Category Archives: UN

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Rwanda

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Rwanda

37th SessionGeneva, January 25, 2021

As Delivered by Charles Bentley, U.S. Mission to International Organizations in GenevaThe United States warmly welcomes the Rwandan delegation.We recommend that Rwanda:

  1. Promote the right to freedom of expression by ending detentions and harassment of members of the media and civil society for their reporting.
  2. Independently and transparently investigate credible allegations of unlawful or arbitrary arrests and detentions, killings, and enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, political opponents, and journalists, prosecuting alleged perpetrators under the law.
  3. Enforce the protection of all persons’ rights to life and liberty by strengthening the independence of the justice system and ensuring no one is convicted on the basis of information extracted under torture or duress.

We commend Rwanda’s progress increasing gender equality and access to education.  However, we are concerned about limited civic and political space, specifically unduly burdensome permitting requirements which inhibit the right of peaceful assembly.

By U.S. Embassy Rwanda | 26 January, 2021

GÉNOCIDE DES TUTSI : HOLD UP DÉCISIONNEL À L’ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE DE L’ONU!

L’ONU a décidé de faire du 07 avril une « Journée internationale de réflexion sur le génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda en 1994 », sans qu’aucun consensus ne se dégage entre les pays membres de cette organisation, comme cela est d’habitude.
Un de nos analystes politiques nous donne ses observations .

Le 26 janvier 2018, dans sa Soixante-douzième session,  l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a décide « de proclamer le 7 avril Journée internationale de réflexion sur le génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda en 1994 » et a rappelé, à la même occasion, «  que, durant le génocide des Tutsis en 1994, des Hutus et d’autres personnes s’étant opposées au génocide ont également été tués ».

Cela signifie que cette date va désormais être mentionnée sur le calendrier des commémorations Nations Unies. Les observations ci-dessous montrent les manquements de cette décision, ce qui fait qu’elle n’a pas toute sa force erga omes qu’elle est censée avoir.

Sur la forme

Le Président de l’Assemblée générale, Mr Miroslav Lajcak, un peu peut-être embarrassé, a décidé d’adjoindre à cette décision le lancement d’un appel au respect de la Trêve olympique sur lequel il a eu un long exposé. Il n’a pas fait aucun exposé de motif sur cette décision comme il venait de le faire au sujet de la Trêve olympique.

Le consensus se définit comme la pratique  destinée à parvenir à l’élaboration d’un texte par voie de négociation et à son adoption sans vote. Or, la décision a été concoctée en toute discrétion par les diplomates rwandais, israéliens et équato-guinéens (ces derniers représentaient le groupe Afrique). Les autres ont été mis devant un fait accompli. C’est ce qu’on peut constater en lisant la réaction du représentant de l’UE: “une réunion aussi importante aurait requis davantage de temps et qu’il aurait été adéquat de débuter les discussions bien avant le 20 novembre 2017”.

Il est clair que pour parvenir à cette décision, il n’y pas eu assez de réunions (ni officielles, ni officieuses) entre tous les groupes géographiques.  On dirait un hold up décisionnel à l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU! Piège à l’Assemblée générale qui est considérée comme l’organe dont les décisions devraient être transparentes et équitables. Où est la défense des intérêts de tous les peuples?

Malheureusement, il n’existe pas de voie de recours en annulation pour les décisions de l’Assemblé générale. Mais l’annulation de ses propres décisions est possible (il y a eu des cas). C’est question de rapport de force en présence.

Sur le fonds

Sur le fonds, cette décision n’est pas le reflet des vues de la communauté internationale pour des raisons ci-dessous.

Des réserves qui équivaudraient à des opinions dissidentes

La représentante des États-Unis a insisté sur l’importance qu’il y a à commémorer la mémoire des plus de 800 000 personnes qui ont perdu la vie pendant des violences innommables au Rwanda en 1994.

En se ralliant au consensus sur ce texte, les États-Unis, a confié la représentante, voient l’occasion de nous rappeler notre humanité commune pour pouvoir prévenir ce type d’atrocités de masse et défendre les droits et la dignité de chaque être humain.  Toutefois, la représentante a estimé que la seule modification du titre et de certains termes du dispositif de la résolution de 2003 ne permettait pas de couvrir toute l’ampleur des atrocités.

Elle n’a pas caché ses réserves quant à l’idée de revenir sur des textes précédents, sans pour autant s’opposer au texte adopté aujourd’hui.

Le représentant de l’Union européenne a jugé essentiel de se souvenir et de réfléchir, au niveau international, à des tragédies comme le génocide qui a frappé le Rwanda.  L’Union européenne se félicite donc de la décision adoptée ce jour mais elle regrette profondément que le consensus n’ait pas été possible sur le fait que la Journée devrait aussi inviter à réfléchir sur le sort des autres victimes, les non-Tutsis qui s’étaient opposés au génocide.

Même si la représentante d’Israël s’est associée au consensus, c’est en Israël même que sont venues des critiques sur cette décision. Avraham Avi Gabbay, Président du Parti travailliste israélien, a condamné Netanyahu pour cette résolution sur le génocide rwandais.

