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Exiled Rwandan Official Calls for Release of UN War Crimes Report

  • James Butty

A former chief of staff to Rwandan President Paul Kagame says the draft U.N. report that accuses the Rwandan army of committing war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo should be made public.

Theogene Rudasingwa, who is also former secretary-general to the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), said those who would be found guilty, including himself and President Kagame, should face justice.

This comes as Rudasingwa and three other exiled Rwandan leaders have released a 60-page document calling for the overthrow of President Kagame's administration.

Rudasingwa said the dictatorial regime of President Kagame has denied Rwandans their basic freedoms.

“Like many other Rwandans, both within the country and outside the country, we say that the country is facing triple problems, all emanating from the dictatorial powers that the current leader, General Kagame, holds in the country, and the first problem being the denial of the fundamental freedoms of the people. There are so many who died in Rwanda since 1994 and most of these deaths can be traced to General Kagame himself, or those under his command,” he said.

Rudasingwa said the other problems facing Rwanda under President Kagame include corruption and failing to bring about reconciliation between Rwanda’s ethnic groups.

In their 60-page document, the exiled group said an armed conflict in Rwanda was inevitable and called on Rwandans and the international community to work together to end what they called the repressive system of government in Rwanda.

“We said that, if the current conditions in Rwandan persist, then, as has happened in the past, civil conflict seems to be inevitable. But, we also said that it does not need to be like that because certainly we know some kinds of other things that need to be done in order to make sure that does not happen,” Rudasingwa said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will meet with President Kagame in Kigali Wednesday in an attempt to calm the diplomatic tension created by the leaking of the upcoming U.N. report which accuses the Rwandan army of committing war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo should be made public.

Rudasingwa said those who would be found guilty, including himself and President Kagame should face justice.

“If I were him, if it is true and he thinks he is innocent, I would say let everything be investigated and then let the people responsible for these crimes be brought to justice. So, if you ask me what is my opinion on the U.N. report, I would wish that this report is tabled as is, and I hope the United Nations and the rest of the international community will simply rise to the occasion and make sure that those who are investigated and found to have committed these crimes both in Rwanda and also in the Congo are brought to justice,” Rudasingwa said.

Rudasingwa said some elements of the RPF, which makes up the current Rwandan defense forces, committed human rights abuses before, during and after genocide in Rwanda.

He said President Kagame does not want these crimes to be investigated. But, Rudasingwa said he is willing to face the investigation.

“I am proclaiming in broad daylight in front of VOA that, if I am ever to have committed any crimes, I’ll be the first one to appear before the commission. So, I have nothing to fear. But, I’m making the same challenge to General Kagame that, if he is found that he is responsible for this, then, equally, he should be brought to justice,” Rudasingwa said.

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