Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch



Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Genocide suspect Rose Kabuye was detained

Published on 5:15AM Tuesday Nov 11, 2008 Rose Kabuye, a Rwandan woman sought for questioning by a French judge about what sparked her country's infamous genocide in 1994, was arrested at Frankfurt International Airport. Kabuye is chief of protocol for Rwandan President Paul Kagame. She had accompanied him on a visit to Germany in April but was not detained then because she was under diplomatic immunity. Kabuye has agreed to be extradited to France, where she will be questioned about the attack on the plane of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. Rwanda's genocide began hours after it was shot down as it approached Kigali on April 6, 1994 Thousands of Rwandans protested Monday outside the German embassy here against the arrest in Frankfurt of a top official suspected of involvement in the incident that triggered the 1994 genocide. Demonstrators waved banners that read: "Germany: arrest genocide perpetrators, not innocents," as they demanded the release of Rose Kabuye, chief of protocol to President Paul Kagame. Kabuye is one of a number of Kagame's inner circle suspected by a French judge of involvement in the killing of former president Juvenal Habyarimana. Rwanda summoned Germany's ambassador on Sunday after her arrest at France's request sparked anger in Kigali, which accuses France and other European countries of seeking to prosecute the victims rather than the perpetrators of the genocide. Police spokesman Willy Marcel Higiro told AFP that the demonstrators numbered around 7,500. The protestors marched from the heavily-protected German embassy to the offices of Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, on the ouskirts of Kigali. At around lunchtime, cars drove across the capital blaring out messages announcing that all offices were closed for the afternoon and urging civil servants and members of the public to join the demonstrations. "These protests are designed to protest against the arrest of Mrs Rose Kabuye," said the message. Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told AFP that other demonstrations were planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. Currently in custody in a women's prison in Frankfurt, Kabuye could be extradited to France within 10 to 14 days, German prosecutors told AFP on Monday. Rwanda's foreign ministry expressed its "shock and dismay" over Kabuye's arrest and denied claims she was on a private visit, in a letter of protest to the German embassy in Kigali seen by AFP. It said that Kabuye enjoys diplomatic immunity, was on a "working visit" to Germany and "should be treated with courtesy and dignity by the German authorities as it is required by diplomatic decorum." Kabuye had already travelled to Germany in April and embarked on another trip despite warnings she could face arrest on the basis of a 2006 international warrant issued by French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere. "She is an innocent woman who was arrested on a politically motivated warrant, a warrant issued on the basis of manipulated investigations," Mushikiwabo said. "This blackmail cannot continue anymore." Kabuye is the first Rwandan to be arrested after Bruguiere issued nine warrants against close Kagame aides whom the judge suspects of being behind the death of the former Rwandan president. Habyarimana's assassination in April 1994 when his aircraft was shot down triggered ethnic tensions that led to the genocide, in which 800,000 people -- mainly from Kagame's Tutsi minority -- were massacred by extremists from the Hutu majority. The arrest warrants sparked a bilateral diplomatic row resulting in Rwanda suspending ties with France. Kabuye's lawyer said she was willing to be transferred to France "as quickly as possible" to speak to French judges. According to judicial sources, if Kabuye is indicted, she and the Rwandan regime will for the first time have full access to the evidence in the case. Mushikiwabo told AFP: "We hope that with this arrest, the whole world will finally know that these arrest warrants have no legal basis. We want the warrants made public. It is time to tell the truth." Mushikiwabo also criticised last week's legal suit by 10 senior French military officers against Rwanda, which accuses them of involvement in the genocide. The five generals and five colonels served in Operation Turquoise, a French military mission to Rwanda in 1994 following Habyarimana's assassination which Kigali said assisted Hutu genocide perpetrators. "For us, this is also one of the acts of intimidation. The involvement of France (in the genocide) is a truth. France politically and militarily helped a government that committed genocide," Mushikiwabo said. In August, the Rwandan government issued a 500-page report naming 13 French politicians and 20 military officials for their role in the massacres, including then-president Francois Mitterrand. The report alleged France was aware of preparations for the genocide, contributed to planning the massacres and that its troops actively took part in the killings. Rwanda Must Stop Aiding Nkunda's Rebels New Vision (Kampala) INTERVIEW 8 November 2008 Posted to the web 10 November 2008 By Cyprian Musoke Kampala Rwanda should stop supporting renegade general Laurent Nkunda under false pretext, Democratic Republic of Congo's Minister of Planning, Olivier Kamitatu, told Sunday Vision. In an exclusive interview conducted by Cyprian Musoke Do you think the tripartite summit was a success? We really wonder if regional integration is possible without security and peace. It is a great paradox. We have many problems in eastern Congo, especially with Rwanda, which continues to support Congolese rebels like Nkunda under false pretext. They claim it is about the protection of Tutsis. But not a single Tutsi has been killed in Congo. And Tutsis occupy high positions in the army, the parliament, the senate and the administration of public enterprises. It was agreed that all forces would be integrated into the national Congolese army, but Nkunda has