Pour Avraham Avi Gabbay, Israël a soutenu une résolution de l’ONU proposée par le Rwanda pour instaurer une journée de commémoration du génocide du pays comme étant spécifiquement dirigée contre le groupe ethnique des Tutsis, soutenant un geste largement considéré comme minimisant la mort de milliers de Hutus pendant le génocide de 1994.

Contradictions et hypocrisie du gouvernement rwandais dirigé par le FPR

Remplacer les mots “génocide au Rwanda” par ceux de “génocide des Tutsi” renforcer l’idée de l’existence des ethnies au Rwanda. On ne peut pas dire que les ethnies n’existent plus,  alors qu’on  s’investit pour les pérenniser à travers des décisions pareilles.

Les soutiens et leurs intérêts : Israël et Guinée Equatoriale

  • Israël

Statut d’observateur à l’Union africaine

Dans ses visées expansionnistes, Netanyahu a multiplié des rencontres avec certains dirigeants et hommes influents sur le continent africain pour trouver des soutiens à sa demande d’obtenir le statut d’observateur à l’UA. Le président Paul Kagame, président de l’UA en 2018, est le mieux placé pour Netanyahu. Raison pour laquelle Israël a ouvert son ambassade à Kigali pour pouvoir travailler étroitement avec Kagame sur ce sujet.

Trafic de migrants

Kagame et Netanyahu ont conclu des accords pour que des migrants africains, essentiellement venant de l’Erythrée, de l’Ethiopie et du Sud Soudan,  qui ne sont pas les bienvenus en Israël, soient renvoyés au Rwanda moyennant le paiement du prix de 5000 dollars par migrant déporté. Même des survivants de la Shoah, des rabbins, des médecins et des pilotes d’avions et d’autres acteurs de la société civile israélienne se sont mobilisés pour tenter de contrecarrer ces projets. Personne n’est dupe, les accords sont là.

L’attentat du 06 avril 1994 contre l’avion du président Juvénal Habyarimana et de son homologue burundais Cyprien Ntaryamira

Ce qui n’est pas dit dans tout cela, c’est que Paul Kagame espère rendre ces services à Netanyahu et en retour, il attend de celui-ci d’user de son influence pour persuader les autorités françaises de permettre le non-lieu sur cette affaire toujours en cours en France.

  • Guinée équatoriale: l’ennemi de mon ennemi est mon ami” !

Deux évènements se sont passés en 2017 montant les autorités équato-guinéennes contre la France.

En octobre 2017, Teodorin Obiang Ngwema a été condamné à 3 ans de prison avec suris en France pour “s’être frauduleusement bâti un patrimoine considérable en France” dans un procès appelé “biens mal acquis”. En sa qualité de Vice-président et fils du président Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, cette condamnation a été perçue comme une atteinte à la souveraineté de la Guinée Equatoriale.

En outre, un putsch a été déjoué en Guinée équatoriale dans la nuit du 27 au 28 décembre 2017. Du coup, le chef de l’Etat Obiang Nguema a accusé la France et le Tchad.

Même s’il n’y a pas de tensions officielles entre la France et Guinée Equatoriale, cette situation montre que Kagame a des facilités pour convaincre son homologue équato-guinéen que la France ne respecte pas leurs souverainetés. Ils doivent se rallier et se soutenir pour défendre car leur ennemi devenu commun.

En observant toutes ces manœuvres de Paul Kagame, l’on se demande pourquoi il crie victoire et se targue d’avoir développé le pays alors que la société rwandaise se polarise et que la fracture sociale se creuse davantage. Il n’a jamais eu, dans toutes ses interventions et tous ses actes, ni un ton conciliant, ni un discours apaisant, ni un projet de réconciliation nationale. Il ne fait que raviver, dans la population, toute cause de discorde, de tension, voire de haine.

La question que tout observateur se pose est le pourquoi un gouvernement s’investit autant pour un projet qui divise profondément le peuple qu’il est censé réconcilier? La dictature néolibérale imposée au peuple rwandais ira jusqu’où?

Jean-Charles Murego

18-02-2018

https://www.musabyimana.net

“Global Immediate Ceasefire to Fight COVID-19” UN urges.

Transcripts of the message of the secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.

March 23rd, 2020.

