Moving freely under an international arrest warrant: Karenzi Karake seen in London on Rwanda Day

Karenzi Karake, current head of the Rwandan National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) who is internationally wanted by Spanish courts for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, was spotted moving freely in London last May 18th.

In different pictures taken during the meeting led by President Kagame last Rwanda Day in London, Karake, also known as ‘‘KK’’, is seen sitting calmly in the section of Rwandan officials despite the fact that he is under an international arrest warrant issued by Spanish courts in February 2008 , and should therefore be arrested and delivered to Spain. Yet, to our knowledge, Karake was able to come and go as he pleased on British soil.

This happened in spite of the warrant against KK stating he is the ‘‘highest responsible’’ for the massacres and elimination of the Hutu population in the districts of Nyakinama and Mukingo in Rwanda.

‘‘[Karake] 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’’, reads the warrant.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed great concerns regarding KK’s ‘‘military record’’ as a commanding officer of Rwandan troops in Kisangani, DRC, in June 2000, and his role in the killings of nearly a thousand civilians.  Referring to both Rwandan and Ugandan forces, the human rights organization said ‘‘both sides acted with blatant disregard for the lives of the civilians present in Kisangani’’ and asked for ‘‘further investigation into the conduct of General Karake’’. If found guilty, HRW suggested for KK to be removed from his position as a Deputy Commander in the joint Mission in Darfur of the United Nations/African Union (UNAMID).

With such accusations, General Karake would normally not venture to London for he would not be granted a visa. In any case, he would be immediately arrested according to international law.  For these reasons, in 2011, France already refused KK an entry visa prior to a presidential visit.  President Kagame retaliated by saying that the arrest warrants are politically motivated and only serve to limit the free movement of the accused.

Now, it seems the UK has kindly allowed for this alleged criminal’s ‘‘free movement’’, thereby violating international laws and agreements. In fact, KK’s presence at Rwanda Day suggests that even with a curriculum vitae filled with one serious crime after the other, one can still travel to the UK as he pleases. What is Great Britain’s agenda?

Karenzi Karake at Rwanda Day in London


KK was named head of the NISS on July 13th 2011, following several other rearrangements in the Rwandan intelligence services made by President Kagame. In the new position, he gained more contact with the diaspora and the international community through Rwandan intelligence officials in Brussels, Paris and London. Earlier in 2010, during his time in the Rwandan army,  he spent a few months under ‘‘house arrest’’ for ‘‘misconduct inconsistent with the principles that govern the discipline of the Rwandan Defense Forces’’. He was released after being “forgiven” by military authorities.

Source: Jambo News