KIGALI - Rwandan legislators, on Monday, expressed deep concern and outrage over the arrest in Germany of Rose Kabuye, the Director of State Protocol, while on official duty.
Interviewed yesterday, the legislators, most of whom had also braved the afternoon downpour to join thousands of protesters, against the disturbing development, in front of the Germany embassy, could not hide their anger and disapproval.
Kabuye was arrested Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by a French Judge, Jean Louis Bruguiere, who claims that she played a role in the shooting down of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane.
Speaking exclusively to The New Times at her offices in Kimihurura, Dr. Rose Mukantabana, Rwanda’s first female Speaker of Parliament, like many other legislators condemned the indictments explaining that they were defective.
It only proves that there are political problems they (the French) mix up with justice for their own interests,” she said, adding that France’s hand in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide has been well established but that France continues to conceal the truth, especially by putting the blame on Rwandans who actually stopped the Genocide.
Early in August, the Mucyo report, on the French’s role in the 1994 Genocide was released exposing evidence that France was aware of preparations for the genocide and helped train the ethnic Hutu militia perpetrators.
French troops are accused of direct involvement in the killings and 33 senior French military and political figures were implicated.
“Not only is this very embarrassing but also disheartening to Rwandans who suffered from the genocide,” the Speaker added, saying that the French now intentionally continue to hurt Rwandans instead of owning up, asking for forgiveness and considering the compensation of victims.
“My wish is that they stop hurting us and own up, stop mixing up politics and justice,” Mukantabana underscored.
She also had some bitter words for the European Community which says continue to watch instead of apprehending the genocidaires in their backyards.
“What hurts most is that these foreigners don’t help Rwanda follow up and apprehend the known genocidaires marauding freely in their countries, but harass those who liberated the country,” Mukantabana said.
“The chief of protocol has diplomatic immunity but they ignored it and continue to disrespect us,” she added.
Other legislators, including Solange Tuyisenge, Juvénal Nkusi and Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, the second Deputy Speaker also did not mince words on the matter.
“It is so disappointing if the European justice system is playing a game like this,” Ntawukuliryayo said, adding that seeing that what has already been condemned by many governments still taking place is bad enough.
“I don’t understand the reason why they are treating our people, people who fought to liberate the country, like this,” Ntawukuliryayo wondered.
Spéciose Mukandutiye, head of Women Parliamentarians’ Forum, said that Kabuye’s arrest was a very disheartening development, especially since it has been done in disregard to the right principles of international law.
Earlier this year, three international legal experts summoned by Parliament to help shed light on the principal of international jurisdiction revealed gross defects in the indictment issued against senior government officials by French and Spanish judges.
The three pointed out a number of incurable defects – procedural and legal shortcomings in both cases. They revealed that, among others, no thorough investigations were conducted and the little that was done is defective due to its secrecy and poor quality of witnesses as the judges relied on hearsay and did not conduct field investigations.
The Pan-African Parliament also condemned the indictments then and urged African Heads of State to denounce what they considered an attempt at derogating well established standards of international justice and self determination of a sovereign state.
Last week, Germany released two notorious genocidaires one of them, Callixte Mbarushimana, Secretary General of DR Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) remnants of people who carried out the 1994 Genocide of Tutsis.