Thousands stand behind their leader - Kabuye
Thousands of angry but peaceful marchers from around different upcountry regions took to the streets again on Wednesday, in what seemed like the biggest show of protest against the arrest of Rwandan Director of State Protocol.
Kabuye, was arrested twelve days ago in Frankfurt, Germany, on arrest warrants issued by a French Judge, Jean Louis Brugiere.
The demonstrations were organised by civil society organisations, religious institutions, cooperatives and associations, and the number of protestors were much bigger compared to similar protests last week.
In Huye district, the demonstrators who rallied at the Huye football stadium, carried placards with messages denouncing what they called the arbitrary arrest of Kabuye, and ‘the continued manipulation’ of the international justice system by some European countries.
“The arrest of Rose Kabuye is politically motivated. We strongly condemn the role of France in the arrest… and call for her immediate release,” said Glorieuse Mukamwezi, the President of the National Council for Women in the district.
Mukamwezi wondered how countries like Germany, that have offered sanctuary to perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide make a u turn to arrest people who sacrificed their lives to stop it.
“This is bullying of developing nations by their developed counterparts at its best. We should say no to this arrogance and let them know that we shall never accept to be bullied,” said Mukamwezi, amid cheers from the crowd that braved the blazing mid morning sun.
Demonstrations also prayed. Pastor Herman Gatwara, prayed that the truth prevail in this case calling for God’s hand in protecting Rwandans against the works of the enemy.
Fidèle Ndayisaba, the provincial governor, said the demonstrations should show the world that Rwanda does not condone the arrogance of some European powers.
“France failed itself by supporting a killer government during the 1994 Genocide and will continue to do so unless it turns away from its evil machinations against Rwanda,” Ndayisaba told the over 5,000 cheering protestors.
He called upon Rwandans to continue the struggle against the ‘arrogance and bullying’ by some European countries. Citizens, he said, should work with the zeal and determination as they strive to better their living conditions.
In Gicumbi district, the protestors thronged five centres of Byumba, Rukomo, Gaseke, Ngondole and Gatuna to express their anger.
The residents carrying placards denouncing the French and the German governments said the arrest, was a sign of unabated intimidation of Rwandan people.
“We want Rose Kabuye released. France and Germany stop intimidating Rwandans. We are behind our leaders,” chanted hundreds of Byumba Sector residents as they marched through Byumba town.
Addressing the protesters at Byumba Taxi Park, the Governor of the Northern Province, Boniface Rucagu said the arrest of Rose is the work of genocide ideology perpetrators, who want to confuse the world on the role of France in the 1994 Tutsi genocide.
“Kabuye’s arrest is the arrest of all Rwandans, which is the reason we should continue to resist the continued bullying of Rwandans by France and Germany,” said Rucagu.
The protests that started at 8.00 am and ended at 11.00 attracted many people including Members of Parliament, district leaders and judiciary officials. Meanwhile, in Musanze district, the protests attracted even foreigners.
Cathy, a Canadian working in Musanze said, “It’s a shock, I see no foundation of the charges against a person who participated in stopping the genocide.’’
“Free Kabuye and arrest the genocidaires, if justice is to be seen to be done, she must be delivered now,’’ other demonstrators shouted.
“We have one concern, free Rose, the French are still pursuing their plan of destabilising our country and this should bring us together as one people and condemn that action,’’ said Celestin Kalabayinga, the area Mayor. He was in Germany recently.
“The demonstration is an expression of the sorrow caused by the German government and France who are working to show injustice and bring disorder.’’
Foreigners who included Canadians and Americans moved along with other residents shouting anti-European slogans and raising posters denouncing the detention. The residents called for the arrest of Genocide fugitives still hiding in France and Germany.