Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rwandans Rally in Brussels for Madame Victoire Ingabire

"Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire will most likely be
sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for saying that "People
also need to remember the Hutu victims" at the Genocide Memorial
Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.
Screenshot and caption, translated from Kinyarwanda, from
RNW Africa, 04.18.2011
Belgian Colonel Luc Marchal, center, joined Rwandans
demonstrating for the release of Rwandan opposition
leader Victoire Ingabire and other political prisoners.
Marchal was second-in-command at the UN Assistance
Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1994, under 

Commander Romeo Dallaire.
Photo: FDU-Inkingi
KPFA Weekend News, 11.19.2011

KPFA Weekend News Host Cameron Jones: Today in Brussels, Belgium, Rwandan exiles and their supporters marched through the streets to the Rwandan Embassy chanting “Free Ingabire.” They held aloft posters of imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and other Rwandan political prisoners. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Dr. Jean-Paul Puts, a Belgian surgeon who was in Rwanda in 1994, spoke to KPFA from the protest and said that he had joined it, along with Colonel Luc Marchal, a Belgian colonel who served under Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Troops in Rwanda  in 1994. Puts and Marchal both disagree with the received history of the Rwanda Genocide which is enforced by statute in Rwanda. Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire is on trial there, most of all, for challenging the country’s official history by insisting that both Hutus and Tutsis died in Rwanda's ethnic violence, before, during, and after the infamous 100 days of 1994. And, for saying that Hutus, like Tutsis, must be allowed to seek justice and publicly mourn their dead if there is to be true reconciliation in Rwanda and the wider region.

Victoire Ingabire: First you have to know that my Party and I have never denied the genocide, by the UN understanding, because the Resolution 955 from UN says that in Rwanda was genocide against the Rwanda people. And that was, like you say; there was genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. We don't have to forget that. Yes, there was genocide and all people involved should be brought to the court. But, before, during, and after the genocide, other Rwandese people were killed. Hutus and Tutsis were killed. Is this denying genocide? I don't feel so.

KPFA: On CIUT-Ontario's Taylor Report earlier this week, Rwanda Genocide survivor Aimable Mugara said that Victoire Ingabire is the person Rwandan President Paul Kagame fears most.

Aimable Mugara: If there’s one person in the world that Kagame fears today, it is Victoire Ingabire. Because Kagame is a military man, he knows how to fight wars. So anybody who tries to go fight him militarily, Kagame’s ready for that. What he’s not ready for is an unarmed woman standing up and saying, "I’m here for democracy. I’m here for human rights. Please let these people be free."

KPFA: Frans Makken, the Netherlands Ambassador to Rwanda, seems to be the only foreign observer reporting that Victoire Ingabire is receiving a fair trial. Christopher Black, a Canadian defense attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda said that he could not travel to Rwanda to help defend Ingabire because he is a Rwandan government target for assassination,. If he were her lawyer, he said, he would walk out of the courtroom to protest what he considers a legal charade.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

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