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Rwanda: Ingabire dossier complete, due in court – Police say

Victoire Ingabire - challenges Gen. Paul Kagame and RPF

Victoire Ingabire - opposition leader

Kigali: Police has finalized investigations on opposition politician Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and will be produced in court Thursday, it was announced Wednesday afternoon as the United Democratic Forces Inkingi leader was arrested. Her arrest happened concurrently as President Kagame was meeting with visiting Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
Police spokesman Superintendent Eric Kayiranga told reporters at about mid-day after Ms. Ingabire had been taken into custody and transferred to the Kicukiro police station, that the investigations and dossier are complete.

He declined to give details as to the contents, saying only that the hard-talking Ingabire will be charged in court within the next seventy-two hours as stipulated by law.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has since February been interrogating Ms. Ingabire over ethnic divisionism, negating the Tutsi Genocide and links to the Rwandan FDLR rebels holed up in the jungles of eastern DRC.

Her troubles started on January 16 – the day she returned from a 16-year exile, when she wondered why the Kigali Memorial site where some 250,000 Tutsis are laid to rest only honours Tutsis when even Hutus were massacred as well. Genocide survivors are bitter, demanding that a new mechanism for people visiting memorial sites be formulated.

A contentious UN report which President Kagame dismissed last week, also names Ms. Ingabire and her yet-to-be registered United Democratic Forces Inkingi party members as among the countries, multinationals and individuals supporting the FDLR rebels.

The UN and United States have declared the group a terrorist entity.

The CID summoned Ms. Ingabire on Tuesday evening as part of her continued interrogation. She appeared at Police Headquarters Wednesday at 9am as per summon.

However, a team of her staff and party colleagues escorting her were told they had to leave the large Police compound situated in Kacyiru – just within reach of the Office of the President and the American embassy. But the Police let Ingabire to stay with her lawyer Mr. Protais Mutembe.

A source told RNA that the FDU-Inkingi group was informed by the lawyer an hour and half later that Ms. Ingabire was now in detention at Kicukiro police station, which is in another party of Kigali. This essentially means, as party members waited close-by, their boss was transferred to jail.

“We are worried about her because we don’t know what is going on,” a party source said.

Last month, Police detectives refused Ms. Ingabire from leaving the country. She was at the Kanombe International Airport preparing to go to the Netherlands where her family is still staying. Police said she could not leave the country as there were investigations about her.

A top police detective Tony Kuramba handed Ms. Ingabire a written summon to appear in his office the following day for more interrogation, also informing her that she was not allowed to moved out of the country without assent from the authorities.

If found guilty, Ms. Ingabire risks dozens of years behind bars – thanks to a controversial Genocide Ideology law that promulgated three years ago. Under fire from donors and rights groups, government announced two weeks ago that it was reviewing the law.

Critics say the law is being used to stifle free press and silence the opposition. Other quarters say the same law, which came with a constitutional amendment, is vague.


April 21, 2010   1 Comment

Rwanda: Opposition Leader Victoire Ingabire arrested

Victoire Ingabire, Chair of FDU-Inkingi

Victoire Ingabire, Chair of FDU-Inkingi

Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: icon of the struggle for freedom, democracy and justice in Rwanda arrested.

Brussels, 21st April 2010

Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: icon of the struggle for freedom, democracy and justice in Rwanda arrested

UDF-Inkingi Support Committee demands her immediate and unconditional release.

The UDF – Inkingi Support Committee condemns in the strongest terms possible the arrest this morning of the party Chair, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, for her views on how to bring about genuine national reconciliation and peace through the rule of law and equal opportunity and how to end the cycle of political violence through a non violent, peaceful democratic competition for and exercise of power.

We know that this violent arrest will not deter her determination, instead its prompts the struggle of this freedom icon to a higher level.

It is a tragedy for Rwanda that a call for justice for all Rwandans irrespective of political and ethnic affiliation and for an all inclusive national dialogue to give their views on how to put in place institutions that reassure every Rwandans is turned into accusations of: genocide ideology, divisionism and collaboration with a terrorist organisation FDLR.

