Rwandan soldier killed in Darfur in attack on peacekeeping forces
United Press International
25 November 2013
KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Rwandan soldier serving with international peacekeeping forces was killed in an ambush Monday in North Darfur, U.N. officials say.
The non-commissioned officer died in an attack on a convoy of 60 Rwandan soldiers, the Sudan Times reported.
In a statement, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, referred to as UNAMID, said the attack occurred near Kabkabiya, near the border with Chad. (read more)
Rwanda senate approves genocide law By AFP 31 July 2013
Rwanda’s Upper House Wednesday unanimously passed a Bill amending a law against “genocide ideology” that had been criticised as muzzling free speech and suppressing opposition, an AFP reporter said.
Rwanda adopted the original law in 2008, 14 years after extremists from the Hutu majority killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in one of history’s worst genocides.
Rwanda’s Lower House unanimously passed the Bill earlier this month, and the Senate passed it on Wednesday.
“The next step will be for the president to sign it and it will be published in the official gazette,” said Deputy Attorney-General Jean Pierre Kayitare.
“This means that as soon as it is published, the old law will be repealed and all cases in court related to genocide ideology will immediately start using the new law.”
Rights groups had criticised the original law as too vague and said it was being used to crack down on opposition to the regime of President Paul Kagame, who led a Tutsi rebellion to take power in 1994 and end the genocide.
Under the amended law, criminal intent must be proved, and an act of inciting genocide must be carried out in front of more than one person.
The Bill punishes only “an intentional act” in public, whether in a speech, writing, video or other medium.
The action must be “characterised by thoughts based on ethnicity, religion, nationality or race to foment genocide and/or support genocide,” it reads.
Prison sentences are also reduced from 25 years to a maximum of nine in line with a new penal code that has lowered sentences in general.
Rights group admits Congo report error but conclusions stand By Louis Charbonneau 23 July 2013
UNITED NATIONS, July 23 (Reuters) - Human Rights Watch acknowledged on Tuesday including erroneous testimony in a report alleging that rebels in Congo carried out summary executions, raped women and recruited children while getting support from Rwanda, but said it stands by the report's conclusions. Rwanda rejected the rights campaigner's allegations, saying that the inclusion of incorrect testimony in the group's press release on Monday undermines the entire report.(read more)
Rwanda: 83 Percent Rwandans Believe Genocide Will Never Occur Again - Survey By Irene Nayebare and Sarah Kwihngana 19 July 2013
Eighty-three per cent of Rwandans believe genocide will never occur again in the country, arguing that the underlying causes have been dealt with, a new report by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission has said. The report, launched yesterday, was a qualitative assessment of the Reconciliation Barometer that was initiated by the commission in 2010. (read more)
Calls grow for Rwanda’s president to rule beyond 2017, fuelling concern among his critics By Associated Press 10 July 2013
KAMPALA, Uganda — Adoring crowds swarm around Rwanda’s president when he travels across the country, many begging him to run again when his current term expires.
In the state-controlled press, more and more admirers are heaping praise on President Paul Kagame and urging a change in the country’s constitution so that it would allow him more time in office.(read more)
Rwanda Clarifies DRC Position On Cessation Clause By News Of Rwanda 23 April 2013
Rwanda has dismissed media reports suggesting that DR Congo does not approve of the implementation of the cessation clause which removes refugee status on Rwandan refugees spread across the world. The DRC North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku told MONUSCO's Radio Okapi yesterday that his government had rejected the Pretoria resolutions at the Ministerial meeting in South Africa on April 18 where Rwanda renewed its desire to have all refugees returning home or remaining in host countries as nationals not refugees. According to Radio Okapi, the North Kivu Governor said that his country had refused such agreement, because it would automatically turn the Rwandan refugees into Congolese. Speaking on American broadcaster VOA Tuesday morning, Rwanda's Minister of disaster management and refugee affairs, Ms Seraphine MUKANTABANA said the media reports were wrong and misleading. The minister added that the Radio Okapi report was "shocking" as she had not heard anything like that officially from DRC. (read more)
Rwanda: Policies in Rwanda Should Be Set in Consideration of Genocide History – Kabarebe by News of Rwanda 15 April 2013
The Minister of Defence Gen. James Kabarebe has said that any policy in Rwanda must take into consideration the history of Genocide against Tutsi. He made the statement at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) where he was addressing the community in the framework of the 19th commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi. Kabarebe introduced his presentation by hailing NUR for its initiative of organizing the commemorative activities which he described as a contribution to build a bright future of Rwanda. (read more)
Rwanda : 25 ans de prison requis en appel contre l'opposante Ingabire Par Jeune Afrique 17 Avril 2013
Le Parquet rwandais a requis, le 16 avril, une peine de 25 ans de prison contre l'opposante Victoire Ingabire, jugée en appel après avoir été condamnée à huit ans de prison en première instance pour "conspiration" et négation du génocide de 1994. Le plaidoyer est prévu jeudi. Sept mois plus tôt, elle risquait la prison à vie, Victoire Ingabire n’avait écopé finalement que huit ans d’emprisonnement. En octobre 2012, lors du procès en première instance, si le procureur avait requis la perpétuité contre l'opposante rwandaise, les juges ne l'avaient pas suivi, acquittant l'accusée notamment des chefs de « propagation de l'idéologie de génocide » et « mise en place d'un groupe armé ». (en lire plus)
Rwanda: UN Admits Failure in 1994 Genocide, Pledges Support By Dawnn Anderson and Eugene Kwibuka, The New Times 11 April 2013
The United Nations has pledged to unreservedly support Rwanda's road towards development, self-reliance, and peace after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, despite the organisation's poor response during the Genocide.
