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Kagame’s Advisor Reverend Rick Warren on Trial

By Ann Garrison

Reverend Rick Warren and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo via

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, presidential candidate of the Rwandan FDU-Inkingi Party, is going on trial in Rwanda.  Ingabire is charged with “genocide ideology,” a statutory speech crime unique to Rwanda, and of an “association crime,” associating with terrorists.

Eight days after Ingabire’s arrest on April 21 in Rwanda’s capital,  Kigali, a team of U.S. lawyers filed a civil lawsuit against Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Oklahoma City alleging Kagame ordered the political assassinations that triggered the Rwanda Genocide, costing one million Rwandan lives, and that he engaged in racketeering to control the vast natural resources of eastern Congo across Rwanda’s western border at a cost of six-million Congolese lives.

Rev. Rick Warren is member of Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Council (PAC). Read Rwanda: Presidential Advisory Council members meet in Kigali
Read also: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame announces: “They call me Hitler”

The international legal strategies and geostrategic implications of these parallel, competing courtroom dramas, are huge and historic.  Like any trials of such import, they will become trials in the court of public opinion.

And, California’s most famous Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage campaigner, Reverend Rick Warren, will stand trial in that court as well.  Warren has staked his reputation as an international humanitarian on his alliance with Kagame, and on his Rwandan and Ugandan HIV/AIDS ministries, which are infamous for hijacking PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in service to his abstinence-only-until-heterosexual-married -monogamy-for-life agenda.

[read full article at fogcityjournal]

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May 7, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda sends prison wardens to Haiti

Kigali — As announced by the Commissioner General of Prison Services, Mary Gahonzire, four prison warders from the Rwanda Prison Services headed on Thursday for the United Nations peace keeping mission in Haiti to assist with peacekeeping efforts.
According to Gahonzire, the prison officers all of whom are experienced in various fields in line with the prison services are going to help in training and advising in Haiti.
These will soon be followed by two other prison officers. In the meantime, 34 other officers are being prepared for the mission in case need arises.

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May 7, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Ex-FDLR officer admits terrorism charges and claims complicity with Victoire Ingabire’s FDU-Inkingi

Kigali – The third ex-FDLR senior officer, Capt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta, who prosecutor alleges had plans with Ms. Victoire Ingabire to create an armed rebellion against Rwandan government has appeared Thursday before the Gasabo Intermediate Court.

Capt. Karuta was separately charged Thursday, although he shares the charge sheet with Lt. Col. Tharcisse Nditurende and Lt. Col Noel Habiyaremye who appeared before court last week. All those ex-FDLR senior officers are being presented by the prosecution as crucial evidence against Victoire Ingabire.

Appearing before Judge Morris Mbishibishi, Capt. Karuta said he abandoned the FDLR forces last year– surrendered with wife and children to UN demobilization officials. He was handed to Rwanda authorities in October and was sent straight to the demobilization centre in Mutobo – Northern Rwanda.

He spent two months going through the demobilization curriculum along with some 361 other combatants. On December 22 last year, Capt. Karuta and others completed their training, were given a financial and material package and went home in Cyangugu – Western Rwanda.

It is not clear how he ended up in the hands of government prosecutors to be tried and paraded as an accomplice to Ms Victoire Ingabire, Chairperson of the United Democratic Forces Inkingi (UDF-Inkingi).

Karuta was yesterday being addressed to as Captain NOT Lieutenant as previously indicated by the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga in media interviews.

Prosecution claims Capt. Karuta met FDU-Inkingi officials Victoire Ingabire and Jean Baptiste Mberabahizi (exiled in Belgium) in Kinshasa in 2008. Apparently, the two FDU-Inkingi officials asked the FDLR officer to formulate a detailed list of all the needs which would lead to the formation of a new rebel group named by the prosecution as FDU-Inkingi/CDF.

Karuta had allegedly been sent to meet Ingabire and her colleague by Lt. Col. Tharcisse Nditurende who would eventually head this rebel force. These details were also presented on the charges of Nditurende and Habiyaremye last week. Court also heard that plans of that new rebel force which would be an alternative to the FDLR were in advanced stages.

After hearing his charge sheet, Capt. Karuta admitted to all the charges. The defense lawyer however said Capt. Karuta deserves bail due to his specific circumstances, but prosecutor Richard Muhumuza dismissed it arguing that the ex-rebel officer could flee back to the Congo forests.

The defense wondered how prosecution could claim their client can go back to eastern DR Congo when he decided to return to Rwanda with his family as a matter of choice.
Capt. Karuta said he handed himself willingly to demobilization officials from DR Congo forests, that he has a home in Nyamasheke (Cyangugu, Western Province) and did not intend to leave what he called “my country” again.

Presiding Judge Mbishibishi ruled that court will decide on the bail application on Monday next week.
The accused was immediately driven away by security operatives to unknown destination.

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May 7, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: FDU-Inkingi denied again right to hold constitutional congress

Kigali – On April 28th, UDF-Inkingi introduced for the fourth time its application to hold its constitutional congress. This was but an appeal to the Governor of Kigali City to reconsider our case, for we considered that the Mayor of Nyarugenge District had refused to allow this congress on baseless grounds.

Today things are getting much clearer and clearer. As a matter of fact, reasons put forward by both authorities are too simplistic to account for the refusal of the UDF-Inkingi national congress. Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has been put under endless police investigations and is now under house arrest because the RPF dictatorial regime wants it so and not because she or her organization have been found guilty of whatsoever. Such manoeuvres are meant to blot her personal image as well as that of UDF-Inkingi, not only to disqualify her as a Presidential candidate but also to hinder the establishment of her organization as a genuine opposition party inside Rwanda.

UDF-Inkingi understands that the current regime in Rwanda has decided to thoroughly lock up political space and does not intend to allow us to exercise our political rights. Today we introduce again our appeal directed to the Minister of Local Government. If ever he too rejects our application to hold the constitutional congress, it will be then obvious that our endeavours to make our organization be recognized and registered as a political party are but a mist.

We call the Rwandan people and the international community to witness the suffering UDF-Inkingi and her Chairperson and Presidential candidate Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza have been undergoing in their efforts to respect and follow legal procedures for the sake of the party registration.

Sylvain Sibomana
FDU-Inkingi Interim Secretary General
Kigali, May 6th, 2010

May 7, 2010   No Comments