Rwanda's chief of protocol goes before a French judge today
(Monday) after she was arrested in Germany over allegations of participating in
the assassination of the country's former president, an event that triggered
the country's 1994 genocide. Rose Kabuye, who was a leading member of a former
rebel group, was arrested Sunday on her arrival at Frankfurt Airport under a
French-issued arrest warrant. She is the first Rwandan to be arrested out of
nine warrants issued by French judge Jean-Louis Bruguire in 2006 against close
aides of President Paul Kagame for their alleged role in the assassination of
former President Juvenal Habyarimana.
The death of the former president is
widely believed to have started the 1994 genocide in which 800 thousand
minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed over a 100-day period. But
President Paul Kagame's government Sunday rejected the arrests citing European
political manipulation against Rwanda.
Bosco Gasasira is the editor of the Umuvugizi independent newspaper. He
tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Kigali that President Kagame's
government hurriedly organized a news conference to explain its displeasure
with the arrest of the diplomat.
"The news conference was
unexpected, it was very urgent and it was called tonight explaining the arrest
of retired colonel Rose Kabuye. They were explaining that her arrest was
politically manipulated and was saying that if the European countries continue
to base their action on such political indictment, the international
jurisdiction is going to be in anarchy,"
said the government sharply denied that Rose Kabuye, who is currently the chief
of protocol in President Kagame's government, was responsible for the charges
being leveled against her.
(government) are saying that colonel Rose Kabuye was among those who stopped
the genocide. And for them (Europeans)
they are saying that she committed war crimes or was among those who shot
ex-President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane. But the government is saying that is
manipulation or fraud justice, claming that it was not true of the charges
leveled against her (Kabuye). The government is calling on all European
countries where the indictment holds not to respond to them," he said.
said President Kagame's government has strongly protested the arrest of its
chief of protocol to the German ambassador in Kigali.
foreign affairs minister just told journalists that the German Ambassador to
Rwanda was called yesterday (Sunday) afternoon so that they could tell him how
Rwanda is unhappy about what happened in Rose Kabuye's arrest," Gasasira noted.
said Kigali is promising to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the
chief of protocol.
Rose Kabuye is going to be transferred from Germany to France. And we should be
reminded that she is supposed to appear today (Monday). She is supposed to
appear in front of the judge on the allegations of war crimes and the shooting
down of the plane of the former Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana. And the
government is saying that if at all she needs any assistance, they are going to
be there for her, both financial and legal assistance," he said.
said the government is dismissing the charges as unsubstantiated.
government is blaming the European countries saying that the allegations on
both Rose Kabuye and her former colleagues that is the four RDF (Rwanda Defense
Forces) in the former rebel movement who were indicted, they are saying those
allegations are baseless, and that these are manipulations against the Rwanda
Defense Forces," Gasasira pointed out.
said the French army has filed a suit against Kigali over defamation.
week the French Army sued the Rwandan government for defamation after the
Kigali government accused French soldiers of having a hand in the country's
1994 genocide. So, there is all along the fight between Rwanda and France, each
accusing the other of having an upper hand in the genocide and committing war
crimes," he said.
April, Kabuye sparked controversy by visiting Germany as part of an official
delegation headed by Kagame. But Berlin at the time
acknowledged its government was not aware of the French arrest warrant, adding
that German law prevented it from taking action against representatives of
foreign states or their delegations it had invited to visit.
Both Rwanda and France have
long traded and refuted accusations of involvement in the genocide. Kigali
broke off ties with Paris following the French arrest
warrants. In August, the Rwandan government issued a 500-page report
accusing 13 French politicians of playing a role in the massacres, including
then-president Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, and former prime minister Edouard Balladur. The report
alleged France's complicity saying Paris was aware of preparations for the
genocide, and significantly contributed to planning and participating in the