The pledge was highlighted by the UN Resident Coordinator, Lamin M. Manneh, during an event organised by the entire UN staff in Rwanda to mark the 19th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi, and to remember former UN employees killed in the Genocide. (read more)
Why President Kagame Runs Rwanda Like a Business By Justin Fox , Harvard Business Review 04 April 2013
In Western business circles, Rwandan President Paul Kagame is widely regarded as a hero. The leader of the rebel army that put a halt to the massacre of the country's Tutsi minority by its Hutu majority in 1994, Kagame has been the country's president since 2000 (and was the vice president and de facto leader before then). He has presided over an economic and social rebirth, with Rwanda making dramatic gains in health and development indicators (watching its recent progress on Gapminder is a remarkable sight). And he has assembled a high-powered Western fan club consisting of, among others, Howard Schultz, Bill Gates, and Tony Blair.
Rwanda: Simbikangwa to Appear Before French Court Over Genocide By Jean De La Croix Tabaro, in The New Times 2 April 2013
Prosecution in France has obtained, from the Paris intermediate court, an order to file a case against Pascal Simbikangwa in criminal courts. Simbikangwa is accused of complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. According to media reports, prosecution in France accused him of having armed Interahamwe militia and ordered them to kill Tutsis, especially in the former Gisenyi prefecture in the north west of the country. The investigation over the role Simbikangwa played during 1994 Genocide against Tutsi started in 2009, one year after he was arrested in Mayotte, a French island. Later on, he was transferred to a prison based in France Metropolitan. A former army captain and member of the intelligence in the genocidal regime, also believed to be one of the 'Akazu extremist group', Simbikangwa would be the first Rwandan tried by French courts. According to French laws, Simbikangwa has ten days to appeal over this decision. (read more)
Rwanda won't accept victimization over DRC By: New Vision Online (UG) 30 March 2013
President Paul Kagame has said Rwanda will not be victimized over the DR Congo crisis, which it neither created, nor compounds. Speaking at the leadership retreat at Gabiro School of Infantry in Rwanda on Thursday, Kagame said last year’s high-level UN meeting on the DR Congo crisis on September 27, in New York, was convened to “hang” Rwanda. (read more)
US indicates Rwanda hasn’t assured safe passage of Congolese warlord at embassy By Associated Press 20 March 2013
NAIROBI, Kenya — The United States appears to be worried that Rwanda won’t allow a warlord from Congo now camped out in the U.S. Embassy safe passage to the airport to be flown to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. (read more)
Photo: Paulo Filgueiras /UN
Rwanda: In the Shadow of the Baobab - Kagame Blows Cold and Hot On a Third Mandate Analysis by Kris Berwouts, African Arguments/ All Africa 18 March 2013
In October 1990, after Fred Rwigyema's death on the third day the struggle to conquer Rwanda, Paul Kagame took over the command over the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and led it to victory in July 1994.
He became Vice-President and Minister of Defense in the transitional government installed after the Rwandan genocide. In March 2000, President Pasteur Bizimungu felt that he could no longer contribute to a regime dominated by the RPF. He resigned and Kagame became the Head of State. He has subsequebtly won presidential elections in 2003 and 2010.
In 2017, when his second mandate as an elected President expires, he will have led the RPF for 27 years and will have been Rwanda's most powerful individual for 23 years (for 17 of which he has been the country's President). The Constitution, adopted by referendum in May 2003, foresees a maximum of two consecutive mandates for the Head of State. This means that he cannot stand for a new term in 2017. (read more)
Rwanda: French Prosecutors Call for Genocide Trial of Former Rwandan Army Captain.
4 MARCH 2013
French prosecutors have called for a former captain in the Rwandan army to be put on trial for his alleged role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
Investigating magistrates will decide whether Pascal Simbikangwa, who was arrested on the French island of Mayotte in 2008, will face charges of "complicity in genocide" and "complicity in crimes against humanity".
If the 53-year old is charged, it would be France's first attempt to prosecute over the genocide.
In 1994, Simbikangwa was an intelligence officer under Rwanda's Hutu government led by president Juvénal Habyarimnana.
