Govt scoffs at Karenzi critics

KIGALI - The government has snubbed recent allegations made by the United Democratic Force – Inkingi against Maj. Gen. Karenzi Karake, who awaits a final UN approval to become the Joint Deputy Force Commander for the hybrid AU-UN force (UNAMID) in Sudan’s Darfur region.

KIGALI - The government has snubbed recent allegations made by the United Democratic Force – Inkingi against Maj. Gen. Karenzi Karake, who awaits a final UN approval to become the Joint Deputy Force Commander for the hybrid AU-UN force (UNAMID) in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The Belgian-based group accused Karake of playing part in massacres of 8,000 civilians in Kibeho in 1995, and masterminding assassination of numerous politicians during the liberation struggle at a time when he was RPA’s chief liaison officer to the Organization of African Unity’s Neutral Military Group (NMOG) and to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR).

But Kigali has described the group as “an amalgamation of extremist fugitives known for their Genocide ideology and hostility against the Government of Rwanda.”

A statement released yesterday by the Foreign Affairs ministry says: ‘This is a mere fabrication by UDF – Inkingi and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

It is indeed, a well known fact that the death of several politicians from the opposition who had been consistently accused and condemned as being RPF allies by the notorious hate media particularly the RTLM and Kangura as well as extremist CDR political party together with then government were as a result of extremist elements’ actions in the country who sought to derail the peace process, muzzle the opposition and lay foundation for the Genocide against the people of Rwanda.’

‘Many of the remnants of these extremist groups are today with the UDF – Inkingi. ‘Why didn’t these extremists accuse Maj. Gen Karake at the time of these assassinations, put him to trial or expel him from Kigali, a government-held territory where he lived under extremely limited freedom of movement?

Why didn’t they investigate these while they were still in power?’ reads part of the release.

On Kibeho incidents, the government said an international commission of inquiry led by a senior Canadian diplomat, Ambassador Bernard Dussault, was set up to investigate the causes of the death of the internally displaced people in Kibeho, and the findings of the report submitted on May 18, 1995.

“The conclusions of the report were that the Kibeho massacres which constituted a humanitarian disaster then were neither the result of a planned action to kill a specific group of people nor the result of an incident which could have been prevented.

‘The said international commission established that the camp was a source of insecurity to the country.

The report also concludes that there exists sufficient evidence to establish the fact that the death of people in Kibeho was a result of armed individuals among the displaced persons themselves who constituted a security threat at a time of rampant insecurity in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide,’ says the statement.

It adds: “General Karake did not take part in any operation at Kibeho camp as can be found in the above-mentioned report by an international commission of inquiry.

Moreover, any RPA officer found to have employed excessive force during the operation at Kibeho camp for displaced persons was punished as evidence demonstrates.”

The government also dismissed accusations that Karake supervised mass killings of civilian refugees in DR Congo saying that the allegation is ‘part of the ongoing campaign to tarnish Rwanda’s image orchestrated by the genocidal regime and its friends.’

The government also says that the ‘timing of the allegations by the United Force-Inkingi against Gen Karake  is not a mere coincidence having come just after his AU/ UN appointment and is intended to discredit the government of Rwanda and confuse the international community.

‘However Rwanda can neither be intimated nor be tempted to abandon an important exercise of peace support to a sister African country like the Sudan by the likes of UDF-Inkingi.’

The 26,000-strong joint AU-UN force, expected to be deployed later this year, is meant to bring peace to Darfur where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and about 2.5 million others left homeless.

Rwanda fields some 2,000 of the current 7,000 AU troops in Darfur.
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