Rwanda Official's Passport Seized By France

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[Global: Africa Genocide Suspect In France]

The top Rwanda official arrested on an outstanding warrant alleging that she conspired with current president Paul Kagame to murder his predecessor has been released in France; meanwhile a judge there has ordered that she surrender her passport.

Sources say France may want to ease matters by allowing the Rwanda official to be spirited out of the country.

The Black Star News has learned that anti-terrorism judge Marc Trevidic ordered Rose Kabuye, Rwanda’s chief protocol officer additionally to report to French authorities every 15 days. She was brought to France Wednesday after her arrest last Friday while in Germany where she had travelled to prepare groundwork for an official visit there by President Kagame. A French judge in 2006 had issued a warrant naming her, Kagame, and other top Rwanda officials as responsible for the 1994 shooting down by missile of a plan carrying then Rwanda president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi’s leader Cyprien Ntayamire.

The assassination sparked a genocide that lasted 100 days and claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 to one million, mostly Tutsis, and some Hutus. Kagame and Kabuye were then in the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded Rwanda in 1990 from Uganda with President Yoweri K. Museveni's backing. Kagame has denied involvement in the assassination; the Rwanda government has condemned the arrest of Kabuye as a violation of Rwanda’s sovereignty.

A Rwanda spokesperson told The Black Star News he was not aware that Kabuye had surrendered her passport to French authorities.

"I don't know about the passport issue. But what I can tell, Rose is a free woman," the First Councilor at Rwanda’s embassy in Belgium said, over the telephone. "We haven't heard from her but the last time I spoke to her, she was in good condition at her residence."

He added: "I don't know about the passport issue being confiscated, I will get back to you when I get the information."

The warrant executed against Kabuye was issued in 2006 by French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière. Other RPF officials who are now in Rwanda’s government and were named in Bruguière's warrants include: Rwanda's head of Military, James Kabarebe; Army Chief of Staff, Charles Kayonga; Rwanda's ambassador to India, Faustin Nyamwasa-Kayumbya; members of Presidential Guard, Jackson Nkurunzinza and Frank Nziza; RPF Parliamentary Deputy, Samuel Kanjyamera; an army officer, Jacob Tumwime; and, Intelligence Officer, Eric Hakizimana.

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