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.
The virus does not care abour nationality or ethnicity, faction or face. It attacks all, relentlessly. Menwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. The most vulnerable – women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced – pay the highest price. They are also at the highes risk of suffering devastating losses from Covid-19.
Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed, health professionals already few in number have often been targeted. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable. The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why today, I am calling for immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight for our lives.
To warring parties I say: pull back from hostilities, put aside mistrust and animosity, silence the guns, stop artillery, end the airstrikes. This is crucial to help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy, to bring hope to places to the most vulnerable to Covid-19. Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking place among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to Covid-19. But we need much more, end the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.
It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

Antonio Guterres

Secrétaire Général

Organisation des Nations Unies


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Top Secret: Rwanda War Crimes Cover-Up

The United States and its allies are experts at covering their crimes and finding scapegoats to take the blame for them. They are doing it now with their disinformation campaigns against Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Syria. The show trials at the UN’s Yugoslav tribunal, the ICTY, were all about covering-up NATO’s war crimes and spinning lies to blame everything on the Serbs who resisted NATO’s aggression. They use their influence at the International Criminal Court for the same purposes. And now a document has come to light, leaked from the UN’s Rwanda war crimes tribunal, the ICTR, that contains a report on the war crimes of the US supported Rwanda Patriotic Front that invaded Rwanda from Uganda in 1990, conducted four years of terrorist operations against the Rwanda people and government, then in 1994 launched their final offensive and slaughtered their way to power. To discuss this document, marked “Top Secret” I have to burden the reader with a brief history of events from the evidence available in order to give it some context.

The night of April 6, 1994 the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, Juvenal Habyarimana andCyprien Ntaryamira, and General Nsabimana, the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff, as well as several other dignitaries and a French flight crew were murdered when the plane they were on was shot down over Kigali airport by anti-aircraft missiles fired by members of the Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front, or RPF, with the assistance of the governments of several countries. Paul Kagame, the leader of the RPF junta now in control of Rwanda, and who was seen with US Army soldiers at his headquarters two days before the event, gave the final order for the shoot down but he did so with the assistance or complicity of the governments of the United States of America, Britain, Belgium, Canada, and Uganda. It was the United States and its allies, hoping to gain total control of the resources of Central Africa through their proxies in the Tutsi RPF, that provided the military support for the RPF invasion of Rwanda from Uganda beginning in 1990, flowing that support through Uganda.

It is known that the missiles used to shoot down the aircraft came from stockpiles the Americans had seized in their first war against Iraq, passed to Uganda, and it was in a warehouse at Kigali airport, rented by a CIA Swiss front company, that the missiles were assembled. In fact, the French anti-terrorist judgeJean-Louis Bruguiere, who spent several years investigating the shoot down on behalf of the families of the French flight-crew, told Boutros-Boutros Ghali, the Secretary-General of the UN in 1994, that the CIA was involved in the shoot down, adding strength to Boutros-Ghali’s statement to a Canadian journalist that the Americans are 100% responsible for what happened in Rwanda.

There is strong direct and circumstantial evidence that the Belgian and Canadian contingents of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda in 1993-94, known as UNAMIR, were also involved in the shoot down and assisted the RPF in their final offensive that was launched with the decapitation strike on the plane. It was the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander of UNAMIR, who arranged for one axis of the runway at the airport to be closed at the request of the RPF, making it easier to shoot down the plane as it tried to land.

ICTR3434323

Source: NEO

Dallaire consistently sided with the RPF during his mandate, gave continuous military intelligence to the RPF about government army positions, took his orders from the American and Belgian ambassadors and another Canadian general, Maurice Baril, in the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations in New York, then headed by Kofi Annan, lied to his boss, Jacques Roger Booh-Booh, about his knowledge of a build-up for a final Ugandan Army-RPF offensive, and turned a blind eye to the infiltration into Kigali of possibly 13,000 RPF combatants when they were permitted only 600 under the Arusha Peace Accords signed in October 1993. It was another Canadian, General Guy Tousignant, who took over from Dallaire after the RPF took power when UNAMIR II helped the RPF consolidate the rewards of its aggression.

Burundi was involved both by permitting 600 US Army Rangers to be situated in Burundi in case they were needed by the RPF and by invading Rwanda from the south in May, 1994 to link up with the RPF forces. Tanzania was involved in both the planning of the shoot down and, itself invaded Rwanda from the east and south blocking escape routes for the Hutu refugees fleeing the atrocities of the RPF in their sweep towards Kigali.

Finally, evidence indicates that Belgian UN soldiers were in the immediate area of the missile launch site at the time of the shoot down and were also involved.

The report into the shoot down of the plane by the French investigative judge Jean-Louis Bruguière was leaked to the French newspaper Le Monde in 2004 and states that the RPF was responsible with the help of the CIA. But before the French judge began his investigation The Chief Prosecutor for the Rwanda tribunal, Canadian judge Louise Arbour, the same woman that framed up President Milosevic on behalf of the USA at the Yugoslav tribunal, was told in 1997 by her lead investigator, Australian lawyer Michael Hourigan, that it was the RPF commando group known as the “Network”, with the assistance of a foreign power, implicating the CIA, that was responsible for the shoot down.

At that point Arbour, instead of prosecuting everyone involved, as she should have done, on American instruction, ordered the investigation closed and kept secret thereby making her an accessory to a war crime. The facts relating to Arbour’s action is detailed in Michael Hourigan’s affidavit, still available on the internet and his report to the Office of Internal Oversight of the UN.