Habyarimnana's assassination in April that year led to the genocide of up to a million people, mostly Tutsis, in the space of 100 days. In early 2010, France established a new unit to investigate cases of genocide and crimes against humanity involving suspects detained in France.
Simbikangwa has been held in detention in France since his arrest.France has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, fearing they would be denied a fair trial, but it has sent some to Tanzania to be tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Several reports and investigations, including those carried out by France, Rwanda and the United Nations, have criticised France's role in Rwanda during the genocide.
The issue remains a sore point in relations between France and Rwanda.
The search for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues. On Sunday 24th February, a peace plan for the country was signed in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, by several countries, blocs and organisations with a stake in the stability of the DRC and the wider region.
They included the United Nations, African Union, member countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern Africa Development Community. SADC) Does this mean that the long suffering Congolese are about to see the end of their misery? You would have to be an incorrigible optimist even to imagine that. There are many sceptics who will actually say that there have been such plans and agreements before and they have all come to nought. They will ask: has anything changed? Is there a stronger will that will push what has hitherto been immovable? Others will point to the large number of countries and organisations involved and say not much can come from such a diverse group. (read more)
Convicted NH Woman Might Be Sent Back to Rwanda
By Lynne Tuohy
February 21, 2013
A woman convicted of lying about her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide to obtain U.S. citizenship could be sent back to her native country.
A federal judge stripped Rwanda native Beatrice Munyenyezi of her U.S. citizenship after a jury convicted her on Thursday of two counts of masking her role in the genocide to gain refugee status and ultimately citizenship.
Munyenyezi, 43, is back behind bars, where she spent 22 months between her indictment in 2010 and the jury deadlocking in her first trial last year. She was released to home confinement in Manchester the month after that mistrial. She faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in June and could face deportation back to Rwanda, an impoverished African country, if her appeals fail. (read more)
Rwanda: Mugesera Pleads Not Guilty
BY JEAN DE LA CROIX TABARO
The New York Times
15 FEBRUARY 2013
Genocide suspect Leon Mugesera yesterday pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges prosecution placed against him.
He was charged with inciting the masses to take part in genocide, planning and preparing genocide, conspiracy in the crime of genocide, torture as a crime against mankind, and inciting hatred among people.
Previously, the former lecturer refused to plead guilty or not guilty when his trial started at the Special Chamber of High Court.
But during yesterday's hearing, court again asked Mugesera to respond to the charges against him after he admitted that he attended the Kabaya meeting in the former Gisenyi prefecture, where he made the speech that forms the basis of the prosecution charges. (read more)
Jury gets case in Rwanda native's trial in NH
By LYNNE TUOHY
February 20, 2013
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Did Beatrice Munyenyezi have ‘‘a front row seat’’ on the 1994 Rwanda genocide, as prosecutors say, or was she the scared, pregnant young mother who left her native country for the U.S. as her lawyers portrayed her to be?
For the second time in a year a federal jury must decide the answer and her fate, after jurors last March deadlocked on who she was and what she did during the 100-day massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus by the extremist Hutu militia.
The jury heard closing arguments Wednesday and is to begin deliberations Thursday. Munyenyezi has not taken the stand in her defense at either trial. (read more)
Rwanda: ICTR Speaks Out On Genocide Cases in France
BY EDWIN MUSONI
20 FEBRUARY 2013
The Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has said that structural concerns are the reason France has delayed to try cases of Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and Laurent Bucyibaruta which were referred to Paris under the tribunal's completion strategy in 2007.
Christopher Bongani Majola was addressing a news briefing after meeting with the Justice Minister, Tharcisse Karugarama, yesterday.
He outlined a series of reasons as to why the two cases referred to France have not been tried up to date.
