Rwanda Genocide: Long Arms Of Law

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[Black Star News: Editorial]

A senior aide to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has been arrested in Germany on an outstanding 2006 warrant issued by a French court on charges that she was involved in the Rwanda genocide--the French court found that Kagame, leader of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), in 1994, ordered the shooting down by missile of the plane carrying Rwanda's then president Juvenal Habyarimana.

Genocide erupted for nearly 100 days, claiming the lives of an estimated anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million. Kagame was backed by Uganda's president Yoweri K. Museveni. His RPF was armed, manned, and trained by Uganda; Kagame himself was sent to train in the USA on Uganda passport at Leavenworth, Kansas. He had been chief of Uganda's military intelligence. Uganda and the United States also bear responsibility and liability for the Rwanda invasion from Uganda in 1990 and the attendant genocide in 1994.

Arrested Friday was Rose Kabuye, director general of state protocol in Rwanda--she was in Germany preparing for a visit there by Kagame.

The warrant was issued by a French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière; outstanding warrants stand for additional Rwanda officials, including James Kabarebe, the head of the military, Charles Kayonga, army chief of staff; Faustin Jyamwasa-Kayumba, ambassador to India; Jackson Nkurunziza, of presidential guard; Samuel Kanjyamera, an RPF parliamentary deputy; Jacob Tumwime, an army officer; Franck Nziza, a Presidential Guard officer and Eric Hakizimana, an intelligence officer.

The judge wants the suspects to stand trial at the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in Arusha, Tanzania.

The French intervened because three crew members of Habyarimana’s plane were French nationals. Also killed was Burundi president, Cyprien Ntaryamire, who was aboard. A Court was set up at Arusha to try the agents and perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide. Many suspects have been captured, tried and convictions secured.

Those so far prosecuted have been agents from the Habyarimana regime. That's why it was refreshing when in 2006 the French court, after reviewing the evidence, returned an indictment of several Rwanda officials from the current RPF government which seized power in 1994. The Kagame regime has been credited with ending the Rwanda genocide; that's like thanking an arsonist for putting out a fire that he or she helped start. All sides should be brought to book; there are no statutes of limitation on murder and mass murders.

Kagame himself was not indicted by the French court because he is a sitting president.

That's why the International community needs to find a way to expand the brief of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to cover crimes dating back to the 1990s when Central Africa was tossed into a series of genocidal conflicts. The epicenter has been Uganda; there is not a genocidal conflict in Central Africa whose origin has not been traced to Uganda's militarist president Yoweri Museveni. Within Uganda, genocide has been directed against the Acholi people for more than 20 years; civilians are victims of Uganda's marauding army and the vicious Lord's Resistance Army.

In Congo another Kagame and Museveni acolyte, Laurent Nkunda, has launched new conflict. The world is watching carefully and there are reports that the ICC will eventually indict Nkunda.

Word is that strong signal from the incoming Barack Obama government to Kigali is what caused Nkunda to halt his march on Goma. The UN has been authorized to engage Nkunda's terrorist army. After taking office, the Obama government must also investigate the role the U.S. played in the Rwanda genocide.

All the participants and agents of the Rwanda genocide must be prosecuted. It's the least the world can do for the victims of the 1994 blight on humanity.

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