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Rwandan citizens react to US attitude towards Rwanda dictatorship

A Message to the US State Department
in reaction to the USA on the 16th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
by JB Uwumuremyi.

Thanks for remembering the victims of the Tutsi genocide. But many Rwandans continue to ask this:
What about the people that were killed by the Tutsis? What about all innocent people that were killed by Kagame and his soldiers from Byumba, throughout all Rwanda, all the way to the Congo?
Were they not humans?
Not all were interahamwe.
The population of Byumba, decimated by Kagame in 1990, were they interahamwe?
How about some justice for them?
In your message, you say that

“Rwanda’s vision for its future is one enlightened by all Rwandans who live together in respect”.

That is what most of us Rwandan want.
But in reality, today Rwanda belongs to a small group of Tutsis from Uganda.
The rest of Rwandans have no room whatsoever in Rwanda. Their rights are abused, stepped upon every single day.
Today, Rwanda has more refugees than any other time in its history. And if you speak up and condemn injustice, you are a genocide denier, an enemy of the state.

Kagame and his Akazu (entourage) are the real threat to the peace and security in the Great Lakes Region.

Before Kagame’s military ventures, the Great Lakes Region was peaceful. Kagame set in motion wars that killed millions of Rwandans and Congolese.

You say that

“The United States will remain a committed partner in Rwanda’s efforts to improve the well-being of its citizens and promote peace and stability in the region”.

If you mean it, help us remove the dictator Paul Kagame because many Rwandans are so sick and tired of him. Sixteen years of him is more than enough.

I find it amusing ( or you are not informed ) when you say that

“the United States applauds Rwanda’s progress and wishes its people continued success in their efforts in securing a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future”.

Democratic? The fake election Kagame is planning so he can secure another 7 years of power, you call that democratic!
Frankly, I find it shameful the fact that the US state department hasn’t stepped out and condemn Kagame and his shameful political games.
Is the US an ally of Rwandans or an ally of dictator Kagame?
If the US is an ally of the Rwandan people, these are the times that the US should act and side with the people.

[JB Uwumuremyi –]

April 16, 2010   1 Comment

Paul Kagame blames “you” and free speech on the 16th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide

On April 7th, 2010, in his address at the Kigali Memorial Center, Rwandan President Paul Kagame blamed “you,” a conveniently flexible and expandable category, and all those calling for political space and press freedom, for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, in which a million Rwandans died.
This is the English language section of his English and Kinyarwanda address particularly concerned with press freedom.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Listen to the entire English language section of Kagame’s address” dl=”0″]

One week after this address, on April 14, 2010, Kagame’s “High Media Council” shut down the independent African language newspapers that most Rwandans depend on. See: Rwanda shuts down independent press ahead of presidential elections .

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Listen to Kagame’s full address in Kinyarwanda and English” dl=”0″]

April 16, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda Investment Forum 2010 starts May 10th

The Rwanda Investment Forum to be held in Kigali on 10-11 May 2010, will be the first large scale investor event organised in the country since Rwanda became the 54th Member of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad last November.

The Forum will be organised by the Commonwealth Business Council in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board and with the collaboration of the International Private Sector.

Two years ago the East African International Business Forum, the first event CBC had organised in the country, drew over 500 leaders from business and government, including 250 delegates from over 30 countries outside the East African region.

This year’s Forum aims to build on Rwanda’s expanding network of relationships created by joining the Commonwealth, and its reputation for stability and good economic management.

Its purpose is to enhance foreign direct investment by communicating national development goals and by bringing international investors and operators face-to-face with Rwandan project holders and entrepreneurs to discuss new economic and investment opportunities.

The forum will focus on business opportunities in the following sectors:

• Agriculture and Food Security
• Banking and Financial Services
• Investment in Energy and Power
• Tourism
• Mining and Natural Resources
• Manufacturing

In addition there will be One to One meetings and a Project Centre for discussing actual projects; as well as possible Site Visits for those with an interest on the final day of the conference.

