Friday, January 31, 2014

Mutabazi recants guilty plea, refuses to participate in trial

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Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 10:07 AM
Subject: Mutabazi recants guilty plea, refuses to participate in trial

Good People,
It is about time The US Government exert pressure for humanity and push sanction on Rwanda to help Congo stabilize.
Kagame and Museveni are causing tooooooo much crime with human sufferings and they must be stopped. It is just unbearable.
Enough is enough...............
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

Mutabazi recants guilty plea, refuses to participate in trial

Lt Joel Mutabazi. File Photo
Lt Joel Mutabazi. File Photo
By Special Correspondent The EastAfrican

Posted Wednesday, January 29 2014 at 16:48
In Summary
  • Lt Joel Mutabazi appeared before the Military High Court in Kigali with 15 others with whom he is accused of planning terror activities and threatening state security. But in a shocking reversal of events, he went back on his earlier plea and denied all the eight charges he is facing.
A former bodyguard of President Paul Kagame extradited from Uganda under controversial circumstances last year has withdrawn his earlier guilty plea and refused to stand trial, saying that he did not trust the military tribunal to deliver a fair trial.
Lt Joel Mutabazi appeared before the Military High Court in Kigali with 15 others with whom he is accused of planning terror activities and threatening state security. But in a shocking reversal of events, he went back on his earlier plea and denied all the eight charges he is facing.
Looking gaunt and aloof, Mutabazi said that only God can judge him, adding that he is not willing to take part in the trial in which he is not assured of fairness in a country that “kidnapped” him from Uganda.
“If anyone knows the circumstances under which I was deported from Uganda and how the law was ignored in this process, I do not believe that there are other laws in this country that will guarantee my innocence,” he said.
“I therefore do not wish to say anything throughout this trial, but I came here to tell my family that whatever happens to me in future, this is my stand on the charges: I am not guilty of all of them and I will not defend myself against them.”
But the judges reminded the accused that he should have made his plea clear during the pre-trial hearing, adding that he could not reverse the process and that the court would hear the case even without his involvement.
Lt Mutabazi made it clear that he would not take part in the trial. He alleged that he had been tortured and intimidated and that there was a conspiracy to kill him in jail. The court dismissed his claims.
At the beginning of December 2013, Lt Mutabazi, while appearing in the Primary Military Court, pleaded not guilty to the charges but he later changed his plea to guilty to some of the charges in the absence of his lawyer Antoinette Mukamusoni.
According to the court, Lt Mutabazi requested to testify before the judges and pleaded guilty to some of the charges because his “conscience had told him so.”
He pleaded guilty to deserting the army, forgery, illegal possession of firearms spreading rumours and conspiring to harm the person of the president. But he pleaded not guilty to the charges if terrorism, forming an armed group, murder and conspiracy to murder.
The pre-trial hearing was held in camera.
Innocent Kalisa, a demobilised private and a former member of the Rwanda Defence Forces serving in the Republican Guard, appeared before the Kanombe Military Court.
Mutabazi’s brother Jackson Karemera pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition after transporting a gun from Kigali to Kampala, where he was living. Eugene Mutamba, the duo’s uncle, is accused of conspiring with them.
The other suspects include two members of the FDLR -- a genocidal militia made up of Ex-FAR and Interahamwe -- linked with the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), and eight former students from the National University of Rwanda allegedly recruited by RNC and suspected to be part of a terror cell of the FDLR.
Mutabazi was arrested in Uganda, but his extradition to Rwanda caused ripples after he disappeared from a UNHCR safe house.

Rwanda says DR Congo a 'cry baby'

Kigali's UN ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana. Rwanda and DR Congo have clashed over renewed UN sanctions. AFP
Kigali's UN ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana. Rwanda and DR Congo have clashed over renewed UN sanctions. AFP