"The issue of the two cases transferred to France remain of grave concern to the entire tribunal. The cases have been delayed for quite a long time but the ICTR has not just sat down and done nothing. We have sent delegations to France to express our concerns that the investigations are moving slowly and that they are not reaching the trial stage," said Majola. (read more)
Norway: Rwandan Convicted for His Role in 1994 Genocide
The Associated Press
14 February 2013
A Norwegian court on Thursday convicted a Rwandan man living in Norway for participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and sentenced him to 21 years in prison. The Oslo District Court found the man, Sadi Bugingo, 47, guilty of complicity in the premeditated killings of at least 2,000 people belonging mainly to the Tutsi ethnic group. Mr. Bugingo, who denied all the charges, said he would appeal. He arrived in Norway in 2001. He was granted a residence permit in 2005 and worked in Bergen until he was arrested in 2011. The United Nations estimated that 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide, carried out by Hutu extremists against the Tutsi minority and Hutu moderates. (Read More)
Rwanda: Huye Murder Trial Kicks Off
By Jean Pierre Bucyensenge 16 November 2012
Nyanz — A judge at the itinerant chamber of the High Court in Nyanza has set December 14 for the ruling in the case against the Executive Secretary of Kigoma Sector, Huye District, Festus Habyarimana and four conspirators who were charged with murder. Besides Habyarimana, the others are Police constables Fabiola Uwiragiye and Frank Rugamba as well as Steven Karemera a.k.a Maridadi, a reservist. A fifth suspect, also a reservist, David Ngezahayo, was absent in the court when the hearing opened on Thursday. He is said to be out on bail. They are facing the charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and violation of a person's domicile. (read more)
Arusha — The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda expects to complete all its judicial activities by the end of 2014, in accordance with a UN deadline, ICTR officials told Hirondelle on Thursday. To help the Tribunal meet the deadline, the UN set up the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which in July took over some of the ICTR's functions. "According to the current evaluation of the President (of the Tribunal), all the ICTR's judicial activities should be completed around December 31, 2014, as specified," said ICTR spokesperson Roland Amoussouga. The current President of the ICTR is Danish judge Vagn Joensen. "According to the President, there are now two main judicial tasks for the ICTR, which are to complete the last first-instance trial, and to clear all other judgments and decisions," said Amoussouga. The only trial still before a first-instance court is that of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware. A judgment is expected before the end of this year, according to Tribunal forecasts. (read more)
Rwanda opposition leader sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of treason, genocide denial
The Washington Post, Associated Press 30 October 2012
KIGALI, Rwanda — A Rwandan court sentenced the country’s top opposition political leader to eight years in prison on Tuesday for treason and on a charge stemming from this central African nation’s murderous ethnic attacks 18 years ago — genocide denial. The opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire, returned to Rwanda in 2010 after living abroad for 16 years and quickly visited the country’s genocide memorial, where she asked why Hutus killed in the violence were not recognized like the minority Tutsis were. She had planned to run for president but instead was arrested. More than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. In the wake of that violence, the government set out to de-emphasize ethnicity. Many in the country now identify themselves simply as a Rwandan, not a Hutu or Tutsi. (read more)
Rwanda: First Dutch Citizen to Face Genocide Charges
AllAfrica 22 October 2012
The 65-year old Yvonne Basebya Ntacyobatabara was living quietly with her husband in the southern Dutch province of Limburg when, in 2010, she was arrested on suspicion of genocide. She is accused of leading a group of young men in the mass murder of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Her trial begins today in a court in The Hague. Ntacyobatabara has had Dutch nationality since 2004 and, according to the Public Prosecutor's office, she is one of a number of Rwandans living in the Netherlands who may be guilty of war crimes. She denies all the charges. Her lawyer Victor Koppe claims the evidence against her is unreliable and that she in fact sheltered Tutsi children in her home near the capital Kigali while the genocide was taking place. More than 70 witnesses are expected to testify during the case which has taken many months to prepare. Both prosecutors and defence lawyers have travelled many times to Rwanda, and interviewed witnesses all around the world, including in America, South Africa, Switzerland, Malawi and Kenya. Ntacyobatabara is the first Dutch citizen to face genocide charges. The trial will take two months with a ruling not expected until 2013. (article)
Rwanda warns against cutting aid over Congo rebels
By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau, Reuters 18 October, 2012
UNITED NATIONS | - Rwanda's foreign minister warned on Thursday that it would be "the biggest mistake" for any countries to withdraw aid to Kigali over a U.N. report accusing Rwanda's defense minister of commanding rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States, Sweden and the Netherlands have all suspended some aid to Rwanda, which relies on donors for about 40 percent of its budget. Last month the European Union froze further budgetary support to Rwanda. However, Britain unblocked part of its cash in September, praising Rwanda for constructively pursuing peace. "It would be the biggest mistake that any donor country could make for Rwanda," Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Reuters at the United Nations, shortly after Rwanda won a seat on the U.N. Security Council. "Rwanda is deserving of aid." "I think Britain has made the right choice," she said. A confidential report by the Security Council's "Group of Experts," seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said Rwanda and Uganda - despite their strong denials - continued to support so-called M23 rebels with arms and troops in their six-month fight against Congolese troops in the east of the country. (read more)
Rwanda elected to UN Security Council amid investigation of its role in Congo rebellion