During the war crimes trials at the Rwanda tribunal defence lawyers, representing the only group targeted for prosecution, the side that tried to resist aggression, members of the Rwandan government, its armed forces and officials as well as Hutu intellectuals, demanded full disclosure of all the evidence the prosecution had relevant to what happened in the war and the allegations of war crimes made against our clients. In the trial of my client, General Ndindilyimana, Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie, who after a long struggle was finally acquitted, made repeated requests for disclosure of that evidence but we never received the complete disclosure we demanded because over time we became aware that the prosecution had much more material than they were willing to show us.

One famous example of this is the Gersony Report made by Robert Gersony, a USAID, official seconded to the UN, who filed a report to the High Commissioner For Refugees in October 1994 setting out his findings that the RPF forces engaged in the systematic massacres of Hutus across Rwanda during their offensive, which he characterized as genocide. This report too was kept secret by the UNHCR and by the prosecution lawyers in our trial who even denied that it existed. But in 2008 my team found it by chance, and in the prosecution files, and I was able to produce it into evidence in the trial, along with a letter from Paul Kagame dated August of 1994 in which he refers to a meeting with Ugandan president Museveni in which the “plan for Zaire” was discussed. Those two agreed that the Hutus were in the way of the “plan” but Kagame stated that they were working with the Belgian, American and British intelligence services to execute the “plan” and the problem would be solved, The world has since seen what this ‘plan” involved; the invasions of Zaire, the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees, the killings of millions of Congolese in the wars that followed, as detailed in the leaked UN Mapping Report of 2010, and the shattering of Congo into fragments to be easily exploited by western mining companies.

Yet, little did we know as our trial proceeded that the prosecution had in their hands another document, an internal report dated October 1, 2003 in which their own investigators list and describe in 31 pages the crimes of the RPF forces they had investigated. This report, designated Top Secret, has recently been leaked and a copy was sent to me, among others, to examine and it is as damning of the RPF, and therefore their western allies, as the others.

The document, with the subject reference General Report on the Special Investigations concerning the crimes committed by the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) during 1994’ was sent to the then Prosecutor Hassan Jallow by three members of the Prosecution Special Investigations Unit. It provides to the Prosecutor the evidence they had gathered that the RPA had committed massacres of thousands of Hutus in various places across Rwanda, for example, Byumba, Kabgayi, Rambara, Gitarama, and Butare, as well as the murder of three Catholic bishops and nine other priests at a church. The circumstances set out in the report confirm Gersony’s Report of similar massacres and also confirms witness testimony we heard during the trials that the RPA forces had infiltrated men into civilian barricades to kill people in order to pin the crimes on the Rwandan government forces and the youth group known as the interahamwe.

Finally they provide, once again, further evidence that the RPA did shoot down the presidential plane, confirming the findings of Michael Hourigan in 1997 detailed above and which Louise Arbour had ordered kept secret, confirming the findings of the French report and confirming the evidence we filed at trial to the same effect, including a radio intercept from Kagame to his forces, the day after the plane was hit, celebrating the downing of the plane as a successful operation. It is a very important and damning report. Kept secret. One wonders how many more secret reports they have.

There is not space here to detail the horrific crimes set out in the document, or to relate to you the evidence we heard at the trials-what one Hutu refugee, speaking of the hunting down of Hutu refugees in the Congo by the RPF forces, assisted by spotter planes with US Air Force markings, called the “genocide with no name,” so I provide just a few examples from this document to give readers the picture. On page 28, in reference to the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali, it states:

Camp Kanombe (a government military base) at the end of May 1994. When the RPA captured Kanombe, approximately 1500 civilians had taken refuge in the camp. They were all massacred by the RPA.’

Kanombe Airport, at the end of May 1994, approximately 200 to 300 civilians of all ages were brought …and executed.”

Masaka, Kanombe commune, end of July 1994, – in 5 days approximately 6,000 women children and men were executed with their arms tied behind their back at the elbow.

Camp Kami, during the capture of the camp by the RPA thousands of civilians who had taken refuge there were executed”

The picture is clear. Yet, to this date not a single member of the RPF or their western allies has been charged for their responsibility for these crimes and Paul Kagame, who ordered these killings, is hosted with smiles by leaders from Canada to France to China. The prosecutors who decided to protect these war criminals, and who, by withholding evidence of what really happened, obstructed justice, conspired to frame up those standing accused before the tribunal, turned international justice into a travesty, and gave these criminals immunity from prosecution and encouragement to commit more crimes have moved on to lucrative positions. Fatima Bensouda, one of those former ICTR prosecutors, is now the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Where is the justice for the 6,000 men, women and children murdered at Masaka? Where is the hue and cry for the head of Paul Kagame as there was for the head of President Milosevic and the allegations he faced or as President Aassad of Syria faces? Where is the hue and cry for the head of General Dallaire, or for Louise Arbour, who condoned these crimes, as there was for General Mladic regarding the allegations about Srebrenica? There is none. Instead they are made celebrities, for we live a world in which criminals have seized hold of morality and justice and hanged them from a tree.

