I’m not the kind of person people would say has an explosive temper; but something about the arrest of Rose Kabuye has totally rubbed me the wrong way.
I can not believe the arrogance of some people. How dare the Europeans decide to overstep their boundaries like that? I was surfing the net on Wednesday and I happened to visit the website of The New Vision, a Ugandan daily.
My eyes zeroed in on a forum where readers where asked to leave comments on the news of the day; well, the topic that day was the arrest of Kabuye and Rwanda’s subsequent expulsion of the German ambassador.
Comment after comment condemned ‘Rwanda’ for our ‘arrogance’! One fellow, so eloquently, declared that since we were poor, we shouldn’t have made a fuss about the actions of ‘rich’ Germany because the country gave us aid.
It was as if he was saying that if you’re poor, you have to grin and bear it; no matter what that ‘it’ is! I couldn’t let that pass. I fired off, an admittedly rather rude, response to that nonsense. With that out of the way, I started thinking about what today’s piece would be all about.
I was fortunate enough, that evening, to meet one of my law professors. The conversation naturally veered towards the arrest of Mrs. Kabuye and its legality, or rather its illegality, under the Vienna Convection on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
We agreed that the German action was rather murky. We also agreed that Mrs. Kabuye’s wish to be brought before a French Court, instead of a German one, was a stroke of genius. Here is why we thought so.
The shooting down of former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s jet—(Falcon 15 on April 6, 1994) is one of the many contested issue, both in Rwanda and internationally.
The Rwandan government has issued statement after statement that the then RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front) wasn’t guilty of that crime; but no matter what it declared time after time, there would be some people who simply refused to look at the facts and preferred to subscribe to the conspiracy theory that soldiers of the RPA (Rwanda Patriotic Army) shot down the airplane, ‘sparking’ the genocide.
Despite of all evidence to the contrary. Anyone, without a certain axe to grind, knows that genocide was planned and was being executed by Habyarimana’s government, long before he stepped on his plane for his rendezvous with destiny.
That some people want to pin that on the RPF is no secret; but now the brave men and women of RPF, who ended the genocide without nary a word from international community, and the Rwandan government can finally get that the ‘Habyarimana plane crash’ albatross from its neck.
If we had instituted a panel of inquiry here in Kigali we’d be accused of victors’ justice. So, here is a god-given opportunity to take the battle to enemies of the New Rwanda, and in their very own heartland as well.
Certain members of the French establishment ought to start feeling rather uncomfortable. Because, if the case against Mrs. Kabuye goes to trial (and I’m not too sure that the French will attempt a face-saving maneuver), for the first time, a proper investigation, instead of constant innuendos and rumors, will look at the details of the crash in the harsh light of the court house.
And if I am not mistaken, the truth will come out; it always does in the end. What will the truth be? That, the very same fellows, that the French government was arming, probably used the very same arms to shot down ‘their’ president. So, at last the truth will come out. The people in Rwanda and elsewhere, who would prefer to paint this government as somehow illegitimate because members of it ‘shot down the plane, will be forced to acknowledge that that isn’t true.
Sure they’ll get something else to scream about (Nkunda is the flavor of the day) but the ‘plane’ thing will be one less club to bash us with. In fact, the role of the French in the Genocide of the Tutsi’s will be highlighted in France.
They could ignore the Mucyo Report (A report released by Justice Ministry implicating France in 1994 Genocide) but will the French establishment ignore a court ruling that exonerates Mrs. Kabuye (and therefore all the other co-accused) and implicates them? I think not. I can hardly wait for the fireworks to begin.