Delegate Enquiries
Vasundhara Puri, T: +44(0) 20 7024 8200

Speaker Enquiries
John Pemberton-Pigott, T: +44(0) 20 7024 8212

Sponsorship Enquiries
Coralie Castel, T: +44 (0) 2070248227

Press Enquiries
Sean Leno, T: +44 (0) 20 7024 8209

April 16, 2010   1 Comment

Former Interahamwe militia leader defends MRND Secretary General Nzirorera

Arusha, April 12, 2010 (FH) – Genocide convict George Rutaganda Monday disassociated Joseph Nzirorera, then Secretary General of MRND, in any activities of the Interahamwe militia group.

“Nzirorera never participated at any point in time with activities of Interahamwe,” Rutaganda, who was the second vice president of MRND militia Interahamwe, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Rutaganda, who is currently serving a life imprisonment sentence in Benin, was defending Nzirorera, also facing a genocide case before the ICTR Chamber presided over by Justice Dennis Byron, as his 32nd defence witness.

Examined by leading counsel Peter Robinson, the witness said he knew Nzirorera before July 1993 on capacity as minister and not otherwise and never met with him in any other place than at a wedding party of his sister-in-law.

The prosecution alleges in the indictment that, among others, Nzirorera and authorities held several meetings to plan and organize genocide against ethnic-Tutsis at various locations in Kigali and other area.

The defence witness told the Chamber further that the Interahamwe Group never propagated the extermination of the Tutsis. He denied that the Interahamwe group was formed for attacking Tutsis.

“This is a paradoxical question. The president -Robert Kajuga- was a Tutsi. How could they exterminate them ? That would not be possible because of the composition of the group,” he testified.

According to him, they could not organize the killings because there were Tutsis within the group and they had no intention of hating whomsoever.

He admitted that the MNRD organized several meetings, but refuted the evidence of Ahmed Haramyumukiza, a prosecution witness, that such meetings like the one he attended early 1992 had the objective of organizing the killing of Tutsis.

In this trial, Nzirorera is charged jointly with the party’s former president Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his former vice president Edouard Karemera. The trio is charged with crimes committed by members of their party.

The prosecution has indicted them for their superior responsibility as top officials of the party then in power in 1994 under President Habyarimana.

[Hirondelle News Agency]

April 16, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Swedish lawmakers complain over suspended newspapers

Kigali: Visiting Swedish parliamentarians have urged government to review the suspension this week of two tabloid newspapers, saying it could undermine the country’s democratic credentials, RNA reports.

At a meeting Thursday with Lower Chamber of Deputies Speaker Ms. Rose Mukantabana and other lawmakers including Senator Dr. Joseph Karemera, the ten Swedish MPs said they consider the suspensions problematic.

On Wednesday, the High Council of the Media (HCM) ruled that weekly UMUSESO and UMUVUGIZI had since January published content which was insulting to the Head of State, inciting to the armed forces into insubordination and a threat to state security as they caused panic in the population.

Swedish Moderate Party lawmaker Christian Holm said it was paramount that as the country prepares for elections, divergent views are allowed free passage. On the delegation includes Linda Nordin Gabelic from UN Association of Sweden.

However, Speaker Ms. Rose Mukantabana came to the defense of the suspension saying the papers had defied various warnings to review their content. She said the two publications have the option to petition the courts for redress.

Speaking for the Rwandan side, Senator Karemera also demanded why European countries continue to drag their feet on Genocide suspects living in their countries.

Linda Nordin Gabelic responded that the issue of suspects was being handled by the UN, adding that Europe does not want the fugitives to live there.

The two sides also discussed the Rwandan FDLR rebels in eastern DRC. The Swedish delegation had also just returned touring receptions camps for the rebels in Northern Rwanda.

Sweden is among the countries which are financing the repatriation program.

April 16, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: France wants also portion of methane gas in Lake Kivu

Kigali: The French government is eager to take part in the exploitation of methane gas in Lake Kivu, its new Envoy in Kigali announced Thursday, as Kigali and Paris continue to restore their relations.

Already, there are American, Canadian and Israeli companies tapping from the gas to be turned into electricity.

Ambassador Laurent Contini also said the French parliament wants to start cooperation with Rwanda’s Parliament.

Mr. Contini was meeting Lower Chamber Speaker Mr. Rose Mukantabana. The diplomat delivered a request from French lawmakers to start work on a cooperation framework.

About Kivu Lake resources: read also Rwanda and Canadian Firm Vangold To Sign Definitive Deal On Lake Kivu Oil.