*

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Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Iperereza rya LONI (TPIR) ku bwicanyi bw’abasirikare bari aba FPR (APR) mu w’1994

Ku itariki ya 01 Ukwakira 2003, Lejmi Muhamed Ali, Hamidou Maiga, Jean Bastarache, bandikiye Umushinjacyaha mukuru muri TPIR Hassan Boubacar Jallow, ku bijyanye na raporo ku iperreeza ku bwicanyi bwakozwe n’ingabo zari iza FPR, bashyikirije mu mwaka w’1994. Imyaka 15 irashize. Turabaza umutumirwa wacu niba raporo nk’iyi izagera aho igahabwa agaciro k’icyo yari yateguriwe. Kuki bitashobotse mbere?

Ni mukiganiro naAmb Jean Marie Vianney Ndagijimana tariki ya 05/10/2018

LECP INFO

US ALLY UGANDA ATTACKS CONGO’S BENI TERRITORY

MUSAVULI

An interview with Boniface Musavuli 

The Congo crisis is now one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the world and the most underreported. An average of 5,500 people a day flee violence and insecurity, even more than in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Unlike Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, however, the Congo wars are undeclared and there’s no front line. There are instead many wars over many concentrations of resource wealth in this immensely resource-rich country, especially in the eastern provinces. For more than 20 years the most rapacious and destabilizing aggressors have been US allies and military partners Uganda and Rwanda. The US is the top bilateral donor to both. Uganda has been led by dictator Yoweri Museveni since 1986, Rwanda by dictator Paul Kagame since 1994.
I spoke to Boniface Musavuli, author of the book “Les Massacres de Beni” about the Ugandan army’s attack on his native corner of Congo, Beni Territory, just in time for Christmas.
Ann Garrison: Boniface, last week Uganda promised to keep its troops on the Ugandan side of the Congolese border. Then its attack aircraft crossed into Congolese territory and began bombing while its troops fired long range weapons from across the border. Should we call this an invasion in violation of international law even though Uganda claims it hasn’t sent any ground troops in yet and the Congolese army is reported to be collaborating with them in this?
Boniface Musavuli: Firstly, this intervention is a violation of the UN charter and the sovereignty of the Congo. Uganda has already been condemned by the International Court of Justice for assaulting and occupying the Congo between 1998 and 2003. We are therefore dealing with an act of recidivism.
The UN Charter prohibits states from using military force on the territory of another sovereign state unless they have a UN mandate or authorization from the government of the country concerned. Until now, however, there has been no Security Council resolution authorizing Uganda to conduct military operations on Congolese territory. Also, in the Congo, there is no official decision from either the government or parliament authorizing the Ugandan army to conduct operations on Congolese territory. Finally, President Joseph Kabila cannot make such a decision because his term in office expired in December 2016. The DRC Constitution does not allow a president whose term of office has expired to invite a foreign army into Congolese territory. So Uganda is violating international law.
AG: Uganda says they’re hunting down the Islamist ADF militia to make sure it doesn’t attack Uganda. They say they fear it will because it attacked the UN’s Tanzanian peacekeepers last week, killing 15 and wounding more than 50. What’s really going on?
BM: This argument is problematic and violates the principles of international law which makes “preventive warfare” illegal. A state cannot conduct operations on the territory of another state because it suspects that a threat will come from that state. Uganda claims to be launching a preventive war against the ADF in Congo, but we know that the attack on Tanzanian peacekeepers was not carried out by the ADF. The ADF has not even existed as a military force since April 2014. The massacres and violence that have been taking place in Beni since 2014 are carried out by certain units of the Congolese army with Rwandan officers and criminals recruited in Rwanda to cause chaos in Beni.
Like Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Congo’s President Kabila wants the world to believe that there is Islamist terrorism in Beni and a security crisis that requires him to remain in power indefinitely. Finally, the base where the Tanzanian peacekeepers were attacked is more than 50 km from the Ugandan border, where the Ugandan army says it is conducting operations against the “ADF positions.”
AG: So the people of Beni have Rwandan officers in their own army, and now they’ve got Ugandan attack aircraft overhead dropping bombs and Ugandan troops shelling them from across their border if they haven’t already moved troops into Congo. Is this the latest phase of the de facto occupation that began when Rwanda and Uganda invaded Congo in the 1990s?
BM: Thousands of Rwandan soldiers were poured into the ranks of the Congolese army following the Goma accords of March 2009. Since 2013, thousands of Rwandans have been sent to Beni where they occupy the territories formerly occupied by the ADF and the southern part of the neighboring province of Ituri. Uganda is currently in conflict with Rwanda and certainly does not welcome the massive influx of Rwandan soldiers and people into this part of Congo bordering Uganda.
AG: Given the current tensions between Rwanda and Uganda, is it possible that the Ugandan attack is in fact an attack on the Rwandan troops wearing Congolese uniforms?
BM: The Rwandans within the Congolese army are always surrounded by real Congolese soldiers. So if the Ugandan army targets the Rwandans, it will not attack the Congolese army directly. I believe that, at first, Uganda wants to reestablish its presence on Congolese soil and try to understand how Rwanda intends to consolidate its grip on this Congolese region. The two countries will monitor each other at first. Of course, officially, it’s all about “fighting the ADF.”
AG: Earlier this week, I wrote to MONUSCO’s Public Information Director to ask what the Tanzanian peacekeepers had been doing in Beni Territory, and she wrote back to say that when the UN Security Council last renewed the Tanzanian troops mandate, they “stressed the importance of neutralizing the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) among other armed groups.” She also said that they had gone there initially to protect MONUSCO engineers and equipment sent to rebuild the bridge across the Semuliki River after it had been blown up by the “suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).” Once the bridge had been rebuilt in 2015, she said, their temporary base became a permanent operating base and they’ve been there since.
After the December 7 attack, the Congo Research Group said that it had been a battle over control of the Mbau-Kamango road that goes through the Virunga park, crosses the Semuliki River (on the bridge), and leads to the Ugandan border at Nobili.
Now the UN News, the UN’s Radio Okapi, and MONUSCO Chief Maman Sidikoua all blame the ADF for this attack on the Tanzanian peacekeepers. Your response?
