Washington Times falls prey to Ingabire theatrics

The captured fighters have admitted to be of the FDLR whose premises are in DR Congo bushes. / File

The Washington Times, a US newspaper on October 30, 2019 published a story “Another disappearance of political opponent raises fresh questions about Rwandan president”. To those that have read similar articles before, the story looked like it had been lifted from a template. The paper attempted to tell its readers that the man “disappeared” because he was a member of FDU-Inkingi party.

To justify its story, The Washington Times quotes Victoire Ingabire, head of FDU-Inkingi. By any imagination this lady lacks credibility given her past conviction in relation to her involvement in criminal activities.

Victoire Ingabire spent eight years in prison for breaking the nation’s laws. The court found her guilty of spreading rumours with an intention to incite the public to rise up against the State, endangering state security and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and sentenced her to 15 years in prison. However, the President exercised his prerogative of mercy and granted her together with over 2,000 inmates convicted for various crimes early release.

Back in the Netherlands where she was a resident before coming back to Rwanda, the Dutch authorities found documents confirming that Ingabire had been sending money to Vital Uwumuremyi, an FDLR major. She and her FDU-Inkingi were in partnership with the terrorist group that’s an offshoot of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias, the main perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Even when she left prison in September last year, which was halfway through her sentence following a presidential clemency – for which she had been pleading– she went right back to plotting and coordinating her group’s terrorist activities.

If The Washington Times were interested in the truth they would discover that the UN itself implicated FDU-Inkingi as a member of the “P5” coalition – which includes Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, and FDLR – in plotting terror and armed conflict in Rwanda. The December 2018 UN Group of Experts Report on DRC (link), carries all the details of the P5’s terrorist activities.

Recently Ingabire has been seen frequenting public hearings in the Nyanza High Court of 11 members of her party that are accused of membership in an armed group with intention to overthrow the legitimate government. The 11 people were arrested when they were on their way to join rebel training camps in eastern DR Congo.

They were detained, and prosecuted with evidence in court. Ingabire has been attending their hearings as a highly interested party; and because her presence gives them “courage” that she’s with them. It may also serve to encourage them “not to divulge anything”.

All the facts show Victoire Ingabire has not changed one iota. Terror, armed conflict, violent regime change… those remain her goals and dreams.

This is the person that The Washington Times trots out to accuse the Rwandan leadership of crimes.

The paper says nothing of her terrorism; or what she’s been convicted of; or what the UN has said about her FDU-Inkingi “party”.

Her allegations that Eugene Ndereyimana has been made to “disappear” can’t stand a moment’s scrutiny. But Ingabire and others like her have on more than one occasion claimed, “so and so has disappeared”, only for that person to resurface somewhere some time later.

An objective journalist would ask: why would Rwanda risk its reputation as a country just to “disappear” someone?

Like Ingabire before him, if Ndereyimana were suspected of a crime he would face prosecution. If convicted he would serve jail time. Like Ingabire herself. Or like the 11 members of her party facing trial in the Nyanza High Court. Even the terror suspects that perpetrated grenade attacks that killed innocent civilians had their day in court. The judicial process ran its course.

Ingabire, or the Washington Times are yet to say why, according to them, Ndereyimana would be treated any differently, if indeed they think he had committed some offence.