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Human Rights groups launch legal action to force South African government to revoke the refugee status of Rwandan criminal General Kayumba Nyamwasa

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa: played key role in genocide against Hutus

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa: played key role in genocide against Hutus

Two human rights groups said Tuesday they have launched legal action to force South Africa to revoke the refugee status of former Rwandan army general Faustin Nyamwasa.

The groups said South Africa was violating its own refugees act and international law by granting exile to Nyamwasa, who has been accused of playing a catalytic role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

“Refugee law is intended to protect the vulnerable, not those who are the cause of the vulnerability,” said Alan Wallis, a lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, which brought the case together with the Consortium for Refugees and Migrant Rights.

Officials at South Africa’s home affairs ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.

Nyamwasa, formerly part of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s inner circle, fled to South Africa in February after being accused of corruption and abandoning his post as Rwanda’s envoy to India.

He was shot and wounded outside his Johannesburg home four months later in what South Africa’s foreign ministry described as an assassination attempt by foreign “security operatives”.

Pretoria recalled its ambassador to Rwanda in the wake of the incident.

Nyamwasa’s presence has caused diplomatic headaches for South Africa.

Spain and France are both seeking to extradite him for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed.

Rwanda also wants to bring him home to serve a 24-year prison sentence after a military court tried him in absentia on charges of desertion, defamation and threatening state security.

Nyamwasa was tried with three other former top officials who co-authored a document slamming what they said was the repression of freedoms in Rwanda since Kagame’s arrival in 1994.

He also faces terrorism charges for allegedly masterminding grenade attacks last year in Kigali in the run-up to presidential elections.

Nyamwasa served as chief of staff in the Rwandan army and is accused of orchestrating the shooting down of an aircraft carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana — an event that heightened ethnic tensions and helped spark the genocide.

He is also accused of involvement in the killing of civilians in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, including 2,500 Hutu refugees.


June 15, 2011   1 Comment

Do Rwandan Tutsi dissidents Kayumba Nyamwasa, Karegeya and RUD-Urunana collaborate with FDLR?

No Documented Collaboration Among Kayumba Nyamwasa, Karegeya RUD-Urunana and FDLR, UN Experts Says

In their interim report published on June 7, 2011 and presented in front of the United Nations Sanctions Committee, the UN Panel of experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) �have rejected Rwandan Government�s allegations accusing two exiled Tutsi military leaders General Kayumba Nyamwasa and Colonel Karegeya of collaborating with the Hutu rebel groups of� Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) and� Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana).

The Group would like to clarify that, contrary to reports in the Rwandan press, the Group�s final report in November 2010 did not document any substantial links�with, or material support to, FDLR by the Rwandan dissidents Colonel Patrick Karegeya and Lieutenant General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, aside from a potential emissary who may have visited armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2010, � the UN experts said.

On January 21, 2011, during a summit of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (Communaut� �conomique des pays des Grands Lacs, CEPGL) in Kigali, �Rwandan Government officials had alleged that �an alliance between armed groups operating in Rutshuru, with the alleged support of Rwandan dissidents Lieutenant General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa and Colonel Patrick Karegeya, had the potential to destabilize the whole region

The UN Experts added that� RUD Urunana leaders denied any collaboration between RUD-Urunana and FDLR or RUD-Urunana and� Rwandan National Congress (RNC), a political organization linked to the two exiled Tutsi high ranking officers. RUD-Urunana and another� Rwandan Tutsi rebel group, the Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR) form the National Democartic Congress (NDC).

The experts said: �At the outset of its mandate, the Group met with the Secretary-General of RUD, F�licien Kanyamibwa, and its spokesperson Augustin Dakuze, who sought to respond to the Group�s final report of 2010 (S/2010/596). They denied any responsibility for events ending the Kasiki demobilization process in February 2009, instead blaming its failure on alleged attacks by Rwandan forces, the outcome of a visit to assess conditions in Rwanda in January 2009 and the rapprochement between the Governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They also disavowed political connections with FDLR or the Rwandan National Congress.��(see also AfroAmerica Network article: UN Security Council Meet Rwandan Opposition Leaders of February 9, 2011)

However, the UN Experts confirmed that Tribert Rujugiro, a Rwandan Tutsi magnate and a personnal advisor to the Rwandan dictator� General Paul Kagame was funding the Congolese rebels of the CNDP.� According the the UN Experts: �the Group gathered testimony from numerous�CNDP officers that Mr. Rujugiro provided support to their movement. These allegations were confirmed by at least three independent sources.�� The UN Experts also confirmed that Tribert Rujugiro is a Congolese, not a Rwandan because ��in contrast, the documents annexed as �Exhibit L�, pertaining to the lands owned and acquired by Mr. Rujugiro, all indicate that Mr. Rujugiro was born on 4 August 1941 in the locality of Jomba, which is in Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu Province, and that he has Congolese nationality. These documents are duly dated and signed.�

A final report from the UN Group of Experts will be issued in November 2011.

[AfroAmerica Network]

June 15, 2011   1 Comment