Female war veterans end sit-in at German Embassy

NYARUGENGE - Women war veterans under an organisation known as Ndabaga, yesterday called an end to their month-and-a-half sit-in outside at the German Embassy on the news that their fellow combatant, Rose Kabuye, was returning home.
Members of Ndabaga Association celebrating after the demolition of the tent that had been erected before the German Embassy since the arrest of Rose Kabuye. (Photo/ G. Barya)
Members of Ndabaga Association celebrating after the demolition of the tent that had been erected before the German Embassy since the arrest of Rose Kabuye. (Photo/ G. Barya)

NYARUGENGE - Women war veterans under an organisation known as Ndabaga, yesterday called an end to their month-and-a-half sit-in outside at the German Embassy on the news that their fellow combatant, Rose Kabuye, was returning home.

Kabuye, who is also the Director of State Protocol has been on bail in France  awaiting trial for over a month but, had her bail conditions modified on Monday evening so that she could come back to Rwanda.

The women had camped in a tent at the gates of the German Embassy since Kabuye’s arrest in Germany early last month and had vowed not to leave until she returns home.
Kabuye is expected to return today afternoon.

Led by the Kigali City vice Mayor in Charge of Social Affairs, Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba, the women danced in celebration as they dismantled the tent that had been sheltering them and walked home shouting in victory.

Kabuye was arrested in Germany where she had gone to prepare a presidential visit and her arrest stemmed from indictments issued by French Judge Jean Louis Bruguière in November 2006.

At the embassy in Kiyovu, the women who had vowed to stay at the gates of the Embassy until their demands were met, celebrated their victory is style as they drunk milk that was brought to them by three elderly women who were referred to as ‘the mothers of the nation’.

Daphrose Mukabaranga one of the three women said that the milk had been blessed by victory and prosperity.

“It is a sign that the mothers of Rwanda are standing firm with Kabuye and all Rwandans,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of her fellow veterans, Rose Kayumba gave the story of the tent saying that there was strong solidarity that was created among the women.

“We exchanged ideas on patriotism; we planned the future of our country and posed a challenge to the future generation of how they should deal with challenges like this,” said Kayumba. She however said that the battle still continues since the arrest warrants on some other Rwanda officials are still on.

The German embassy has played host to dozens of protests including a mega one that convened on November 20, the day she was transferred from Germany to France.

These protests brought together at least 100,000 Kigali citizens who braved a heavy downpour to protest the arrest of the Kabuye who was once Kigali City Mayor.

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