VILLAGE URUGWIRO - President Paul Kagame has described international justice as a myth where some countries use it to serve their interests at the expense of others.
He said this yesterday while reacting to the recent arrest in Germany of the Director of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, over what he termed as trumped up charges by French Judge, Jean Louis Bruguière.
“The International Justice has become a myth where the so called rich nations use it to their own convenience. Known criminals live in comfort in Germany while an innocent government official is thrown in prison without even regarding her immunity status,” said the President while addressing a press conference at Urugwiro Village.
Among the criminals living in Germany is Ignace Murwanashyaka, the leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel outfit made up of elements responsible for the 1994 Tutsi Genocide and operating in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Both Murwanashyaka and Callixte Mbarushimana, the Secretary General of FDLR live in Germany despite the numerous condemnations against their group.
The two are accused of atrocities they committed both in Rwanda and in the DR Congo which has been their base for the last 14 years.
“Actually, the contribution of this international justice is creating a problem rather than a solution to world peace,” said the President, Rose Kabuye was in Germany to prepare for the President’s trip at the time of her arrest ten days ago.
Kagame went ahead with the trip to the European country despite the arrest and during his time there he paid a visit to Kabuye at the Reungsheim Women’s Prison. Her transfer to France is expected tomorrow, Wednesday.
“The universal jurisdiction would have been universal if it was applicable to all countries and this is not the case …they should, I hope, have in mind that the universal jurisdiction principle may be applied to them,” said Kagame.
Kabuye was indicted together with eight other officers formerly in the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA)– the force responsible for stopping the Genocide for the alleged shooting down of a plane carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana, despite several reports that have proved otherwise.
Reports on the mystery surrounding the downing of the Falcon jet have been compiled by among others, an inquiry commissioned by the United Nations and another by the French parliament and none of these has pointed in the direction of the RPA, thereby discrediting Bruguiėre’s findings especially since he did not even bother to carry out investigations in Rwanda where it all took place.
Dismissing assumptions that shooting down the plane triggered the Genocide, Kagame told journalists that it was prepared way before Habyarimana’s plane was shot down.
“Some things have been ignored. For example the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) came out clearly and refuted claims that there was any link between shooting down Habyarimana’s plane and the Genocide in Rwanda…the Genocide in 1994 was an extreme of what began way back in 1959,” said Kagame. He also said that Kabuye’s arrest and all the injustices committed by the European countries is a cover up of their failures.
“This (arrest) is a cover up for the lack of responsibility by the powers that be and the arrogance that they can do anything and get away with it…it is a cover up for their own failures and responsibilities which is what is happening in Congo (DR),” the President added.
Demonstrations have been staged by Rwandans both in the country and in the Diaspora, protesting Kabuye’s arrest, an act that has been seen as an abuse to the international human rights norms. Today the protests move to Sweden while Wednesday is reserved for nationwide protests organised by the civil society.
Kagame said: “It is not Rose in the dock, be it in France or Germany, it is Rwanda as a country.”
Kabuye, who in her capacity as a diplomat was in the VIP lounge of the Frankfurt International Airport at the time of her arrest, was warned by German authorities that she could be arrested upon arrival there but she chose to go.
“She had nothing to stop her from travelling to perform her duties simply because the Germans had told her she would be arrested… they (Germans) are not law unto themselves and they went out of international norms by arresting her,” said Kagame.
Following her request to be transferred to France from where she wants to prove her innocence, the transfer is slated for tomorrow.