Rwanda Information Portal

Rwanda’s EWSA warns against increasing sabotage

The Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has warned the public against vandalising its property, a practice believed to have sabotaged the authority’s efforts to expand its electricity grid countrywide.

A survey by EWSA indicates that human-induced rupture of pylon anchors and cutting of electricity cables was on the rise and widespread not just in Kigali but in upcountry districts such as Huye, Ngoma, Ngororero, Nyanza and Musanze.

“The actions might seem mild but they cost the population very much. How can an individual break pieces of metal from important infrastructure like electricity pylons which transmit power to thousands of people?” Prosper Mubera Birori, the head of public relations and communication unit at EWSA told The New Times yesterday.

“This stolen metal will not even fetch them more than Rwf10,000 but reports show that it is becoming rampant. This action is wrong and EWSA is asking the public to report such actions.”

In a related development, two suspects were arrested yesterday by police in connection with stealing electricity cables, an act that is usually performed in the wee hours of the night, according to police.

Police caution:

“This is becoming a big problem and we thank the public that alerted us about the two suspects we are holding,” Theos Badege, (pictured) the police commissioner of public relations and community policing, said yesterday.

“Stealing or vandalising public property is a criminal offense and everyone must know that. Besides, it destroys the targets and ambitions of different government agencies.”

EWSA also attributed the recent heavy load-shedding in and around Kigali to vandalism which weakened and led to the collapse of two 110KV electricity pylons that transmitted power from the Jabana substation to the main substation in Gikondo.

The damage cost EWSA 30 mega watts per hour lost through the electricity lines, and repair works have shot to Rwf20 million.

Source: All Africa

April 2, 2013   No Comments

Rwandan M23 combatants relocated from border district

Two weeks after fleeing to Rwanda, a group of 682 fighters affiliated to DRC’s M23 rebel movement, have been moved to Ngoma district in Eastern Province, away from the Rwanda-DRC border.
The rebel fighters crossed over to Rwanda following fierce fighting between two factions of M23.

An internal conflict within the group’s ranks saw separate factions created, with one group led by Sultani Makenga, and the other by Jean Marie Runiga.

The fighting that ensued between forces loyal to either faction saw those on Runiga’s side overwhelmed, hence fleeing into Rwanda. Runiga also fled to Rwanda.

Upon arrival in Rwanda, the rebels were disarmed and secured in Mudede sector, Rubavu district, which borders the DRC.

Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, said international norms dictate that in a situation armed rebels cross into another country, they are supposed to be relocated to a place far from the borderline of their country.

“This is why we are taking them to Ngoma in a transit facility where they will stay for about five months,” she said.

Renunciation

The minister said the rebels are expected to sign a written renunciation upon arrival in Ngoma. “We opted that they renounce their military activities in writing.”

She, however, added that prior to the renunciation, there will be a screening exercise where minors will be identified and separated from others.

“After the renunciation, they will be eligible to apply for refugee status individually, those who will be allowed in as refugees will be handed to the UNHCR, but at the moment, they are considered citizens of the international community,” Mukantabana said.

She said leaving the Ngoma facility will be a gradual process depending on the ranks the rebels held. Those with lower ranks, according to the minister, will leave earlier than their senior comrades.

Mukantabana also expressed frustration with the international community for not supporting Rwanda in managing the influx of rebel fighters into the country.

“The international community has ignored and adamantly decided not to support us in managing this crisis. These are not our citizens, neither are they our prisoners, they belong to the UN,” she said.

“It is now upon the UN to provide other requirements for the refugees,” said Mukantabana.

Source: The New Times

April 2, 2013   No Comments

France orders first trial of Rwandan on genocide charge

More than 800,000 people were killed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994

More than 800,000 people were killed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994

A French court has for the first time ordered a Rwandan to face trial over the country’s 1994 genocide, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday.

Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan army captain arrested on the French island of Mayotte in 2008, is facing charges of complicity in genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity but can still appeal the decision in an attempt to avoid the trial.

It was not immediately clear if his lawyers would file an appeal.

Simbikangwa, a former intelligence officer under Rwanda’s Hutu government, was arrested under an international arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in the genocide, which killed some 800,000 people over three months.

France in early 2010 set up a new unit to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity involving suspects detained in France.