By The Washington Post, Associated Press 18 October 2012
UNITED NATIONS — Rwanda was among five nations elected to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, amid an ongoing investigation by a U.N. panel of its role in neighboring Congo’s rebellion. The election of Rwanda was likely to renew questions about the image of the council, as it tries to overcome division and find a way to end the war in Syria. The country relies on citizen militias for basic security, but do they have too much autonomy and power? An unpublished U.N. experts’ report, leaked to the media this week, accuses Rwanda and Uganda of actively supporting the M23 rebels in eastern Congo. Rwanda and Uganda deny the charges. The M23’s rebellion has caused more than 200,000 villagers in the province of North Kivu to flee their homes this year. Eastern Congo has been engulfed in fighting since the 1994 Rwanda genocide. (read more)
US Appeals Court Affirms Oklahoma Rwandan Ruling
Tim Talley, Associated Press October 11, 2012
A federal appeals court refused Wednesday to revive a lawsuit that alleges Rwandan President Paul Kagame ordered the deaths of the former leaders of Rwanda and Burundi. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver handed down the decision in a lawsuit filed by the widows of Juvenal Habyarimana, then president of Rwanda, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, the former president of Burundi. The two leaders were aboard an aircraft that was shot down by two surface-to-air missiles as it approached the Rwandan capital of Kigali on April 16, 1994. The decision by a three-judge panel of the appeals court says their deaths fueled the Rwandan genocide, which spread violence across East Central Africa and led to the deaths of between 500,000 and 1 million people. (read more)
Rwanda: Criminal Tribunal Ruling On Gatete a Disgrace
AllAfrica 11 October 2012
Insensitivity is the word that can best be suited to describe some judges of the International Criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). While judges are supposed to put away their emotions and biases, and base their decisions solely on evidence when deciding on a case, some of their actions leave one speechless. If someone can be found guilty of attempted murder and is given a life sentence, how can another be found guilty of mass murder by the ICTR and is given 15 years, serves three quarters of the sentence and set free on the streets? On many occasions, the trial chamber of the ICTR has found some of the most notorious mass murderers on this planet guilty of Genocide, and handed down a stiff sentence, only for the Appeals chamber to reduce it on some flimsy grounds. The "Mastermind of the Genocide", Col. Theoneste Bagosora and the "Butcher of Murambi", Jean Baptiste Gatete, and many others, were sentenced to life in prison, the Appeals Chamber came to the same conclusions but gave them reduced sentences, with the possibility of them walking the streets again - as is the case for some today. Is it because they don't really understand the gravity of Genocide or are they simply playing God - deciding on life or death when they feel like it - or are they simply insensitive by nature? (article)
Rwanda: International Court Reduces Suspect's Sentence to 40 Years
Edwin Musoni, AllAfrica 10 October 2012
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda yesterday cut the sentence of Jean Baptiste Gatete, popularly known as the Butcher of Murambi, to 40 years. Gatete had been sentenced to life. Gatete, a former director in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, is notorious in the former Murambi Commune, now in Eastern Province, where he had served as Bourgmestre (Mayor) many years prior to the Genocide. (read more)
Rwanda donors were too quick to suspend aid, says fragile states expert
Mark Tran, The Guardian 3 October, 2012
LSE's Professor James Putzel warns against aid donors sticking rigidly to formulas on democracy, human rights and governance Donors have acted hastily in suspending aid to Rwanda over allegations that it is supporting a rebel insurgency in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a leading expert on "fragile states". Professor James Putzel, co-author of Meeting the Challenges of Crisis States, a report from the London School of Economics, questioned the decision of the EU, the US and Germany in partially freezing aid to Rwanda amid accusations that its military is supporting the violent rebel group M23. President Paul Kagame has vehemently rejected the allegations. Britain's position has been more ambiguous: after initially freezing £16m of general budget support to the country in July, it unblocked half that amount last month, which provoked criticism. "Donors have been precipitous in suspending aid," said Putzel. "The evidence is much more mixed and it's complicated. Of course there are some ethnic and family links across the border, but generally the Rwandan government has been judicious in staying its hand." (read more)
Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, addresses the UN general assembly in New York last month. President Paul Kagame has strongly denied claims that Rwanda has backed rebel insurgents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA
Rwanda's Kagame defiant over accusations of backing Congo rebels
Jenny Clover, Reuters 4 October, 2012
* Western "bullies" are "dead wrong" -President Kagame * Says freezing aid an injustice, will make Rwandans defiant * Rwandan, Congo leaders fail to resolve row at UN meeting * Rebel crisis fuels tension in Africa's most volatile region
KIGALI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - President Paul Kagame said on Thursday Western governments were "dead wrong" in blaming Rwanda for the rebellion in neighbouring eastern Congo and threatening Kigali with aid cuts, and he pledged to stand firm against his accusers. The United States urged Rwanda on Monday to publicly condemn rebels who have seized parts of Congo's east, an appeal that highlighted U.S. frustration over Kigali's alleged involvement. Kagame has not openly denounced the M23 insurgency, and instead told parliament that wanton killings were being carried out in the Congo "in broad daylight" but not being condemned by that country's government or by the West. (read more)
Rwanda: Govt Must Investigate Unlawful Detention and Torture by Military Intelligence
AllAfrica, Amnesty International (London) 8 October, 2012
