KIGALI - Businesses in Kigali city came to a standstill yesterday as Rwandans in their thousands once again rallied outside the German embassy, and other places, to voice their support for Rose Kabuye and protest against “European injustice.”
In Nyamirambo, a city surburb, young and old, women and men, converged at tapis rouge mini-stadium early in the morning and headed towards the embassy where they met hundreds more from other parts of Kigali.
As Rose was being extradited to France, thousands of miles away in Europe, songs, including gospel and placards left no doubts on what Rwandans’ feelings were.
“France, stop attempts to blur role in genocide!” “Why don’t you arrest genocidaires on your soil?”
“Arrested in breach of Geneva Conventions,” “Rose Kabuye is innocent, she is ready to prove it,” “European justice? Free genocidaires, indict liberators!”
Were some of the shouting messages from the hundreds of disapproving posters. The harmonious and very peaceful protest despite the sorrow was a factor some saw as a sign of hope.
“My feeling today is really a good feeling as Rwandans have showed the world that they are united against the injustice and total arrogance,” Minister of State for Primary and Higher Education, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka told The New Times before the rains came pouring.
Neither the mid-day heat nor the downpour that followed could put off the protesters, they stood their ground, chanting, singing and dancing throughout.
Huddled under a small umbrella, together with five other protesters, legislator Bernadette Kanzayire like most senior Rwandans seemed unperturbed by the biting cold.
“This is a war,” she told The New Times.
“We are rallying as Rwandans because of the sorrow caused by our hero’s arrest,” she later said, explaining that Kabuye had a role in stopping the genocide yet she is being arrested while the real perpetrators are untouched in Europe.
“This hurts us very much. And we condemn France and Germany for this injustice.”