The Rwandan government is said to be unhappy about allegations by a French judge, accusing president Paul Kagame of complicity in the country’s 1994 genocide in which scores of Hutus and moderate Tutsis were killed. Justice minister Tharcisse Karugarama says the allegations are not only wild and baseless but they seek to undermine the sovereignty of Rwanda.
“This procedure adopted by the judge in questions to us looks ridiculous and absurd. It is most unusual for a foreign judge to issue an indictment against authorities of a sovereign nation where diplomatic relations exist, where judicial authorities exist without any due respect for the institutions of a sovereign state,” he said.
Karugarama said Rwanda is capable of handling its internal affairs. He urged the French judge to reconsider his decision to indict President Kagame.
“We believe that since Rwanda is a sovereign state and since the allegations or the offenses were committed in Rwanda and by Rwandans, then it would have been fair if the French authorities have any suggestion to make either to go through diplomatic channels or go through Rwandan judiciary to issue the indictment,” Karugarama noted.
Karugarama said the alleged indictments against the president are based on stories told by Rwandans hiding in Europe. He then questioned the supposed investigation by the French judge.
“The evidence on the basis of which these indictments are being issued are indictments issued by Rwanda dissidents in France or in other European capitals. This judge has never stepped in Rwanda to carry out investigations; he just sits in Europe and listens to stories by dissidents who were involved in the country’s genocide,” he said.
Karugarama said Rwanda will resist any form of intimidation by a foreign country.
“We feel that this is a political game being clothed in a political clothing. The Rwanda government will resist those intimidations, political intimation by a superpower against a small country trying to establish law and order and to heal the wounds of genocide,” Karugarama said.
He alleges France’s complicity in the Rwanda’s genocide.
“France is being alleged to have had a role in the genocide, and a commission of inquiry was set up in Rwanda here to try to investigate those allegations. As soon as the commission starts getting some testimonies public, then bam! You hear indictments are being issued against the Rwandan authorities. This to us is political intimidation,” Karugarama said.
He accused lawyers defending genocide masterminds as those who benefited financially from the country’s genocide.
“Those are the guys in Arusha who have benefited from the spoils of genocide. They have no moral authority to talk whatsoever. Those are guys who benefited in terms of billions of dollars financed by international communities to’ defend those genocide perpetrators,” he said.
Karugarama called the indictments absurd; claiming Rwandan dissidents in Europe concocted the evidence on which the indictment is based.
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