Rwanda's military intelligence department known as J2 has illegally held scores of civilians in military detention without charge or trial amid credible claims of torture, Amnesty International states today in a new report. Rwanda: Shrouded in Secrecy: Illegal Detention and Torture by Military Intelligence reveals unlawful detention, enforced disappearances, as well as allegations of torture by J2. The report details credible accounts of individuals being subjected to serious beatings, electric shocks and sensory deprivation to force confessions during interrogations. (read more)
Rwanda: World Leaders' Talk At UN Assembly Did More Harm Than Good
AllAfrica 1 October, 2012
The rhetoric during the just concluded United Nation's General Assembly was uncharacteristically sharp and some would say extremely undiplomatic. One after the other, leaders of nations the 193-nation body formed several decades ago to promote peace in the world, took the floor to throw insults, threaten violence, trade counter accusations. (read more)
At U.N., Rwanda defiantly rejects claims of Congo rebel support
Michelle Nichols, Reuters 27 September, 2012
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Rwanda defiantly denied claims at the United Nations on Thursday that it was aiding rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo and rejected U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's summary of a meeting on the crisis, diplomats said. According to Ban, most states attending a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Congolese President Joseph Kigali "condemned all forms of external support" to the rebels. Kagame said after the meeting that Rwanda rejected allegations it was supporting the M23 rebels and said that "solving the crisis will be impossible if the international community continues to define the issue erroneously." M23 rebels, who have ties to a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, Bosco Ntaganda, have been fighting government soldiers in eastern Congo's North Kivu province since April. Some 320,000 civilians have been displaced. (read more)
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joins the hands of Rwandan President Paul Kagame (R) and Congolese President Joseph Kabila (L) at a meeting during the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 27, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
Philip Gourevitch: Memory is a disease
Cecile Alduy, Boston Review 26 September, 2012
The New Yorker staff writer discusses the dangers of narrative simplification and the role of literary reportage On July 25, Philip Gourevitch gave the keynote address to the Human Rights Lecture Series at Stanford University. A long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, Gourevitch has written about the Iraq War and Abu Ghraib, the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, French politics, and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. His account of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was included in the Guardian’s list of the 100 greatest nonfiction books. In 2009, Gourevitch started reporting again from Rwanda. We met over drinks before his lecture to discuss the challenges of writing about the history that we are in the midst of making, the burdens of memory and the appeal of forgetting, the dangers of narrative simplification, the limits of humanitarianism, and the messiness of politics. (read more)
Rwanda Denies Supporting M23 in DRC, Cites 'Historical Reality'
Scott Stearns 27 September, 2012
UNITED NATIONS — Rwanda is rejecting United Nations allegations that it is backing a militia group in eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants an end to outside support for those rebel groups. Secretary-General Ban said the militia group known as M23 is consolidating its control over areas of Congo's North Kivu province. "Its members are raping, murdering and pillaging local populations as part of a campaign of terror," he said. In a meeting Thursday on the crisis, Ban said Congo's neighbors must abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting outside interference. "I am very concerned about continuing reports of external support for the M23. I call on all those responsible to end this destabilizing assistance. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC is inviolable and must be fully respected by all of the DRC's neighbors," said Ban. (read more)
M23 rebel fighters celebrate in the rain at Rumangabo after government troops abandoned the town 23 kilometers north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012. By Scott Stearns
Rwanda: Govt Committed to an Effective UN - Kagame
AllAfrica 26 September, 2012
President Paul Kagame, Tuesday evening, told the UN General Assembly that Rwanda is committed to a more effective United Nations and subscribes to the ideals and principles on which the world body was founded.
Speaking in New York, the President said Rwanda will continue to contribute towards various programmes for development and peace.
"From our role in promoting the Millennium Development Goals and supporting the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, to our troops participating in peace keeping missions, we hope to contribute and participate even more going forward," Kagame said.
Rwanda is the 6th largest contributor of peace keepers with troops deployed in five countries, including in Sudan's Darfur region and Haiti which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake that claimed more hundreds of thousand of lives and left over a million homeless.
He added that while Rwanda has had mixed experiences with the UN, since it became a member, of recent, the relationship has taken a positive dimension and there is optimism that it will remain positive. (read more)
Exclusive: Clinton presses Rwanda, DRC leaders on border crisis
Andrew Quinn, Reuters2 5 September, 2012
NEW YORK - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed the presidents of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to resolve a conflict over rebels in eastern Congo whose military advances have stoked tensions in one of Africa's most volatile regions.
Clinton sat down with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Congolese President Joseph Kabila in New York on Monday, delivering a firm message to both that steps must be taken to resolve the crisis, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. (read more)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the launch of the Equal Futures Partnership at the InterContinental Hotel in New York September 24, 2012.
Rwanda: Sweden to Try Genocide Suspect
Edwin Musoni, AllAfrica 25 September, 2012
Swedish authorities have announced that the trial of a man accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi is scheduled to begin in November.
According to Swedish prosecutor Magnus Elving, the man, whose identity has not been disclosed, obtained Swedish citizenship in 2008.
