The United States State Department has urged the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to renew the contract of Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, the Deputy Force Commander for the AU/UN Hybrid Force in Darfur (UNAMID).
The request to extend Karenzi’s contract was forwarded by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer during the weekend. Karenzi was appointed UNAMID Deputy Force commander in August last year with a mandate of 12 months. According to media sources, Frazer said that Rwandan troops have more than any other force played a pivotal role in Darfur and may be called to play a similar one in a future UN mission in Somalia. She signaled that Karenzi ‘has to stay.’ Frazer’s statement comes a few days after the US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that his nation was backing Rwanda’s idea of keeping Gen. Karenzi in Darfur.
The extension of Gen. Karenzi’s contract came up after an amalgamation of extremist fugitives known for their genocide ideology, United Democratic Force-Inkingi (UDF-Inkingi), made unfounded allegations against Gen. Karenzi a few days after his deployment to Darfur last year.
As a result of UDF-Inkingi’s false allegations, a Spanish magistrate, Fernando Merelles issued an indictment in February against 40 Rwandan officials, including Karenzi, alleging they had committed crimes against humanity in 1994 during the liberation struggle.
Merelles’s indictments were strongly criticised globally.
Jendayi Frazer’s statement is a strong indicator that the US is backing Rwanda in denouncing the false allegations.
“By most accounts, Karenzi has served with distinction in Darfur,” reported the Washington Post.
UN peace keeping officials said they looked into the allegations but fond them baseless.
In a related development, the Military spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, said that there are some elements who want to gain negative political capital out of Rwanda’s liberators.