The capture of the spokesman of the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) Lt. Colonel Michel Habimana alias Edmond Ngarambe was a major news item in the country. Earlier it was reported that he had surrendered but later it was reported that he was captured.
He joined several other former FDLR fighters who have voluntarily given themselves up or have been captured as a result of pressure from the joint Rwanda/ DR Congo operation, aimed at flushing out the remnants of the ex FAR/Iterahamwe.
The capture of Habimana is a major blow to the rebel group led by the Germany based Ignace Murwanyashaka. After his capture he revealed that he at one time was the group’s special envoy to Belgium, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. He is reported to have called upon the FDLR rebel leaders to free hostages and put an end to their genocidal campaign.
Since the beginning of the campaign dubbed “Operation Umoja Wetu” many Rwandans have returned home from the jungles of eastern DR Congo. It was also reported that over forty rebels of the FDLR have been killed in an air raid carried out by the FARDC and the RDF in the Walikale and Masisi areas of eastern DR Congo.
Apparently the FDLR is now caught between a rock and a hard place and the only option left is to give up war and return to Rwanda.
Permanent Secretary sacked
It was reported this week that the permanent secretary in the ministry of East African Community (EAC) affairs Charles Gasana has been sacked. He was fired by Prime Minister Bernard Makuza.
Kagame, British army chief discuss regional security
President Paul Kagame on Wednesday held talks with the British Chief of General Staff (CGS), General Sir Richard Dannat at Urugwiro Village.
According to press reports, the two discussed issues regarding regional security. The British army chief was in the country for two days. He also held talks with the Rwanda army Chief of General Staff General James Kabarebe.
Rwanda coffee praised
It was reported in the week that Rwanda has been hailed as one of the world’s leading and most consistent producers of coffee.
The praise was bestowed upon Rwanda by the Executive Director of the International Coffee Organisation, Nestor Osorio and the Secretary General of Inter Africa Coffee Organisation, Josepha Sacko.
The two made the remarks on Rwanda coffee after paying a courtesy call on President Kagame, where they delivered a congratulatory message according to press reports.
Onsorio and Sacko are in the country to attend the 6th East African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) Conference that is taking place in Kigali.
It was also reported in the week that the deputy registrar of the Arusha based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Everard O’Donnel has resigned. It was reported that he resigned on “purely personal grounds”.
A number of workers at the Arusha based tribunal have of late been resigning ostensibly for greener pastures. On the international scene, American president Barack Obama finally managed to have his stimulus bill passed by the American congress. Both chambers of the congress passed the bill, which will now be signed into law.
The USD787 billion stimulus package is expected to save or create 3.5 million jobs according to Obama. The passing of the stimulus bill is a major achievement or the new Obama administration.
Early in the week, longtime Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as his country’s prime minister by his bitter opponent Robert Mugabe. This has been billed as the start of the end of the Mugabe era in Zimbabwe.