Posted Friday, January 31 2014 at 08:49
The UN Security Council on Thursday renewed a sanctions regime against Democratic Republic of Congo in a vote that sparked a furious row between Congo and Rwanda.
The council backed a sanctions committee report which says the M23 rebel group is recruiting in Rwanda despite its military defeat and that its leaders are moving freely in Uganda.
Rwanda, as a temporary member of the 15-nation Security Council, voted for resolution 2136 but then lashed out at the sanctions report and DR Congo.
Kigali's UN ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana called the sanctions committee report "baseless" and said his DR Congo counterpart was a "cry baby" always complaining to the council about Rwanda.
DR Congo's ambassador Ignace Gata Mativa said the sanctions experts had clearly shown "grave violations" by Rwanda and Uganda by aiding "destabilisation" in eastern DR Congo.
"Such an attitude constitutes an act of aggression that the Security Council must record and condemn," Mr Gata added.
"Dear friend, it is time to stop acting like a cry baby each time, each time to come here and hit out at Rwanda," Mr Gasana responded.
M23 launched an uprising against the DR Congo government in 2012 and briefly occupied the key city of Goma before it was defeated by government forces late last year. It is one of a host of groups that have brought strife to eastern DR Congo over the past two decades.
UN experts have repeatedly said Rwanda and Uganda support the rebels. The two countries deny any role in the uprising.
Mr Gasana repeated accusations that the experts are "unprofessional" and that their work threatens peace efforts.
The council resolution renewed the mandate of the experts and expressed "full support" for their work, however.
'Critical step'
The council expressed "strong condemnation" of "internal or external support to armed groups active in the region, including through financial, logistical and military support." But it did not mention Rwanda or any alleged backing for M23.
The resolution did highlight "deep concern" over accusations in the sanctions report that DR Congo forces had been in "collaboration" with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which includes some fighters who took part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
The Security Council ordered that individuals and entities arming DR Congo groups "through illicit trade of natural resources, including gold or wildlife as well as wildlife products" should be included on the sanctions list.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement that the move was a "critical step" in the battle against elephant poaching and illicit ivory trading.
A resolution passed Tuesday starting a sanctions regime in neighbouring Central African Republic also said poachers linked to armed groups should be targeted.
WWF said that more than 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, many of them in Central Africa conflict zones.
M23 rebels said to be regrouping in DRC
M23 rebels said to be regrouping in DRC
A top U.N. official in the Congo, Martin Kobler, has said there were credible reports that the M23 rebels appeared to be regrouping just two months after Congolese troops and U.N. peacekeepers defeated the Tutsi-led insurgency.
U.N. experts, who monitor violations of U.N. sanctions on Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo have long accused Rwanda of backing M23, which ended its 20-month rebellion in November, a claim that Kigali has fiercely rejected. Rwanda and the U.N. experts have accused Congolese troops of collaborating with the FDLR, which includes Hutus who fled Rwanda after the genocide of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus. Kinshasa denies the claim.
“These guys (Congo), just every other day, coming and crying like small babies,” Gasana told reporters after the council meeting. “Rwanda, it’s a small country. Congo is rich. Congo has everything. How come Rwanda is always the scapegoat?” Congo’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gata Mavita wa Lufuta told the Security Council: “We
are a sovereign country and we must be respected as such and this arrogant behaviour (by Rwanda) must stop.”
The U.N. Security Council stressed on Thursday that M23 rebels must be stopped from regrouping in Democratic Republic of Congo and expressed concern at Congolese soldiers aiding Rwandan Hutu militia, sparking a verbal clash between the countries’ envoys. Rwanda’s U.N. ambassador, Eugene Gasana – a temporary member of the 15-member Security Council – accused Congo of “crying like small babies,” while his Congolese counterpart, Ignace Gata Mavita wa Lufuta, said Rwanda’s “arrogant behaviour must stop.”
Rwanda has repeatedly intervened in Congo, saying it had to hunt down Hutu militia, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which fled after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Congo and Rwanda have fought two wars in two decades in eastern Congo. The U.N. Security Council expressed its concerns about the violence in eastern Congo in a unanimously adopted resolution that renewed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on Democratic Republic of Congo.
There was one thing both ambassadors agreed on: the U.N. Security Council was not the appropriate venue for their verbal spat. Millions of people have died from violence, disease and hunger in Congo since the 1990s as armed groups have fought for control of the country’s vast deposits of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt and uranium. The Security Council resolution noted “with deep concern reports indicating FARDC (Congolese army) collaboration with the FDLR at a local level, recalling that the FDLR is a group under U.N. sanctions whose leaders and members include perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.” It stressed the importance of “permanently addressing this threat.”
A 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo received a boost last year with the unprecedented deployments of unarmed surveillance drones and an Intervention Brigade of 3,000 troops to help Congolese forces hunt down rebel groups. After the military defeat of M23, the peacekeepers and the Congolese army have turned their attention to tackling the FDLR and the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group.
The resolution asked states neighbouring Congo to “urgently address the situation of former M23 combatants located in their territories, and stresses the importance of ensuring that the M23 does not regroup and resume military activities.” It also called upon countries in the region to take steps to ensure there is no support in or from their territories for armed groups in eastern Congo. U.N. experts have also accused Uganda of aiding Congolese rebels, which Kampala has denied.
Uganda among seven countries facing suspension from A.U.UN capitulating to President Kagame’s “blackmail of the West”
From: J K <>
Date: January 30, 2014 at 6:58:22 PM EST
To: Dimandja Loteta Agnes <>, Sam Addoms <>,, Frank Le Fever <>, Yaalengi Ngemi <>, Mbika Phongi <>,, Jean-Bavon M'Bembo <>, Barth Musulu <>,
Subject: U.S. needs to push for sanctions on Rwanda to help Congo - The Washington Post

