PORT CITY OF SHARM EL SHEIKH - African Presidents have condemned in the strongest terms foreign indictments filed against senior officers of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) by two foreign judges. They announced the resolution yesterday at the ongoing African Union Heads of State Summit in the Egyptian port city of Sharm El Sheikh.
“The Summit requests the chairperson of the AU Commission to urgently cause a meeting between the AU and EU to discuss the matter with a view to finding a lasting solution to this problem and in particular to ensure that those warrants are withdrawn and are not executable in any country,” says a resolution from the Summit.
The indictments, denounced by various continental institutions, were issued by two judges from France and Spain against RDF officers.
“Those warrants shall not be executed in the African Union member States,” the Presidents unanimously ruled.
The Heads of State urged that the political nature and abuse of the principle of universal jurisdiction by judges from some non-African States against African leaders, particularly Rwanda, is a clear violation of their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“The abuse of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction is a development that could endanger international law, order and security,” the Heads of State resolved.
President Paul Kagame was present at the summit which opened Monday.
The Presidents also called upon the chairperson of the AU commission to table the matter before the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly for consideration.
The development comes after an AU ministerial meeting and the Pan-African Parliament earlier this year, separately recommended that the issue be tabled before the Presidents.
They had all condemned the indictments, on the grounds that they were in contravention of the international law and were in total disregard to state sovereignty, to which all UN member-states are entitled.
All the indictments were issued on the basis of hearsay, mostly propagated by elements on the run from justice for the role they played in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide which left over one million people dead.
None of the two judges came to Rwanda to carry out investigations prior to issuing the indictments a fact, among others, that has been criticised by various international judicial experts.