Such a barbaric and unlawful act against a peace loving mother who braved the system to show that there is another way to bring about lasting peace and development in Rwanda is not only a challenge to the conscience and dignity of the Rwandan people but also to the international community, in particular foreign governments who are sponsoring the government.

It is an irony and a challenge to the international community that this is happening at a time when the Governor General of Canada, a lady herself and whose government was not only at the forefront of countries that sponsored Rwanda to join the commonwealth on the grounds that it meets democratic standards and other values of that organisation, is visiting the country.
During the visit she is scheduled to meet the women and men of Kibirizi and participate in a discussion on the growing participation of women in Rwandan society.

We call upon governments and peace loving people and organisations to support us in getting our chair immediately and unconditionally released.

For the UDF INKINGI Support Committee
Eugene Ndahayo, President.

April 21, 2010   No Comments

Victoire Ingabire on Rwanda army unrest

Rwanda Defence Force: Stability is a key factor

Kigali – Repeating news confirm beyond any doubt a worrying state of instability and unrest within the high level of the RDF national army.
Some senior military officers and Commanders are either fleeing the homeland, others are arbitrary detained, and others are arrested, questioned or sacked. There is a problem.

The Rwanda Defence Force is a key factor for the stability of this country. Many Rwandans respect the motto saying: “In the RDF, good leadership; discipline; mutual trust and respect between members; respect for the law and enduring loyalty to the constitution, are the cornerstone of our success and constant ability to be a force for good”.
In this respect, we strongly advocate for professionalism, carrier stability and leadership empowerment.

As the presidential election looms, Rwandans can not afford a never ending political and military crisis. The shrinking tiny political space, the harassment of opposition leaders, the censorship of newspapers and uncertainty within the army leadership are serious red-flags for an urgent talk between all the stakeholders.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza,
April 21, 2010.

April 21, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire arrested

Victoire Ingabire, chair of opposition party FDU-Inkingi

Victoire Ingabire, chair of opposition party FDU-Inkingi

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the leader of the yet-to-be-registered FDU-Inkingi, has been arrested this morning April 21st. She has been taken to the Kicukiro Police station.
More details later…

April 21, 2010   No Comments

Canada’s Governor General Michaëlle Jean arrives in Rwanda

The Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, greeting Rwandan officials on her arrival last evening. She was received by Prime Minister Bernard Makuza and a host of senior government officials. (Photo J Mbanda

The Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, greeting Rwandan officials on her arrival. She was received by Prime Minister Bernard Makuza and a host of senior government officials. (Photo J Mbanda

KIGALI – The Canada’s Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, last evening arrived in the country for a 3-day State visit.
Jean was received by the Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza, Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, the Minister in the President’s office Solina Nyirahabimana and Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Canada, Edda Mukabagwiza.

Also present to receive the Governor General was Canada’s High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ross Hynes and the Mayor of Kigali, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira.

The Haitian-born Governor General is expected to visit Kigali Memorial Centre at Gisozi this morning to pay her respects to the remains of over 250,000 laid to rest before heading to Urugwiro Village where she will hold talks with President Paul Kagame.

Jean, will also participate in interactive sessions with young Rwandans on the Genocide, human rights and reconciliation among other topics.

Tomorrow she will visit the National University of Rwanda where she will lay a wreath at the Genocide Monument the University.

She will then deliver the opening speech at a discussion on the role of the media in a democracy. The panel is organized by the NUR in co-operation with the Office of the High Commissioner of Canada to Rwanda.

The Governor General will also visit Nyamagabe to check on the Programme d’Appui à la Gouvernance locale du Rwanda (PAGOR), a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) which supports the Rwandan decentralization policy by strengthening local governance in two districts of the Southern Province; Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru.

Jean will meet the women and men of Kibirizi and participate in a discussion on the growing participation of women in Rwandan society and the challenges they face.


April 21, 2010   No Comments