U.S. needs to push for sanctions on Rwanda to help Congo

BACK IN January, President Obama rationalized his refusal to act in Syria in part by asking, in an interview with the New Republic, “How do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?” Since then, his administration has supported a vigorous campaign of diplomacy and military intervention to stop the bloodshed in . . . Congo. This worthy effort now faces its first serious test.
A United Nations-sponsored conference in February produced a peace framework; in March the U.N. Security Council authorized a 3,000-strong “intervention brigade,” the first in U.N. history, to carry out offensive operations against armed groups. The force, composed of troops from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania, is due to be fully deployed by next month — and it appears that its services will soon be needed. This month fighting has erupted between the Congolese army and a rebel group called M23 after months of relative calm. Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in North Kivu province, where there are already nearly 1 million displaced civilians.
The scale of recent bloodshed in Congo is in no way comparable to that in Syria, but it stems from a chronic conflict that has repeatedly convulsed Africa’s Great Lakes region. With the Congolese government in faraway Kinshasa unable to control the region, neighboring countries — beginning with Rwanda — have repeatedly intervened. Rwanda originally sought to protect itself from Hutu militias that fled its territory after carrying out a 1994 genocide, but over the years it has developed economic interests in Congo and close ties with Congolese Tutsis.
According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, Rwanda is backing M23 despite its commitment at the February peace conference to stop sponsoring Congolese militias. The report says M23 has carried out scores of murders and rapes since March. It is not the only offender: Government troops are also guilty of abuses, as are smaller militias allied with one of the two sides. M23 may be trying to gain advantage ahead of the U.N. force’s deployment, which is why it’s important that the force begin to act on its mandate as soon as possible.
The Obama administration continues to focus on the problem: Secretary of State John F. Kerry is due to lead a ministerial discussion on Congo at the United Nations on Thursday. Mr. Kerry can be expected to remonstrate in private with representatives of Rwanda — which unconvincingly denies links to M23 — but he ought to speak out publicly about the violations as well. The United States and European governments, longtime supporters of Rwanda, suspended some aid last year after M23 briefly seized the city of Goma. Now they need to threaten further sanctions, while also offering Rwanda incentives, including economic carrots, that will allow it to beat a face-saving retreat from Congo once and for all.
Read more on this topic:

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Rwanda sending "chilling message" to dissenters: UN rapporteur

