RWANDA: ARRESTED WAR CRIMINAL GENERAL KARENZI KARAKE GRANTED BAIL BY UNITED KINGDOM COURT

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FDU – National Movement
I N K U B I R I

Equal Rights . Freedom . Social Progress

Press release

On June 23rd, 2015 the British High Commissioner in Rwanda circulated a press release officially confirming the arrest of the Rwandan chief spy on war crimes, acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. “We can confirm that General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on 20 June on behalf of the authorities in Spain. This was a legal obligation, following the issue of a valid European Arrest Warrant”, said the Embassy. This came after Scotland Yard and Britain’s National Crime Agency have been discussing the issue with Spain Interpol CNB about the validity of the arrest warrant and indictment issued by judge Fernando Andreu in 2008. On 23 June 2015, Human Rights Watch released in a statement that it has reviewed the 2008 Spanish indictment, which it believes has some merit, and calls for the investigations into the crimes cited therein to continue to be pursued.

The National Movement INKUBIRI is deeply concerned about behind curtain negotiations between some states to get the accused released and continue to enjoy impunity. The time for the victor’s justice needs to come to an end. To date, numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front leadership in Rwanda and in the DRC have remained unpunished despite hundreds of reliable reports by the United Nations personnel and experts, human rights bodies, anti-terrorists judges, nongovernmental organisations, political groups and even some countries.

The arrest warrant against Karenzi Karake states that he is the ‘‘highest responsible’’ for the massacres and elimination of the Hutu population in the districts of Nyakinama and Mukingo in Rwanda. The indictment pinpointed that he knew of, and had approved, the killings of the [Hutu] civilian population from 1994 to 1997 in the towns of Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Cyangugu, among which include the killing of three Spanish aid workers from Doctors of the World’’.

On the particular case of General Karenzi Karake, our organisations have written to the UN secretary General on 11th April 2008 an open letter Re: “General Karake Karenzi, Deputy Commander of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is another symbol of UN’s legacy of shame in Africa”. The letter expressed our worries based upon reliable information about the direct responsibility of the latter in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, before and during his tenure of office as chief of the military intelligence in Rwanda and one of RDF troops’ commander in Rwanda and in the DRC.

On 17th September 2007, our colleague Dr. Jean Baptiste Mberabahizi, currently Second Deputy Chair of the National Movement INKUBIRI, signed a press release highlighting that the UN has failed again Rwandans by THE APPOINTMENT OF WAR CRIMES SUSPECT MAJOR GENERAL KARENZI KARAKE TO LEAD THE DARFUR FORCE. “Despite critical concerns over the General’s notorious responsibility in war crimes, crimes against humanity, extrajudicial executions and assassinations, the UN has soldiered ahead with his nomination as Deputy Commander of UN-AU hybrid Darfur force. It’s a mockery of justice and lives of millions of Rwandans and Congolese that poured under the fire of this warmonger and the like” (…) “The UN machinery under intensive pressure of some lobbies gave up. This surrender proves that the use of force prevails on justice and that international humanitarian law can be massively violated with the consent of those in charge of the task of ensuring that it’s not”, wrote Dr. Jean Baptiste Mberabahizi.

On 20 December 2007, Human Rights Watch demanded the UN/AU to investigate Karake’s past conduct.

In a December 4, 2000 letter, Secretary-General Annan sent the report of the assessment mission to the Security Council. The report speaks of “systematic violations of international humanitarian law and indiscriminate attacks on civilians” by both sides (UN document S/2000/1153, Report of the Interagency Assessment Mission to Kisangani, December 5, 2000, paragraph 18). While it is not known whether General Karake personally ordered indiscriminate attacks on civilians, General Karake was undoubtedly aware of the impact of Rwandan military operations on the civilian population, and had the authority to end these egregious violations”, wrote Human Rights Watch.

On 1 October 2010, the United Nations released the mapping report on “indescribable” atrocities committed in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1993 to 2003, when hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and numerous others raped and mutilated by both armed Congolese group and foreign military forces. The mapping report raised the possibility that the armed forces of Rwanda and their local allies may have committed acts which could constitute crimes of genocide. The report insisted that a competent international court was needed to prosecute those most serious crimes. General Karenzi Karake was one of the overall commanders of the Rwandan troops. He is the first accused high ranking Rwandan to be arrested by a foreign national justice. In the regrettable absence of such an international instrument with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, we strongly support those national proceedings and hope that many other countries will follow this best practice and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by President Paul Kagame and his collaborators in Rwanda and abroad.

Last Thursday 25 June 2015, General Karenzi Karake was granted $1.6 million bail by Westminster Magistrates’Court ahead of a full extradition hearing in October. We urge British jurisdiction,

– To act independently and not to give in to blackmail nor pressure from ill-intended lobbies,
– To focus on the pain of the victims’families rather than on the amount of the bail, for money is not worth human life.

Eugène NDAHAYO

FDU-National Movement-INKUBIRI
Chair

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