It has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, fearing they would be denied a fair trial, but has sent some to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Source: Jakarta Globe

April 2, 2013   No Comments

A modern day Easter story of forgiveness in Rwanda

A young man extends the forgiveness Christ has given him to a man who murdered his family members in Rwanda

Forgiving just as Christ forgave us: Alex Nsengimana with the man who killed his family

Forgiving just as Christ forgave us: Alex Nsengimana with the man who killed his family

I have a story that will knock you out of your seat this Easter season. It’s a story of the strongest man I know (even though he looks like he weighs about 100 pounds). It’s a story that helped me understand what this weekend means to true believers in Christ.

How many times do we hold grudges or try to get back at people in order to “get even?” I know I’m guilty all the time. But now I realize that the true way to get even is to forgive those who have wronged us.

I know, that sounds much easier to say than do. But let me tell you about my friend Alex and maybe that will make it easier for you to forgive others in your own life.

Alex Nsengimana is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide that took place back in 1994, when almost a million of his countrymen lost their lives. He vividly remembers his uncle and grandmother being brutally killed right in front of his eyes by his own neighbors when he was about 6.

I can’t imagine how a boy deals with this at such a young age, especially since his mother had already died from HIV/AIDS before the killings.

He was displaced, running for his life with his brother and sister. Eventually he landed in an orphanage where he said no one could ever sleep because of the screams from the children as they faced nightmare after nightmare.

I can’t imagine any of this. If Alex would have just learned how to function in society with these horrible experiences in his mind, I would have been amazed. But believe me when I tell you he is not just surviving, he is thriving.

He will graduate this May with a degree in Pastoral Studies from Crossroads College in Rochester, Minnesota. He is an unbelievable example for us all and I was so happy to be able to meet him and go with him to Rwanda to produce a video on his life’s journey.

We were heading to Rwanda to distribute Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes in the very orphanage where Alex received one right after the genocide in 1995. He says that the simple gift was his first glimmer of hope and the beginning of his faith in Jesus.

We knew his story was already special in so many ways. But when I met him in Minnesota he made it clear that he wanted to meet the man who killed his family when we visited his home country. There was more. He didn’t want to meet the man to lash out or question him. He wanted to meet him so that he could forgive him! That blew me away.

We went to Rwanda not knowing anything about this man other than his name, but we put our faith in Christ to clear the path for this encounter.

Three days later we were in a Rwandan prison about to witness the most amazing scene any of us had ever experienced. We weren’t allowed to bring our video cameras, which turned into a blessing because instead of worrying about getting just the right shot I was able to just watch and be completely amazed at what happened.

Alex held his composure as the man began by admitting to the murder of his uncle. He also admitted to being a part of almost 30 other deaths.

Rather than condemn him, Alex ministered to the man and let him know that we are all created in Christ’s image and He loves us all the same. He told the man to repent of his sins so that he too can experience the kingdom of Heaven.

Would you be able to forgive the person that took someone close to you? I don’t think we could ever answer that truthfully unless we experienced it ourselves. It shows how amazing Alex’s faith in the Lord was. He kept saying to me, “God forgave me of my sins, so he wants me to forgive this man of his sins too.”

Alex prayed for the man and I could tell it strongly impacted him. The prisoner said he doesn’t know what kind of evil came over him at that time. He asked Alex to go back to the village and find family members of the other men he killed so that he can try to bring peace by asking forgiveness for his sins against them.

It was amazing. Strangely enough, the greatest part of this story of forgiveness didn’t take place until a later conversation with Alex.

He explained how badly Rwanda needs forgiveness. Those who committed the crimes can repent and come to Christ and still be accepted into the kingdom of heaven. But those who live in bitterness and are unwilling to forgive those who committed the crimes just as Christ forgave us may miss out on the kingdom.

Alex’s dream is to plant a church in Rwanda to spread this message of forgiveness.

This Easter we remember that Christ died on the cross for our sins. All of us commit sins, none of us is perfect. But on the third day he rose! Because of this we have a place in Heaven next to Him if we repent and accept His offer of grace and forgiveness.

I hope this Easter that you take a moment to think of any bitterness you are holding in, and forgive those who God loves just as much as you. Just as Alex did. And just as Jesus did through His sacrifice on the cross.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).

Source: Samaritan’s Purse

April 2, 2013   No Comments