Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

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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:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

OPJDR Urges Ban Ki Moon to Respect the Leaked UN Human Rights Repport on Rwanda Atrocities in DRC

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon                                                           September 2, 2010
UN Secretary-General                                                                                    Nº 29/J/PK/710
760 United Nations Plaza,
Manhattan, NY 10017
New York, NY 10017
Re: Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and International humanitarian law committed within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between March 1993 and June 2003. 
The Organization for Peace , Justice and Development in Rwanda (OPJDR), Inc; a human rights organization based in US with area of interest being the Great Lakes region of Africa, has just read the draft of the report from United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) detailing serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including crimes of genocide perpetrated by the current army of Rwanda, Rwanda Patriotic Army, against Hutu refugees in DRC between 1996 and 1998.
OPJDR welcomes this report but was disturbed by the information that the Government of Rwanda has for months being busy pressuring you personally and the whole UN system to dismiss the entire report or at least to water it down by removing the term “genocide”. This information has been confirmed by the French daily newspaper Le Monde in its edition dated August 26, 2010, an official letter sent to you on August 3, 2010 by Mrs. Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and finally by statement of the government of Rwanda dated August 27, 2010 where it threatens to withdraw its forces from African Union- United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) if its demands were not met.
Reports and testimonies about the atrocities that have been committed by the RPA are not new in the UN offices but unfortunately, all of them have been dismissed under the pressure of Kigali and its lobbies. OPJDR recalls a few of them.
On April 6, 1994, the presidential aircraft carrying the then Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and  Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, has been shoot down when preparing to land at the Kigali International Airport. All 13 persons on board perished. Despite the fact that the airport was under the control of the United Nations Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), UN did not dare to conduct any genuine investigation and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), refuses to look at the issue even though it states that this terrorist act sparked the Rwanda genocide. French and Spanish judges, who investigated the incident, concluded that the RPF/RPA was responsible of the aircraft shooting.
In April 1994, when it was clear that the genocide was underway, the UN preferred to walk away by pulling most of its peacekeeping force of UNAMIR. People of Rwanda and friends of Rwanda will never forget that moment.
In October 1994, Mr. Robert Gersony, consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), after a four week long investigation inside Rwanda and Tanzania, concluded that the RPF regime has murdered at least 30,000 Hutus since July 1994. Kigali regime threatened to terminate the operations of the UNAMIR, if the report was validated. The UN, represented in Rwanda by Shaharyar Khan, succumbed to the pressure and sealed the report.
On April 22, 1995, the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) massacred internally displaced people (IDP) in Kibeho, South West of Rwanda in the presence of Australian and Zambian UN peacekeepers from UNAMIR. More than 8000 refugees Hutu perished that day and UN kept silent as of today.
In 1997, the Special Reporter of the UN commission in charge of human rights in DRC, the Chilean Roberto Garreton, released a report on crimes committed by the RPA against the Hutu refugees in DRC. The Rwanda government put an intensive pressure to suppress the report and managed to block a UN mission that was set to confirm the results of the Garreton’s mission. The public did not hear about this mission since then.
The selectively ethnic killings started in February 1991 in the Byumba and Ruhengeri prefectures when RPF staged a major attack in several communes of the Provinces of Ruhengeri and Byumba, selectively killing as many Hutus as 42,200 Hutu populations
UN HCR team report of September 12, 1994 “New Human Rights Abuse in Rwanda” led by George E. Moose concluded that RPF and Tutsi civilians killed at least 10,000 Hutu civilians per month with a purpose of ethnic cleansing intended to clear certain areas in the south of Rwanda for Tutsi returnees’ habitation. The killings also served to reduce the population of Hutu males and discouraged refugees from returning to claim their lands”.
These are few UN official reports but numerous eyewitnesses, most of them survivors of these pogroms are available around the world and would be more than happy to testify.
OPJDR urges the UN not to fail once again the people of Rwanda by dismissing or altering this genuine report. People of Rwanda has suffered so much in the hand of war mongers and other criminals that it needs now to know exactly what happened and who did what, so it can start the long process of healing and reconciliation based on a solid foundation of truth and justice.
The fact that the Kigali regime threatens to withdraw its troops does not hold at all. First, that mission in Darfour is not founded by Rwandan taxpayers, so other countries will be ready to provide necessary troops. Second, UN is setting a very bad example by employing troops from Rwanda suspected to have committed genocide in peacekeeping missions as in Darfour where the International Criminal Court (ICC) has concluded that crimes of genocide took place.
 OPJDR believes that justice will prevail and that this report will be officially launched and that genuine actions will be taken thereafter such as the creation of a special tribunal for Congo or by the amending the status of the ICTR or ICC to prosecute those who will be found responsible of those crimes. It is only that way that the impunity will be eradicated in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Due to this report, once again OPJDR asks to the UN Security council and the President of the ICTR to stop sending cases of detainees in Arusha to Rwanda to be prosecuted by their war opponents. OPJDR reminds you that, in the resolution 955 creating the ICTR, the UN Security Council concluded that both parties to the conflict, namely RPF and the government forces, have been involved in genocide and other crimes against humanity and should respond before the created tribunal. Therefore, the current government in place in Rwanda led by RPF doesn’t have the moral authority to prosecute anybody else for the crime they are themselves accused for.
In conclusion we would like to recall this quote from Albert Einstein work “ The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but those who look and refuse to act.”
Pascal Kalinganire
            Coordinator General
Honorable U.S. Senator John Kerry
Chair of Foreign Relations Committee
218 Russell Bldg/ Second Floor
Washington D.C. 0510

Honorable U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
US Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4904
Honorable Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Honorable Mrs. Susan Rice
Permanent Representative and Ambassador of
the United States to the United Nations
140 East 45th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: 212-415-4062 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              212-415-4062      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; Fax: 212-415-4053
Honorable Mark Lyall Grant
Permanent Representative and Ambassador of
the United Kingdom to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212 745 9200 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              212 745 9200      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; Fax: 212 745 9316
Honorable LI Baodong, PR
Permanent Representative and Ambassador of
the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations
350 East 35th Street,
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-655-6100/Fax: 212-634-7626
Honorable Gérard ARAUD
Permanent Representative and Ambassador of France to the United Nations
245 East, 47th Street - 44th floor
New York, NY, 10017
Tel.: 212.702.4900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              212.702.4900      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Russia Federation to the United Nations
136 East 67 Street
New York, N.Y. 10065
Tel.: (212)861-4901            
FAX: (212)628-0252
Honorable Judge Ms. Navanethem PillayUnited Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland 
Honorable Mrs Louise Mushikiwabo
Ministry of Foreign Affaires and Cooperation
Republic of Rwanda
Boulevard de la Révolution / Place de l’Indépendance
B.P. 179 Kigali-Rwanda

Tel.: 250 574522-575339-575737; Fax: 250 572904
Honorable Mr. Kenneth Roth
Executive Director of Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Honorable Mrs. Maja DaruwalaDirector Executive
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) 
B-117, Second Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave
New Delhi - 110 017 - INDIA
Tel: 91-11-43180200, 43180225-299; Fax: 91-11-2686-4688
Honorable Mrs. Sarah Jackson
Researcher and AI Representative Rwanda and Burundi
IS Kampala - Africa Regional Office
Amnesty International,
Plot 20A Kawalya Kaggwa Close,
PO Box 23966, Kampala, Uganda
email: AI


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