Where is the German sense of fairness? Why should the German government arrest a Rwandan government official on the basis of indictments issued by a French government in an effort to cover up its very prominent role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide?
The government in Berlin is aware that the Bruguière warrants have been widely denounced all over the world, precisely because of their political nature.
Ever since the French indictments were issued, Mrs. Rose Kabuye’s travel schedule has never changed. She has traveled without any inhibition, on both official and private trips to countries in North America and Europe, including Germany itself.
The most disgusting aspect of this European harassment and mistreatment of senior Rwandan government officials, including people like Rose Kabuye who played a prominent role in putting an end to the 1994 genocide, is the fact that European countries, including Germany and France have been home not only to prominent perpetrators of the 1994 Tutsi genocide, but also to the leaders of organizations that have been listed as terrorist organizations.
FDLR/Interahamwe, who have devastated the Great Lakes region after committing genocide in Rwanda, have their leadership ensconced in Germany, where they plan and raise money for atrocities against the people of this region.
While the German government was quick to execute a politically inspired indictment from the French government, Rwandan genocidal criminals with outstanding international warrants of arrest are living and plotting their crimes on German soil.
The Rwandan genocidal criminals on Interpol’s “wanted list” are so confident of the protection they have been guaranteed by these European countries, they have never bothered to hide their whereabouts.
Three days ago, I watched in disbelief as Ignace Murwanashyaka, the overall leader of FDLR, spoke on the German public Broadcasting Television (Deutsche Welle), in the safety of his home challenging the German law enforcement to come and arrest him, since they know his address.
Indeed the DW programme hosted a number of other guests, including prominent German Human Rights activists and academics, who were all horrified by the fact that their government is protecting such an international criminal, as Murwanashyaka.
Indeed Murwanashyaka’s is not an isolated case. Recently, the government of Germany released, after a few days in detention, Callixte Mbarushimana, a well known genocide criminal, who organized and carried out the killings of UNDP Tutsi staff in 1994. Mbarushimana is now back to the safety and protection of the French government.
Personally, I disagree with those who categories this shameless abuse of justice as “double standards”.
It would be described as such only if you had two categories of criminals and the Europeans chose to apply justice to only one of the categories while shielding the other.
In this case what you have is a European justice system targeting and victimizing innocent Rwandans, while openly protecting Rwandan international criminals and terrorists.
This is European arrogance at its most obscene; openly supporting and protecting genocide criminals; reminiscent of François Mitterand’s statement that issues like genocide don’t amount to anything when Africans are the victims.
For the last three months, France has found herself in the lock, with the release of the Mucyo Commission which the government in Paris found simply unassailable, to the extent that even its attempts to dismiss it were roundly condemned around the world.
Even the most sympathetic and ardent supporters of the regime among French newspaper columnists and intellectuals have advised that the least the government should do is to address the issues raised in the report, as it is too detailed and professionally documented to be ignored.
The report has worked up the French government establishment so much that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris has turned into a spin centre in an effort to smear the government of Rwanda.
Last September, after the meeting between President Paul Kagame and Nicolas Sarkozy of France, the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, who was not present at the meeting, told reporters that President Kagame had requested his French counterpart to drop the Bruguière indictments. It turned out Kouchner was peddling a falsehood.
Last week, the French ambassador in Kampala released a communiqué falsely accusing Rwanda of complicity in the ongoing conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The list of false accusation is long.
In an effort to divert attention from the body blow and moral devastation it has suffered with the release of the Mucyo Commission, the French government has worked hard to exert pressure on some European Union member countries in order to have them arrest Rwandan officials, on the basis of indictments which most them had largely ignored.
Shamelessly, the German government caved in. The authorities in Berlin were so eager to please; they threw the Vienna Convention out of the window.
Mrs. Rose Kabuye had diplomatic immunity with all the privileges accorded in line with the Vienna Convention. However, the Germans chose to disregard the rules as they yielded to the French pressure.
Incidentally Rose Kabuye had, two years ago, petitioned the French courts challenging her indictment, but the authorities in Paris had stalled, thereby denying her the right to clear her name.
After her arrest in Frankfurt, Mrs. Kabuye was given the choice between a trial in Germany or in France. In spite of the hostility and the French courts past refusal to grant her a hearing to challenge the indictments, she has chosen to have the case tried in France.
After speaking to her lawyers both in Germany and France, and given the way the French government is dragging its feet, failing to decide whether they should really try her in France, it seems the authorities in Paris have bitten off more than the can chew.