refused to integrate his troops. Rwanda claims that your government is supporting Hutu extremists who were responsible for the 1994 genocide. We have no reason to co-operate with extremist Hutus. Who is an extremist Hutu anyway? Over 70% of the FDLR are below the age of 24. They were 10 when the genocide took place. When Rwanda declares that there are 7,000 Hutus in eastern Congo and that 6,900 are genocidaires, it is a joke. But apart from that, we don't want those people in Congo. In the past five years, they have not killed anybody in Rwanda. Instead, it is the Congolese people suffering. They have been killing and raping Congolese civilians. We want them to go back to their country. We are even ready to discuss how they could be relocated to other parts of Congo. We are open to any suggestions. We want to find lasting solutions. But they need to be realistic. Uganda and Rwanda were not able to neutralise the Interahamwe during the five years they occupied the Congo. How do they expect us to do it alone? We want Rwanda to say frankly what their concerns are. Is it about protection of the Tutsi minority? Is it about Hutu extremists? Or is it about business, about coltan, gold and other minerals? Is a free trade zone not the ultimate objective of the regional integration discussed at the tripartite summit? We can trade with Rwanda provided they are willing to respect Congolese laws and trade is carried out transparently and for the benefit of the entire population. We cannot accept Congolese minerals being exported to Rwanda in an uncontrolled way. The Congolese army itself is accused of grave human rights abuses, including rape, looting and killing of civilians. Joseph Kabila inherited a totally devastated country. We have to reconstruct everything. That takes time and money. The will is there to build an army which is well equipped and disciplined, but the resources needed are enormous. The integration of so many rebel forces into the national army is another challenge. But that is the price we have to pay for peace in Congo. Is MONUC (the UN peacekeeping force in Congo) assisting your government to rebuild the army? Not really. We are getting support from Angola, South Africa, Belgium, the European Union and France. How would you describe your current relationship with Uganda? Our relations have improved. We have re-opened embassies in our respective countries and will soon exchange ambassadors. Uganda is in a position to help DRC, Rwanda and Burundi improve their relations. President Yoweri Museveni has a big role to play, as an elder with great experience. The disintegration of Congo, a country with a 10,000 km border line and 65 million people, would be a great disaster for the whole region. Uganda was instructed by the International Court of Justice to pay reparation for its involvement in the DRC in the late 90s. Is the issue still on Kinshasa's agenda? The National Assembly wants the government to accelerate the matter. But we prefer to talk about normalisation of relations and how we can reconstruct Kisangani through investments. We don't want to just forget about the matter. It should be a lesson for history. We don't want this kind of problem ever again. The International Criminal Court recently demanded to know what Kinshasa was doing to execute the warrants of arrest against LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders. What steps has your government taken against the LRA? Congo has no interest in having its territory being used as a sanctuary for Ugandan rebels, particularly at a time when we are discussing cross-border trade, investments and shared infrastructure. We have mobilised all efforts to arrest Kony and are already carrying out military operations in the area. We are co-operating with the UPDF because they have experience. At the moment our co-operation is at the level of intelligence sharing, but I cannot go into details. Are you getting support from MONUC for this operation? MONUC is in the region, but we are carrying out this operation in our own capacity. Kony is a big concern to us. Dozens of Congolese children have been abducted and thousands of civilians are fleeing. Villagers have now organised themselves to fight Kony. Garamba National Park is a difficult area to control. And as you know, the rebels' tactic is to attack and retreat. The army has sent reinforcement to the area. We plan to deploy more and more troops in the next few weeks. What time frame are you looking at to arrest Kony? It is difficult to say, but I would say it is a matter of weeks. The two heads of state are discussing the issue, which shows that it is a priority to both leaders. Uganda is in advanced stages of exploring oil on Lake Albert. Why did Congo decide to use a different company from the one Uganda is using? The contract has not yet been awarded. The final person to give authorisation is President Joseph Kabila. At ministerial level, an operator has been suggested, but it must be sanctioned by President Kabila. An oil worker was killed by Congolese soldiers near the disputed Rukwanzi Island last year. What happened to the border demarcation project? A commission was put in place to demarcate the border, not only with Uganda, but also Angola. It has not finished its work yet. We want normalisation and development along the border, not tension. We want to have a common zone of prosperity. When Congo becomes secure and registers economic growth, Uganda and Rwanda will also be more secure. What is your economic programme to reconstruct the country? We are following the Ugandan example of private and government partnerships. We now have 62 of such partnership agreements. We want to produce 400,000 tonnes of copper in the next three years, to get back to the capacity of 1989. We are co-operating with the Chinese on how to explore our minerals. We are also negotiating with the donors to have our external debt, amounting to $10b, cancelled so that we use the money for infrastructure development. We need $14b in the next five years to reconstruct the country. The donor consultative group pledged $4b. The rest we have to mobilise internally. What are your priorities? We want to