BM: The UN Security Council and MONUSCO have been talking about “alleged ADF fighters” for almost three years now, but they know that the real ADF fighters no longer exist. ADF leader Jamil Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania in April 2015 and has been in prison in Uganda since May 2015. All the area once controlled by the ADF has already been recovered by the army and MONUSCO. The attack on the Tanzanian peacekeepers was carried out by a force of several hundred combatants wearing Congolese uniforms in an area under Congolese army control. The ADF, even when they were active, could not carry out such a large-scale operation. Moreover, the number of ADF who survived the 2014 operations is no more than a hundred people scattered throughout the bush without coordination or supplies. How can anyone believe that they could mobilize several hundred combatants, attack a base of 100 highly trained and well armed soldiers from four sides, and sustain the battle for more than three hours?
AG: Several days before the attack, Radio Okapi reported that “Beni civil society” objected to Uganda’s plan to cross the border to go after the ADF because they thought the Ugandans were really coming to occupy Beni Territory and would not leave. They appear to have been the only organization or amalgam of organizations stating the obvious.
BM: Yes they were, and they are the ones being massacred.
AG: Could you say something about the Tanzanian peacekeepers, fifteen of whom died during the December 7 attack?
BM: The Tanzanian peacekeepers were an anomaly. Unlike other UN peacekeepers, they had earned the confidence of Beni’s population. They were the contingent most motivated to actually protect the civilian population, and the population was therefore far more likely to confide in them than in the Congolese soldiers. It must always be kept in mind that most Congolese army units in this part of the Congo are led by Rwandan officers who are hated by the population for their crimes and atrocities.
AG: What about the Tanzanians’ offensive mandate to go after the aggressors? The Tanzanian and South African peacekeepers were the first peacekeepers that the UN ever gave an offensive mandate. That happened back in 2013 when they joined the battle to drive M23 out of North Kivu Province, and the UN Security Council has renewed their mandate every year since. Have the Tanzanians used their offensive mandate in Beni, and if so, how? It’s hard to imagine they don’t know that the real aggressors are the Rwandan officers and soldiers in the so-called Congolese army, the FARDC.
BM: Tanzanian peacekeepers are in an uncomfortable situation. When they arrived in Congo in 2013, their country had all but declared war with Rwanda. The conflict began when former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete called on the Rwandan government to negotiate with the FDLR, the armed group of Hutu refugee in eastern Congo. Kagame digested this proposal very badly and threatened to hit the Tanzanian president. The climate between the two countries became very tense, and Tanzania expelled several thousand Rwandans from its territory. Then when the Tanzanian soldiers arrived in Congo to fight the M23, they found that most of them were not Congolese rebels but Rwandan soldiers under Rwandan command.
AG: Kagame threatened to “hit” Kikwete? You mean assassinate?
BM: Kagame’s exact words were: “I’m going to wait for you in the right place and I’ll hit you!” He said that at a rally in Rwanda in 2013 as though he were speaking to the Tanzanian president.
Then the Tanzanian president, also in a rally, retorted that “he [Kagame] will be hit like a kid.”
After M23’s flight back into Rwanda and Uganda, the Tanzanians found that units of the Congolese army included several thousand Rwandan soldiers, consequent to the agreement agreement signed in Goma on March 23, 2009. Despite their offensive mandate, the Tanzanians were exposed to great risk because they could never trust the Congolese army that they were supposed to be working with. A hidden war between Tanzania and Rwanda has been taking place in Congo.
An incident occurred in May 2015, after the Tanzanian peacekeepers were secretly informed that a massacre was going to be committed in the town of Mavivi. They went there, hid, and waited. When they saw men armed with machetes and guns encircling the houses and taking the families out, they opened fire and killed about twenty of them. When they examined the bodies of the attackers, they saw that they were wearing Congolese uniforms and that they were really Rwandan soldiers who had been “integrated” into the ranks of the Congolese army by the 2009 Goma agreement.
This incident was quickly hidden by the Congolese authorities and even MONUSCO because it would have been a serious scandal. The Congolese government has never acknowledged the presence of Rwandan soldiers in the ranks of its army, and it has always denied that the killers of Beni are members of the army. If it had been made public that the Tanzanians had ambushed these soldiers in Congolese uniforms as they were pulling people out of their homes for a massacre, it would have been impossible to continue to deny it. Other soldiers in Beni might have reacted and regional tensions would have increased.
AG: I remember when Rwandans became part of the Congolese army in Kivu in 2009. It made no sense whatsoever, but American officialdom applauded as though it was a great step towards peace in the region.
BM: That followed a secret agreement between Kabila and Kagame. The Rwandan army returned to Congo officially to fight the FDLR alongside the Congolese army in January 2009. In March 2009, the Rwandan army announced that they had completed their mission and left Congolese soil, but in reality, the majority of the Rwandan soldiers did not return to Rwanda. They stayed in Congo, hidden inside the Congolese army. They were preparing the ground for the new war, that of M23, that broke out in April 2012. This war was part of a secret project to place the eastern Congo under the power of Rwanda. The goal is to balkanize Congo. This is what explains the large number of Rwandan soldiers in the ranks of the Congolese army, and the large numbers of Rwandan peasants who have appeared in Beni and settled on the land that the native people were driven off of. They are there to advance this project, despite the opposition of the Congolese people.
AG: OK, one last question for now. The Tanzanian peacekeepers sound heroic. This is the first time I’ve heard of any UN peacekeepers in Congo who were actually committed to protecting civilians. Their death is a tragedy that should outrage anyone who understands what really happened and how it’s being covered up. Whoever sent them into this very dangerous and deceptive conflict zone with a mandate to go after the ADF should be held accountable, and Tanzanian President John Magufuli has demanded a full investigation. Do you think he will be satisfied if investigators tell him that his soldiers were killed by ghosts of the ADF?
BM: I believe that President Magufuli already knows who killed his soldiers. Tanzanians in Beni are very knowledgeable because they have the confidence of the people, but Magufuli, as president, is obliged to wait for the conclusion of an investigation. Unfortunately, in the Congo, it is very difficult to get an investigation into serious crimes. For example, investigations into the killing of the two UN experts earlier this year are constantly hampered by the authorities. What is unfortunate is that now, the Tanzanians may become passive like other peacekeepers and let the attacks on the population go on without trying to protect them. The message behind this attack was that no real peacekeeping will be tolerated.
Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at @AnnGarrison orann@kpfa.org 
Boniface Musavuli is a native of Beni Territory now living in political exile in France and author of the books “The Massacres of Beni” and “The Genocides of the Congolese, from Leopold II to Paul Kagame.” He can be reached at bmusavuli@gmail.com
Source: Blackstarnews