By Jenny Clover 13 hours ago
Rwanda President Kagame attends a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos
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Rwanda President Paul Kagame attends a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) …
By Jenny Clover
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwanda's track record of prosecuting politicians who criticise President Paul Kagame's government sends a chilling a message to opposition figures and rights campaigners, a U.N. Special Rapporteur said on Monday.
Kagame, a rebel fighter-turned-statesman, has won plaudits for Rwanda's economic transformation since the 1994 genocide and for deploying peacekeepers to Africa's conflicts.
But his opponents and rights groups accuse him of trampling political and media freedoms, something the government denies.
Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai said that politicians who rejected what he called Kagame's 'consensus politics' ran into legal trouble, often facing charges of downplaying the genocide and sectarianism. Others who quit the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party often faced corruption charges.
"In all such cases, these politicians are accused of violence or having links with violent groups," Kiai told reporters at the end on an eight-day trip at Rwanda's invitation.
"This sends a chilling and unacceptable message that peaceful public disagreement with the government is equivalent to criminality," said Kiai, a Kenyan who is Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
Two government spokeswomen could not be reached for comment.
The United States said 10 days ago that it was deeply worried about threats made by Kagame about political opponents after one of his exiled critics was found murdered in a hotel room in South Africa.
Kagame and his administration flatly deny any involvement in the death of Patrick Karegeya, whose body, apparently strangled after a meeting with a mysterious business associate, was found in a posh Johannesburg hotel on New Year's Day.
Kiai applauded the leaps Rwanda has made developing infrastructure and ensuring stability in the two decades since ethnic Hutu militias massacred 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in just three months during the genocide.
But he said the political opposition needed to be able to operate without fear.
In December, Rwanda's supreme court extended the jail term of opposition politician Victoire Ingabire to 15 years from eight after she sought to overturn her initial conviction for trying to undermine the state and minimising the 1994 genocide.
"The legitimate combat against terrorism, and other security considerations, should not be used as a bogeyman to restrict the right to freely associate," Kiai said.
JC2 hours ago
Last I was in Rwanda back in 95 it was pure hell! Still the favorite way of ethnic cleansing was the use of poison when people would go to a hospital on becoming sick! The favorite way to get rid of enemies! I am neither condoning nor do I point a finger at P.Kagame! He has to have an Iron Grip on his own countrymen and women - both Tutsi's (Implanted) and Hutu (also implanted from Bantu tribes in its original form) which off course the Belgium (Congo) utilized as a mean of identifying people who to them where just plain "Black" and no real means of distinction! What Kagame did with a rag tag Army of 5000 or more people solider against a heavily weaponized Hutu Army of 400K or more is history! What he has done since to modernize it's citizen's and country is to me a marvel of marksmanship - bringing up a country from the genocide to one of relative security, prosperity and becoming the model of African modernization is unique in the parallel of any western country! Kigali is a WiMax city! where Internet Rules! Few African Cities can boast such a feat! President Kagame is a true Rwandan men - who puts his country ahead of personal issues! for all the Political Evil - he has done well! and I wish him well - too bad he can't stay on to make Rwanda the true model of African Modernization - but he has laid the ground works and I pray the following President (men or women) can and will do justice to these people who have known such horror in this world!
Lemetellya_Sumthin3 hours ago
To all of you, Rwandans, posting comments here: let's talk about the reality of the genocide that continues to take place in Democratic Republic of the Congo and all the crime being committed by Paul Kagame in your name in DRC. Contrary to the facts and evidence on hand, Paul Kagame may appear as hero to you, Rwandans, since he's feeding you with the flesh and blood of the Congolese people; but, to the international communities he's becoming quickly "persona non grata" because it is clear that he has the blood of motr than 10 millions Congolese and 800,000 victims of the Rwandan genocide in his hands (the number of Rwandan genocide may be exaggerated for propaganda purpose anyway since Rwanda's population doesn't reach up to the 10 million ranges thus far.)

When Paul Kagame decided to assassinate the Hutus leaders and President of Rwanda, Abyarimana, he signed the death warrant of the Tutsis because he knew exactly the reprisal will be forth coming. I am not condoning any ethnic warring between tribes; but, when you decide to inflict pain and misery in the lives of a people of a nation; just like Paul Kagame is doing in the DRC, you, Rwandans, be prepared for a reprisal even 100 years from now. ONE REAPS ONLY WHAT ONE SOWS.

Maina Kiai applauded the leaps Rwanda has made developing infrastructure and that Rwanda is growing economically and corruption has decreased. Well, Rwanda has never had an economy of its own. Its economy depends on foreign aids. Paul Kagame is the incarnation of corruption. Therefore, there’s no way to have a low rate corruption. So, the Rwandan so called genocide was used to woo the heart of international community so to carry out its politico-economic agenda (annexation of the Kivu region and steal RDC’s natural resources); which is taking place right now. Rwanda is totally destitute of natural resource to have an export / import industry. Its economy is simply home based; quite artisanal. The economic growth that you are talking about is from dealing the natural resources plundered from the DRC, which he is using to build Rwanda. Bravo!!! In that respect, why shouldn’t he be loved by those who are feasting on Congolese people flesh? Your dinner bill is coming soon. Remember, DRC has the advantage of big numbers over you.
Daniel4 hours ago
I read that Maina Kiai serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to “freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.” I really like that he chose to speak up for people’s rights. That’s a noble work. I am disappointed though that he has chosen to speak only on behalf of the opposition groups/individuals. He has not spoken on behalf of the families that have lost their loved ones in the grenade attacks committed by some of the groups he has chosen to defend. He has not spoken on behalf of innocent children’ women and men who lost their lives when they stood at different bus stops waiting to get home and reunite with their children, parents, partners only to hear that they have been killed by grenades. Maina has chosen to speak on behalf of Ingabire Victoire at the negligence of her divisive, spear-like words that penetrated the hearts of already hurting. She has sponsored those grenades attacks. You know that because this is an open secret. The country is still fragile and reconciliation efforts are still ongoing. Maina, are you defending the rights to kill innocent people? Don’t be a puppet. Stand as your own man. America has killed even US citizens who have joined terrorist groups- in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and your neighboring Somalia. You have not defended those terrorists. How comes you defend people who are committing similar crimes in Rwanda? Why Rwanda?

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