreting it as prohibiting any political activity with respect to the refugee’s country of origin, or indeed any political activity whatsoever. See UNHCR, ‘Addressing Security Concerns without Undermining Refugee Protection’ (2001) and Amnesty International, ‘Rights at Risk’ (2002).
It is clear that article III of the OAU convention can not super cede/ or be supreme to our own constitution Act 108 of 1996, which grants the rights in the Bill of Right. See Sec 2 of the RSA constitution above.
Therefore, Act 130 of 1998 as amended is in conflict with the constitution (which is the supreme law in the Republic) and therefore invalid if it is read together with OAU convention to deny Gen Kayumba his rights to participate in political activities and organizations that are peaceful.

CONCLUSIONS

The exercise of certain political rights is fundamental to the human dignity of refugees including Gen Kayumba. Although refugees have no right to vote in their country of asylum, their refugee status does not preclude them from being able to express political opinions and engaging in a meaningful political life.
Indeed, refugees, like other aliens, are entitled to the same freedom of expression, association and assembly as citizens.
The granting of political rights is, however, often seen as a threat to the national cohesion of the country of asylum or to its relations with the country of origin.
This need not be the case. International law also makes provision for protecting the legitimate security concerns of the country of origin and respecting the sovereignty of other States. In doing so, it does not discriminate between refugees and any other person in the country of asylum.
It is my submission that the above statement made by Director General was an error of law and that Act 130 of 1998 as amended is silent on the question of refugee’s political rights in the country of host.
Further that if the refugee Act 130 of 1998 as amended is interpreted and applied with due regard to the OAU convention of 1969 and its protocol of 1967, then it in conflict with constitution and therefore invalid, as the constitution is the supreme Law of the Republic of South Africa ito Section 2.
And therefore, it is my opinion that Gen Kayumba as a legal political refugee in South Africa, the constitution and international law grants him right to participate in peaceful political activities or organizations.

Kennedy Gihana.

August 10, 2012   4 Comments

Rwandans and Congolese to bring Paul Kagame to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

PRESS RELEASE FDU-Inkingi and RNC

 

Date : 06 August , 2012.

 

On 17 August 2012, Rwandans will be joined by Congolese to formally file a complaint with the International Criminal Court, and demand that the prosecutor lay charges against President Paul Kagame and his accomplices based on REPORTS OF THE GROUP OF EXPERTS SUBMITTED THROUGH THE SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION 1533 (2004) CONCERNING THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO 1, Report of the DRC Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003 2, and the Addendum to the interim report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/2012/348) concerning violations of the arms embargo and sanctions regime by the Government of Rwanda.

We invite Rwandans, Congolese, Africans, and members of the international community to witness this historical moment and to sign the subsequent petition in front of the International Criminal Court Building, The Hague ( Netherlands), from 11:00 to 14:00.

Thanks to the efforts of members of the civil society, JAMBO asbl, le Centre de Lutte contre l’Impunit� et l’Injustice (CLIIR) and the Women’s International Network for democracy and Peace (RIFDP – Holland and Belgium).

JUSTICE SHALL PREVAIL !

COORDINATING COMMITTEE FDU-INKINGI

Coordinator

Dr. Nkiko Nsengimana
Lausanne, Switzerland
(Email: nkiko.nsengimana@bluewin.ch).

RWANDA NATIONAL CONGRESS (RNC)
Interim Committee,
Coordinator

Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Washington DC, USA
( Email: ngombwa@gmail.com).

August 7, 2012   4 Comments

Update trial Rwandan opposition leader Eric Nshimyumuremyi

  PRESS RELEASE No. 015/P.S.IMB/012

On August 2, 2012, we expected that the High Court of Nyarugenge pronounces the verdict in the politically motivated trial of Mr. Eric Nshimyumuremyi, President of the Social Party P.S. IMBERAKURI in the district of Kicukiro. Recall that Mr. Eric Nshimyumuremyi has survived an assassination attempt on September 15, 2011 in broad daylight as he was returning home after attending the trial of Ms. Victoire Ingabire, president of FDU Inkingi.

After the assassination attempt, instead of helping him, the first police officers who arrived at the scene tied him the arms on the back by the infamous technique known “akandoye” so he would succumb to his injuries. Seeing that the local population had quickly rushed to the scene, police finally evacuated him and instead of seeking medical treatment for the injured, they instead imprisoned him then prosecuted him in the following days. As is customary for political opponents, Mr. Eric Nshimyumuremyi is currently being prosecuted for imaginary crimes related to illegal possession of weapons or attack on security forces. Since the assassination attempt, Mr. Eric Nshimyumuremyi was never allowed to get treatment so that the bullet that hit him is still lodged in his chest.

Activists who had traveled en masse to the trial were surprised by the fact that the judge did not show up in the courtroom. It was only around 5:00 PM; after other prisoners had just been informed of their verdicts that Mr. Eric Nshimyumuremyi asked his fate and the clerk told him that the judge who has followed his case is not available. Therefore the verdict will be announced on September 14, 2012.Meanwhile, it should be interesting to note Mr. BAGUMYA JAMES, the CID officer in charge of monitoring the movements of Mr. Bernard Ntaganda, founding president of the Social Party P.S. IMBERAKURI in detention at Kigali Central Prison, came to the High Court between 3: 00 PM and 4:00 PM. His presence may be in relation with this untimely postponement. The act of postponing all political trials shows of a true image of the justice against political opponents of the Kigali regime.

We never ceased to show how the seed of democracy we have sown continues to grow; those who still hesitate should realize the fact and join our efforts in that legitimate struggle.

JUSTICE, LOVE and WORK;

 

Done at Kigali on 03/08/2012

 

Immaculate UWIZEYE

Secretary General

 

August 6, 2012   No Comments

Zambia deports Rwandan priest for preaching about poverty

The  Zambia government has deported a Rwandese priest based at Lundazi Parish Fr.Viateur Banyangandora aged 40 for preaching about poverty in Zambia

Minister of Home Affairs, Edgar Lungu has confirmed the deportation of Fr. Banyangandora but could not divulge the reasons. He only said the the priest has been deported for violating the laws of Zambia.

“Fr. Banyangandora’s conduct was found to be a danger to peace and good order in Zambia contrary to Section 39(2) of the Immigration and Deportation Act, No. 18 of 2010.” Lungu said

Lungu  confirmed  that the priest was picked and brought to Lusaka on Monday by security for interviews. He claimed   Fr. Banyangandora was deported to Rwanda on Wednesday. But Watchdog sources say the priest was deported Thursday evening.

Lungu said that Fr. Banyangandora was a holder of Employment Permit No. 008955 issued on 27th November, 2006 when he entered the country but could not still say why he was being sent away when he was in Zambia legally.

Fr.Viateur Banyangandora was picked by the police on Monday after he gave a sermon about poverty in Zambia on Sunday at the Lundazi Boma Parish.

According to people at his church, the priest last Sunday preached about the gap between the poor and the rich, saying the rich are getting richer while poor are getting poorer.

In his sermon, Fr. Banyangandora questioned why the PF government was not buying cotton in Lundazi making peasant farmers to lose  out.

But the OP officers who were attending church as a routine operation reported the matter to their superiors in Chipata that the priest who encouraged his members in 2011 to vote for PF has turned against the PF now.

Police officers were then sent to Chipata to go and pick him up for questioning.

He was first interrogated by Lundazi District Commissioner before being taken away by the police.

Source: zambianwatchdog.com

August 3, 2012   2 Comments