"He was arrested at the end of 2011 and has been held in detention since then, and I think he should be charged in November," Elving told AFP, adding that the trial should run from November to May.
The man is suspected of "the most serious crimes": genocide and crimes against international law, Elving said, and that it's the first time someone faces trial for genocide is Sweden.
If convicted, he faces Sweden's maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which means that after serving 10 years in prison he can ask a court to give him a set number of years behind bars. (read more)
Rwanda Recognised for Universal Healthcare
Evaline Namuwaya 21 September, 2012
Rwanda is one of the nine countries in Africa and Asia making significant progress to make universal healthcare systems possible, a new study shows. The study is part of a series of articles on health reforms published in the US-based scientific journal, The Lancet. It shows progress made by nine developing countries in Africa and Asia in extending healthcare to ever-widening sections of society, including the poor. These are Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mali, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
According to the study entitled "Moving towards Universal Health Coverage: Health Reforms in Nine Developing Countries in Africa and Asia" more than three-quarters of the populations of Rwanda and the Philippines are now enrolled in health insurance programmes. About half are covered in Ghana, Vietnam and Indonesia. Countries in the early stages of reform, like Mali, Kenya, India and Nigeria, cover less than 20 per cent. The nine countries have each reached a national consensus on the need to extend health care, but their approaches vary. (read more)
Rwanda is not an Authoritarian Regime
Michael Fairbanks, The New York Times 19 September, 2012
Michael Fairbanks is the co-founder of the SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic foundation in Cambridge, Mass.
Paul Kagame's critics say that he foments the war in Eastern Congo and suppresses opposition parties at home. These views prosper in the absence of facts. The government of Rwanda has been accused of cracking down on so-called opposition newspapers. On April 13, 2010, the government issued six-month suspensions to two Kinyarwanda-language newspapers, Umuvugizi and Umuseso, for publishing language such as the following: "He who refuses a peaceful political revolution makes a bloody revolution." (Umuseso) These words reflected reality on Feb. 19 and March 4 of that year, when terrorists threw grenades into public establishments in Kigali and killed innocent civilians. Rwanda knows a lot about freedom of speech and the role of the press. After all, the Hutu Power press helped ignite the 1994 genocide. Paul Kagame has successfully built modern institutions on traditional values. Today, Rwanda is a different place: growth has averaged almost 8 percent over the last decade, wages have increased by 30 percent in the key export sectors, street crime is almost unknown and corruption measures among the lowest in Africa. Two weeks ago, Rwanda was named the third most competitive economy in all of Africa, after South Africa and Mauritius. (read more)
Rwanda Genocide Fugitive May Be Hiding in Zimbabwe
ABC News 19 September, 2012
Zimbabwe police offer $5 million reward for information on a Rwandan genocide fugitive they say may be hiding in Zimbabwe. (read more)
Rwanda court grants 2-month delay to Canada deportee
AFP19 September, 2012
KIGALI — A Rwandan court on Tuesday granted a two-month adjournment to a former politician accused of incitement to genocide, who was deported from Canada in January after a prolonged legal battle, officials said. The postponement is to allow the accused, Leon Mugesera, extra time to study his 40,000-page case file from Canada. (read more)
Rwanda: Mugesera Substantive Trial Begins Today Edwin Musoni, All Africa 17 September 2012
The High Court will today start hearing in substance, the case involving Genocide suspect, Leon Mugesera, Prosecution Spokesman Alain Mukurarinda told The New Times yesterday. Mugesera is accused of making an infamous speech in 1992 that allegedly played a major role in sparking the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in which radical ethnic Hutus killed more than one million Tutsi. He was in January this year deported from Canada after losing a legal battle that lasted close to two decades.He has since January battled with the courts on his pre-trial making several applications that he appealed against in different courts.(read more)
Heroes Of Genocide: Australian Exhibit Celebrates Ordinary People Who Stood Up To Evil
Huffington Post By Dominique Mosbergen 26 July 2012
In 1994, Rwanburindi Enoch and his wife were a relatively prosperous Hutu couple, living a quiet and fulfilling life in their village in Rwanda. But within the span of a few traumatic weeks, Enoch's country was rocked by a genocide so swift and brutal that almost 20 percent of its population was eventually wiped out by militants. Over the course of approximately 100 days, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in Rwanda. With ethnic tensions and fear of persecution running high, many Hutus either adopted the Hutu Power ideology or turned a blind eye to the violence around them. (Read More)
Graveyard in Rwanda AP/Wide World Photo
Country Profile: Rwanda, a country still recovering from genocide
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 killed 800 000 Rwandans in 100 days - Africa’s fastest, intentionally planned genocide. It was a glaring example of the failure of international institutions like the UN and of leading nation-states like the US, Belgium, France, and the UK to prevent or stop genocide. It was a shocking reminder that genocide has happened again and again since 1945. The “Never Again” in UN resolutions after the Holocaust proved to be an empty promise. Rwanda shocked the world.