refurbish the two Inga dams, which have a capacity of 1,700 megawatts. We are also finishing the feasibility study for Inga 3, which will have a capacity of another 4,500 megawatts. Our second priority is to explore oil in the western part of the country, near the border with Angola, which has a potential of 1million barrels per day. In terms of transport infrastructure, we want to construct a railway from the deep sea port in Mbanana to Kinshasa, as well as refurbish the one from Kindu to Lubumbashi. We also want to connect Kasese and Lubumbashi to Kisangani by road. We want to link every part of Congo to the outside world. African Rebel Leader's Life in Germany Angers Politicians Rebel groups continue to be a problem in Congo German politicians want action taken against Ignace Murwanashyaka, the self-proclaimed leader of a group of Rwandan Hutu rebels accused of genocide. Murwanashyaka currently lives in Germany. Last week, Ignace Murwanashyaka popped back into the news when he denied that his rebel troops were involved in violence that has recently erupted in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Murwanashyaka was reached by phone at his home in the southern German city of Mannheim, where he has lived on and off for years. "We are not in any way involved in this fighting," he told the AFP news agency. "The FDLR do not meddle with Congolese affairs." The FDLR, or the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, is a group of around 6,000 ethnic Hutu rebels that operates mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo but also in Rwanda. German criticism mounting As fighting between Congolese rebel groups and the government continues, German politicians have renewed calls for Murwanashyaka to be kicked out of the country. The UN has peacekeepers in Congo Winfried Nachwei, a spokesman for Germany's Green Party said he finds it scandalous that the rebel leader can continue to control rebel troops while living in Germany. "It is a disgrace to Germany that this head of a definite terrorist organization has lived here for years," Nachwei said in an interview with public broadcaster ARD on Monday, Nov. 3. The program interviewed Murwanashyaka, who declared himself "president of this organization" claiming that he keeps close tabs on exactly what the FDLR is doing. Walter Riester, the former employment minister for the Social Democratic Party, also said that Germany is "hurting its credibility" by not acting against people like Murwanashyaka. Investigations continue The FDLR is accused of human rights violations during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which Hutus killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Rwanda has called for Murwanashyaka to be extradited to face charges of crimes against humanity. 250,000 people have been displaced by the fighting In 2005, Murwanashyaka was blacklisted by the United Nations for violating an arms embargo set up to promote peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Until the sanctions were imposed, Murwanashyaka had held a German residence permit but had been traveling back and forth between Germany and the dense forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province that borders Rwanda. Murwanashyaka was briefly arrested in 2006 by Mannheim immigration officials for allegedly entering the country illegally. He was released a short time later and no charges were brought against him, although he is reportedly being investigated by Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office. FDLR says it will protect refugees The role of the FDLR in the current fighting currently taking place in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo remains murky. The Rwandan government and Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has said the FDLR is fighting alongside Congolese government troops. Murwanashyaka, while denying those accusations, did say that his group would step in to the fighting to defend Rwandan Hutu refugees, if needed. "We will make this very clear: if refugees are attacked, we will defend them, whoever the attacker is," Murwanashyaka told AFP. Several weeks of fighting between rebels and pro-government militia groups has already displaced more than 250,000 people. Much of the fighting has been linked to the Mai Mai, one of dozens of small militia groups which operate out of the Democratic Republic of Congo's lawless east. Rwandan Rebels Deny Involvement In Congo Fighting NAIROBI (AFP)--Rwandan Hutu rebels on Thursday denied accusations its forces were fighting alongside government troops in eastern Congo. "We are not in any way involved in this fighting. The FLDR do not meddle with Congolese affairs," said Ignace Murwanashyaka, president of the Rwandan Democratic Liberation Forces, or FLDR, reached by phone in Germany. On Thursday, both the Rwandan government and Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda accused FDLR elements of fighting alongside regular Congolese troops in the eastern Congo. According to Rwanda's state-run radio, an FDLR military commander, Gaston Iyamulemye, is actively taking part alongside the regular Congolese army "in the preparation and execution of operations" in Nord-Kivu. Government troops had been trying to repel a military push by Nkunda's National Congress for the Defense of the People forces on Goma, but regular forces have retreated, leaving U.N. peacekeepers as the last obstacle to the CNDP's capture of the Nord-Kivu capital. "We do not fight alongside the Congolese army, we do not fight alongside MONUC (U.N. mission in Congo). It's the Congolese who should defend their country, our role is limited to defending (Rwandan Hutu) refugees," Murwanashyaka told AFP. "We will make this very clear: if refugees are attacked, we will defend them, whoever the attacker is," he said. The FDLR chairman returned the accusation and charged that the forces of Tutsi rebel leader Nkunda were supported by the Tutsi regime in Kigali. "It's not Nkunda fighting, it's Rwanda. The local population is confirming every day that Rwandan troops are moving towards the border," he said.

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