Kagame government blocked criminal probe, former chief prosecutor says

louise-arbour                                                                                                    Louise Arbour, the tribunal’s former chief prosecutor at ICTR

A United Nations criminal tribunal was so hobbled by the hostility of the Rwandan government that it was unable to investigate “very credible allegations” of crimes by the forces of President Paul Kagame, says Louise Arbour, the tribunal’s former chief prosecutor.

Ms. Arbour, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, revealed details in an interview with The Globe and Mail of how the Kagame government and its supporters made it difficult for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to investigate many serious crimes, including the assassination of two presidents – the event that ignited the genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The attack on the presidential plane in 1994 was just one of many unsolved crimes in Rwanda before and after the genocide, she said, adding: “I think that remains a very serious failing of international criminal justice.”

Ms. Arbour’s revelations about her three-year stint as the tribunal’s chief prosecutor came after The Globe obtained two documents – a deposition by one of Mr. Kagame’s former top aides and an earlier report by investigators at the UN Rwanda tribunal – pointing to the involvement of Mr. Kagame’s forces in the death of Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana.

The missile strike on the night of April 6, 1994, that killed Mr. Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira remains a mystery, but investigating magistrates in France have now reopened their probe to consider the new deposition by the former Kagame aide, who says he heard Mr. Kagame and two other aides admitting that they orchestrated the attack.

The French investigation was precipitated by a case filed by the families of the French crew of the plane carrying the two presidents, but later went into limbo because of a lack of witnesses.

Mr. Habyarimana’s daughter Marie-Rose, now a Canadian citizen, has criticized the UN tribunal for failing to pursue charges in connection with the assassination. “People have closed their eyes,” she told The Globe in an interview this month.

But Ms. Arbour said in her interview that Mr. Kagame’s government “could turn on and off the co-operative tap at will, depending whether they were pleased or not with the work that was being done.”

The tribunal, which closed last December after more than two decades of work, indicted 95 suspects and convicted 61 of them, but all were linked to the former Hutu regime of Mr. Habyarimana, which was driven out of power by Mr. Kagame’s forces after the genocide. Critics have said the tribunal became a form of “victor’s justice.”

The tribunal had the power to investigate crimes during the entire year of 1994, including the period before and after the genocide, but it did not indict anyone linked to Mr. Kagame and his Tutsi-led forces, despite many allegations against them.