April 16, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Convicted ex-Ingabire assistant Joseph Ntawangundi says “sorry” in Gacaca court appeal

Joseph Ntawangundi, convicted of genocide charges

Joseph Ntawangundi, convicted of genocide charges

Mr. Ntawangundi stunned an appeals Gacaca court on Thursday when he knelt down saying he was “sorry”. He also pinned his exiled opposition colleagues.

Kigali: New details coming from the controversial Genocide case of opposition politician Joseph Ntawangundi indicate that contrary to the previous trial where he denied a personal role in the killings, he now affirms he took part, RNA reports. He even knelt before the Gacaca court.

In the appeals hearing in Ngoma district (eastern Rwanda) which started Thursday, Gacaca judges pressed Mr. Ntawangundi not to speak in general terms where he has maintained that he only watched as his staff killed Tutsis. The judges demanded that he speaks about his role – saying they wanted to know the specific people he saved or which ones he saw being killed, and what he did exactly.

The aide of the leader of the yet-to-be registered United Democratic Forces Inkingi, Ms Ingabire Victoire was jailed for 17 years last month for his role in the Tutsi mass slaughter at the Agro-Veterinary school of Gitwe. Despite pleading guilt and saying sorry to the previous Gacaca hearing, Mr. Ntawangundi stood ground that he just had a passive role.

Now in his appeal at Rukira sector, Mr. Ntawangundi confirms that he personally ordered for the hunting and killing of eight people. Among them includes the school’s teacher and his young brother who he apparently ordered guards to kill. Mr. Ntawangundi also revealed that he ordered the militia to search for six other people for death.

In the appeal, he was seeking to be given a reduced sentence, which was dismissed and the 17-year term upheld. Before the appeals proceedings started, he promised to tell the “truth”.

However, a new twist to the appeals trial came when Mr. Ntawangundi repeatedly knelt down before judges and prosecution witnesses. “I am sorry for trying to hide my role and even denying my own child,” Ntawangundi said, but the judges also kept reminding him not to kneel.

When judges asked why he had not revealed the same “truth” to the previous Gacaca court, Mr. Ntawangundi dropped what became the bombshell of the entire case. He narrated that he and the other exiled opposition politicians had decided never to accept the Gacaca courts.

He said that it was the same spirit he brought when he returned to Rwanda and into his trail – to deny everything because he did not consider the Gacaca courts as credible. But that after watching witnesses including his own partner with whom they had a son, Mr. Ntawangundi said he realized he had no other place to hide, but ask for forgiveness.

“From this moment, I completely disassociate myself from that view which does not accept the Gacaca courts from the people who oppose the RPF government,” said Ntawangundi.

According to Article 58 of the Gacaca court, a person’s guilty plea can only be given credence during the first trail. The appeals judges simply upheld the sentence, refusing to even listen to him as he constantly said he was “sorry”.

As the court ended its session, in his prison’s uniform, Mr. Ntawangundi could be heard saying: “I wish I had said during the start of the trail what I said today. It would have been helpful to my case and maybe got a less sentence.”

Joseph Ntawangundi was arrested upon his return on the grounds of a judgment delivered in absentia by a Gacaca court in 2007. The tribunal had then sentenced him to 19 years in jail for his “complicity” in the 1994 genocide. Back in the country, he was entitled to a rehearing trial.

At the retrial, the defendant claimed that he had never been the school’s principal and that he was in Sweden during the Genocide. However, he finally admitted that he had been running the school for three months when the Tutsi Genocide started.

Speaking to witnesses who pinned Mr. Ntawangundi, they say there are still many issues that remain unresolved. Some wonder why he at first said he was not the person mentioned in the case, then turned around accepting. Some witnesses are also saying they are beginning to have a problem trusting anything Mr. Ntawangundi has said.

Witnesses also say they cannot forgive him because he did not detail how their people were killed. The Gacaca court usually at the end of a trail encourage the guilt party and victims to reconcile, but those of Mr. Ntawangundi say he has not been fully truthful – making him not to deserve to be forgiven.

Mr. Ntawangundi still has chances for appeal but it will be more difficult because he will be required to come up with specific aspects of the case he thinks were disregarded.


April 16, 2010   No Comments