Rwandans are gearing up for the return home Wednesday of Rose Kabuye, President Paul Kagame’s chief of protocol who has been held in France since November for her alleged role in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
Kabuye is alleged to have played a role in the 1994 plane crash that killed the then Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana. French authorities granted the 47-year-old Kabuye permission to return home for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Rwanda Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told French authorities did the right thing for granting Kabuye bail because he said she is not guilty of the charges.
“Rose Kabuye was granted bail by the French judiciary authorities on an application for release that was filed in court when she was delivered to the French judicial authorities...now they have given her what they called, I think in technical terms extra-territorial extension. So she’s free to move out of France, she’s free to come to her country; she’s free to go anywhere she wants,” he said.
Kabuye’s arrest sparked widespread protests throughout Rwanda as well as condemnation of colonial power France.
Karugarama said the decision by the French judicial authorities to grant bail to Kabuye would go a long way in improving relations between the two countries.
“We think what the French judicial authorities have done is a step in the right direction, namely that is a lady that is innocent that was placed under fraudulent charges, and we think that the French judicial authorities have seen it through. I think you might wish to agree with me that in deed it’s very rare that international terrorists are allowed freely to move in and out of the country,” Karugarama said.
Karugarama said Kabuye would return to France if and when she is required to do so by the French judicial authorities.