“These kinds of very credible allegations have been made time and again,” Ms. Arbour said. “And in the 22 years of its history, the tribunal has never been able to take that on.”

The concerns about the imbalance in the tribunal’s prosecutions are valid, she said.

Ms. Arbour disclosed that she had told her successor, Carla Del Ponte, that the tribunal “had to make some efforts” to investigate “serious allegations of crimes” by “elements or sympathizers” of Mr. Kagame’s forces.

Those investigations “could only be done from outside the country” because of the dangers and difficulties of working inside Rwanda, she told Ms. Del Ponte in 1999, when she left the tribunal to become a Supreme Court justice.

“The office of the prosecutor was sitting right in the middle of the country, where allegedly some of the leadership elements had to be investigated,” Ms. Arbour told The Globe. “That’s not, frankly, very doable.”

Asked whether the tribunal could have investigated the assassination of the two presidents in 1994, she said: “We worked in a very fragile environment. I had a lot of concerns about the safety, the security of our witnesses. I don’t think we had anywhere near the kind of human resources, capacity, know-how, to do that work while we were sitting in that country.”

She drew a comparison to the criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where she was also the chief prosecutor and where she indicted former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes.

“I don’t think we would have managed to do leadership investigations in Yugoslavia had we been, in a sense, hostage to the government of Croatia, Bosnia or Serbia,” she said.

“Without being able to operate safely from the outside [of Rwanda] with a lot of credible, independent, outside investigative support – it’s not an excuse, but it’s in part an explanation as to why maybe this has never been done. It certainly would not have been doable in the first few years of the tribunal.”

The tribunal was “constantly in a conflictual position vis-à-vis President Kagame,” she said. For example, his government insisted that some genocide suspects should be put on trial domestically in Rwanda, rather than sent to the tribunal’s court in neighbouring Tanzania, she said.

“So even in the genocide prosecutions, we were very often – regularly – in conflict with the government, whom we would have thought would have been supportive of our work. So you can imagine what kind of situation we would have been in, sitting in the country needing visas to come in and out. … None of that was feasible without the full co-operation of the government.”

In a forthcoming book by freelance writer Judi Rever, a former senior official at the Rwanda tribunal says it was difficult to ensure the safety of witnesses who had information incriminating Mr. Kagame.

“The problem was that witnesses kept disappearing,” says Douglas Marks Moore, now a judge in Britain who was senior counsel to a team of investigators at the tribunal.

Many witnesses against Mr. Kagame fled to neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Uganda, but were then “extracted, tortured and killed,” he says.

This led to a serious depletion of the witness pool, he says in Ms. Rever’s book, In Praise of Blood, to be published by Random House Canada.

Mr. Marks Moore says it was “unwise” for the tribunal to have prosecuted only “one side” of the crimes in Rwanda.

Another senior investigator at the tribunal, former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Jim Lyons, told Ms. Rever that in 1997 the investigators heard detailed evidence from three witnesses who said Mr. Kagame was involved in planning the missile attack that killed the two presidents.

In the forthcoming book, Mr. Lyons says one of the tribunal investigators, Michael Hourigan, took the information to Ms. Arbour in 1997. “Arbour told him to shut down the investigation, that the ICTR had no mandate to investigate the plane crash – it had no jurisdiction,” he says.

Ms. Arbour said she met Mr. Hourigan only once. The information that he brought her about the plane crash “didn’t fall, in my view, within our prosecutorial agenda,” she told The Globe. “I don’t think we had the capacity or the resources, even if I had otherwise felt that we should collect information.”

MICHELLE ZILIO AND GEOFFREY YORK

Source:The Globe and Mail

Rwanda refuses to pay its dues and loses its UN General Assembly voting right!

60th plenary meeting of the General Assembly 66th session:

Jan. 26, 2014 – Rwanda and Yemen are among eight countries to have their General Assembly voting rights suspended over non-payment of dues.

These countries have fallen foul of Article 19 of the UN Charter, which states that countries will lose their UNGA vote if their “arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years.”

Rwanda completed a two-year stint on the Security Council on Dec. 31, 2014. It is the fifth biggest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations.

Minimum payments of $69,948 from Yemen and $7,636 from Rwanda are required to get their voting privileges back, according to a letter from Ban Ki-moon to the president of the General Assembly. Liberia is also listed in Ban’s letter but he has sinceinformed the GA that Monrovia has made the necessary payment.

Macedonia is also among the countries currently without a General Assembly vote. It will have to make a minimum payment of $24,606.

In total, 12 countries are not in compliance with Article 19, but four of those, including Guinea-Bissau and Somalia, can still vote as the GA decided that inability to pay is beyond their control.

The eight countries currently without a vote in the General Assembly:

1. Yemen
2. Grenada
3. Kyrgyzstan
4. Marshall Islands
5. Rwanda
6. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
7. Tonga
8. Vanuatu

Rwanda has been assessed dues of $54, 271 for 2015 while Yemen’s dues are $271,357 for the year.

Source:UNTRIBUNE