As you are all well aware, on November 8, 2008, the Chief of Protocol of the President of Rwanda, Mrs Rose Kabuye, was arrested and detained in Frankfurt, Germany following the issuing of arrest warrants in 2006 against nine Rwandan senior government officials by French judge Jean Louis Bruguière.
It makes no doubt to any right-minded person in the world that these indictments have nothing to do with a genuine desire for justice.
It is the guilt trip of a former colonial superpower desperately attempting to hide its own involvement in the 1994 genocide by aiding and abetting the despotic and genocidaire regime of former President of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana.
But beyond this illegal and arbitrary arrest of Lt Colonel Kabuye hides a much bigger problem. It once again exposes the clear double standards existing in the way western governments choose to deal with the continent of Africa.
For it is unimaginable to conceive any Western leader being questioned, let alone indicted, on the basis of flawed witness accounts from individuals whose personal frustrations and political motivations are barely disguised amidst the legal manipulations of those claiming to be the impartial referees in the world of international justice.
The truth of it all is that in this day and age, as the World hails the election of a Black man to the presidency of the most powerful country, we Africans are still viewed and treated by the west as a subservient race unworthy of the same legal considerations and protections as the least of its citizens.
It is time we rise as people to denounce these double standards which stand as a menace to our continent’s stability.
As we all remember, during the 1994 Tutsi genocide, while part local media became part of the genocide machinery, the international media stood by as the horrendous crime went on .
Today, the Rwandan media cannot be passive onlookers again, as injustices in the name of International justice are being meted out to the very people who stopped the genocide. Media conspiracy and silence are not options for us here.
The Rwandan media fraternity thus calls upon the media, both local and international, national and global civil society organizations and all other justice loving people to stand up, denounce and condemn in the strongest terms possible, this form of injustice.
Let the sacrifice of Mrs Rose Kabuye be matched by our unity in facing the ongoing struggle of our full emancipation to become, as the words of Dr King still suggest, free at last!
For and on behalf of Rwandan media,
The Press House
Albert Rudatsimburwa, President (signed)
Rwanda Journalists Association
Gaspard Safari, President (signed)
Rwanda Editor’s Forum
Jean Bosco Rushingabigwi, President
(Signed, Kennedy Ndahiro, V/P)