The Rwandan genocide was followed by innumerable reports, by the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1995, by the International Criminal Court in 2002, and by a new emphasis on prevention at the United Nations symbolized in 2004 by creation of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide. Genocide Watch played a major role in all of these initiatives.
The 1994 genocide followed generations of ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. Belgian colonialism played a significant role in establishing the divide between the two groups, by issuing identification cards in 1933. They included each individual’s group identity, Tutsi, Hutu or Twa. They thus reified group identity for each person and made changes from one group to another quite difficult. One’s group identity was patrilineal. If one’s father was Tutsi, one was Tutsi, even if the Tutsi father had married a Hutu and one’s mother was Hutu.
Prior to independence, Belgian colonialists ruled indirectly through the Tutsi aristocracy, and Tutsis received preference for placement in secondary schools, government, and the priesthood. This order was turned on its head from 1959 to 1962, as Rwanda became independent. There were many anti-Tutsi massacres, and hundreds of thousands of Tutsis fled into neighboring Uganda and into Tutsi ruled Burundi. From independence in 1962 until 1994, the single political party associated with the Hutu majority ruled the country and discriminated against the Tutsi minority. The dehumanization of Tutsis was a prominent feature of genocidal massacres in 1959, 1962, and 1972.
In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group led by Tutsi refugees in Uganda, invaded Rwanda. Its leaders had risen to prominent positions in the Ugandan army. Full civil war broke out, and the RPF moved swiftly. They were repulsed by the Rwandan Armed Forces before they conquered Kigali only with considerable assistance from France. A ceasefire was declared, and the RPF began negotiations with the Rwanda government. The Arusha Peace Accords were signed in 1993 by Rwandan President Habyarimana and by the RPF. The Arusha Accords would have opened the Rwandan political system to multi-party elections, abolished ethnic ID cards, and established a government of national unity that included RPF representatives.
Hutu Power advocates believed the Arusha Accords gave up far too much power, and they formed extremist political parties to oppose implementation of the agreement. They also planned the Rwandan genocide, organized, trained and armed militias (the interahamwe) to do most of the killing, established hate radio stations (Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines) that relentlessly called Tutsis “cockroaches” and aggravated ethnic tensions, and assassinated moderate Hutu leaders who opposed genocide.
Le Rwanda va se pencher sur les cas de tortures à l'égard de ses ressortissants en RDC
27 juillet 2012
La ministre rwandaise des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopératon, Mme Louise Mushikiwabo, a qualifié jeudi d''incident extrêmement grave', le maltraitement de ressortissants rwandais qui continuent d'être la cible aux tortures par l'armée de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), notamment dans la partie est du pays.
Cette déclaration d'un officiel rwandais intervient après la mort d'un ressortissant rwandais qui a succombé des conséquences de la torture qui lui a été infligée dans un camp militaire de Katindo situé à l'est de la RDC, selon un communiqué officiel transmis à la PANA à Kigali. (read more)
Mandat du personnel du tribunal pour le Rwanda
1 juillet 2012
Le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a décidé d'autoriser quatre magistrats du tribunal de l'ONU jugeant les crimes graves commis durant le génocide rwandais de 1994 à servir au delà de leurs mandats prévus, afin que le tribunal puisse terminer sa tâche d'ici la date butoir de décembre 2014.
Dans une résolution adoptée à l'hunaminité, le Conseil a décidé que le Juge William Sekule de la Tanzanie, le Juge Solomy Balungi Bossa et le Juge Mparany Mamy Richard Rajohnson de Madagascar pourront rester en poste jusqu'à l'aboutissement des procès qu'ils ont entamés avant la date d'expiration de leurs mandats fixés au 30 juin'. (read more)
Rwandan ex-army official jailed for life over genocide
19 June 2012
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The U.N. war crimes court for Rwanda sentenced former military officer Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life in prison on Tuesday after he was found guilty of involvement in his country's 1994 genocide.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Arusha in Tanzania, convicted Nizeyimana, 48, of authorising the killing of Rwanda's former Tutsi queen, Rosalie Gicanda, towards the end of April 1994, and other murders.
"Having considered the gravity of the crimes ... the chamber has the discretion to impose a single sentence and chooses to do so. Considering the relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life imprisonment," the ICTR said in a statement on its website.
Prosecutors said Nizeyimana, who was convicted of genocide, murder and extermination, ordered troops to kill several people in his position as captain of a military training school.
The tribunal acquitted the former Rwandan military officer of rape charges.
Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in the tiny east African country in just 100 days between April and June 1994.
To date, the ICTR has delivered judgements in 72 cases, of which 17 have appeals pending and 10 were acquittals.
Photographs of some victims of the Rwandan genocide are hung on a gallery wall during a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush to the Kigali Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, February 19, 2008 (REUTERS/Jason Reed)