Rwanda: Green Party defends RPA soldiers over alleged war crimes
Kigali: Amid registration uncertainty, the Green Party has again distanced itself from the coalition partners with a spirited defense of the ruling RPF party against accusations that some of its members committed war crimes during the conflict which culminated into the Tutsi Genocide.
Separating itself from the FDU-Inkingi and PS Imberakuri which have stood by claims that RPF rebels killed “Hutus”, the troubled Green Party says: “It was not RPF policy to kill HUTUS”.
“The [Rwanda Patriotic Army] soldiers who killed people were severely punished and some evidences are available,” says Green Party chief Frank Habineza, in a new party policy statement.
The statement comes amid attacks from some sections accusing the Greens of aligning with the two opposition parties which are said to be in complete contempt of the role played by the RPF soldiers in ending the 1994 Tutsi mass slaughter.
Ingabire Victoire, of the FDU-Inkingi, is under fire for suggesting that even if there was Tutsi Genocide, the rebels also killed civilians on the other side of the social divide.
A splinter faction of PS Imberakuri led by Bernard Ntaganda – which remains in the opposition coalition, has been in the firing line for claiming war crimes were committed, and that the perpetrators must be brought to book.
For the Green Party, “It may be possible that not all [suspected RPA criminals] were punished”.
“Investigations can be made and those who committed crimes against humanity be brought to book,” says Habineza.
With registration still hanging in balance, the Greens seem to want to position themselves with the image that even if they are collaborating with the other two controversial parties, they do not condone some of their positions.
The Greens say they will set up a “Truth and Justice Commission” to “bring about genuine reconciliation”, and also establish “National Rwandan Dialogue, which will bring all people from different walks of life both in the country and Diaspora to help in setting a sustainable Rwanda, where Rwandans will have justice, peace and tranquility”.
In the same policy statement, the Greens condemn the accusations against Ingabire, who is facing several serious charges, and detained American attorney Peter Erilnder.
On the split in PS Imberakuri, the Green Party claims the authorities are causing the rifts which have led to its break-up, which government has previously dismissed.