Mourners at the requiem of Ingabire. Most of them spent the 20 minutes it took to end the funeral hiding their faces. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI
Dread, whispers shroud Rwandan scribe’s funeral
By ANDREW BAGALA
Posted Saturday, December 3 2011 at 18:21
Dreadful grief was an understatement at the funeral service of the Rwandan journalist Charles Ingabire yesterday afternoon. It was more like the shroud on his death had descended on family members, friends and well-wishers bidding him final respects.
One by one, the mourners walked into Evangelical Restoration Church in Bakuli, many avoiding eye contacts with strangers and only speaking in hushed tones.
The funeral service that started about 2:30pm lasted for only about 20 minutes and had only two speakers.
First to speak was Pastor Shedrack Mporana, also a Rwandan, who described the day the editor of Rwanda’s Inyenyeri online news web site was shot as a sad one but urged mourners not to give into fear.
A second speaker, who only wanted to be identified as Pastor Yeremiya, also Rwandan, said many mourners wanted to pay their last respects to the deceased but they could not do so for security reasons.
“If you shoot someone dead, you are only killing the flesh not the spirit. We should not fear those who kill the flesh,” Pastor Yeremiya said.
No photos of identities
Several mourners we spoke to alleged being persecuted by government back home but none wanted their photographs taken or identities revealed.
Pastor Yeremiya, who had earlier moved around reminding the mourners to be weary of spies among them “intending to take information to their masters,” eventually let the cat out of the bag when he announced at the podium, “There is someone who has sent spies to spy on us.”
Among the mourners were men in civilian clothes, most of whom had security gadgets. The men could be seen communicating on walkie-talkies as the service went on.
Ingabire, 32, was shot twice in the lower abdomen late in the night of November 30, by unknown people in Makies II Bar at Bukesa-Kikoni near Makerere, a Kampala suburb.
Police found five cartridges of spent bullets, which they suspected to have been discharged by a Sub Machine Gun that was used to shoot Ingabire, at the scene of crime.
Police also said they have arrested two suspects now in their custody to help with investigations.
Ingabire had earlier fled Rwanda for Uganda for fear that his life was in danger for being critical of Rwanda president Paul Kagame and his government.
He was buried yesterday in a government cemetery at Lusaze in Rubaga Division, Kampala. He is survived with a wife and a five-month old baby.
No Rwandan government official attended the funeral or burial.
Rwandan journalist Charles Ingabire killed in Uganda
A Rwandan journalist living as a political refugee in Uganda has been shot dead, police say.
Charles Ingabire was gunned down in a bar in Kampala on Wednesday, but details are only now emerging.
He was editor of Inyenyeri News, an online publication critical of the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Several critics of Mr Kagame have been attacked or killed in recent years. The government denies any responsibility.
Police say he had two bullet wounds and they are questioning a security guard and barmaid who worked at the bar.
"They're helping with investigations," Ibn Senkumbi told news agency Reuters.
Police say Mr Ingabire was drinking with an unidentified man at the bar near Makerere University when has killed.
They say they have recovered Mr Ingabire's phone, which they say should tell them who he made contact with prior to his death, says the BBC's Joshua Mmali.
Well-known Rwandan exiles were quick to point the finger at Rwandan security forces in posts on social media websites.
The Rwandan government has rejected allegations that it targets its opponents abroad as "preposterous".
'Very very insecure'
Godwin Buwa, a legal adviser at Uganda's Refugee Law Project, who had assisted Mr Ingabire, told the BBC he was "deeply saddened" by his loss.
"He told me quite a number of times how insecure he [was] and we co-ordinated to find some kind of security for him," he said.
He said Mr Ingabire had been rejected as a candidate for resettlement by the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR - despite "ample evidence that he was very very insecure".
A UNHCR refugee protection officer told the BBC he was unaware of the murder and could not comment.
Seventeen years ago up to 800,000 people died in a genocide in Rwanda.
Since then, the country has been feted by Western donors and investors, but human rights groups say they are concerned about growing political repression.
Announcement of the death inyenyerinews Editor
The management of Inyenyeri News announce the sad news of the death of the chief editor Charles Ingabire.
Our Chief Editor died as result of injuries sustained when he was shot by unidentified men in night of the 30th November 2011, in Kampala – Uganda.
The Inyenyeri News management has no doubt about the identity and motives of Mr Ingabire ’s assassins. We are aware of continuous threats he had received from member of the Rwandan government agents against his life. Recently he was attacked, beaten and sustained serious injuries which required 2 weeks of hospital treatments.
During this attack his laptop was stolen and enabled his attackers to access codes of our website and put it down for few days before we managed to re-gain its control.
Mr Ingabire’s name become an addition to the list of many others Rwandan journalist and politicians who were assassinated for publically criticizing the Rwandan dictatorial regime.
The Inyenyeri News management denounce these continuous and malicious killings, oppressions and threatening of Rwandan government to critics including journalist.
We urge the international community, international institutions, donors to make strong pressure and sanctions to get Rwandan government to allow fundamental Rights.
We urge the International Criminal Court to investigate the involvement of the Rwandan governments in continuous and growing assassinations and assassination attempts against journalist, politicians and human rights activist.
We urge all governments under their international obligation and moral values to protect Rwandan Refugees who are seeking protection against the Rwandan government assassins.
We are grateful to the effort that the Uganda Police is currently making to bring to the light the assassination our editor.
We thank you all who have sent us your support in this difficult time.
The Inyenyeri News management would like to ensure all its readers and supporters that we will continue to inform you and give you news about our country. We believe that good journalist can make an important contribution to achieve freedom and democracy.
Editor of censored Rwandan paper is assassinated
New York, June 25, 2010—A top editor of an independent Rwandan newspaper that was recently banned by the government was assassinated in front of his home late Thursday, according to local journalists and news reports. An assailant shot Jean-Léonard Rugambage, left, acting editor of Umuvugizi as he drove through the gate of his home in the capital, Kigali, around 10 p.m., Rwanda National police spokesperson Eric Kayiranga told CPJ.
“At the moment, we are yet to establish who is involved in the killing and police are currently conducting investigations and we will provide information as it comes,” he said.
Rwanda’s Media High Council suspended Umuvugizi’s right to publish in April. Soon after Umuvugizi moved online, its Web site became inaccessible to domestic visitors. Censorship of the publication, one of the few critical voices in the country, has come in the run-up to the August presidential election.
Rugambage had reported to friends and colleagues that he was being followed and had received phone threats, local journalists told CPJ. Jean-Bosco Gasasira, the exiled editor of Umuvugizi, told the U.S. government-funded Voice of America that he believed the killing was reprisal for a recent story alleging government involvement in the shooting of a former Rwandan army commander in South Africa.
“The brutal murder of Jean-Léonard Rugambage deals a savage blow to Rwanda’s already beleaguered independent media,” said Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. “It comes amid a government crackdown on critical reporting ahead of the August presidential election, and raises serious questions about the safety of independent journalists in the country. The authorities must ensure that all those behind this murder, including the masterminds, are brought to justice swiftly.”
As the last Umuvugizi journalist remaining in Rwanda, Rugambage represented the newspaper in hearings in several court cases the newspaper is facing over its critical coverage of government affairs, according to local journalists.
Before joining Umuvugizi, Rugambage was a reporter for the now-defunct independent tabloid Umuco. He experienced 11 months of imprisonment after producing a story alleging mismanagement and witness tampering in Rwanda's traditional courts for suspects of the 1994 genocide. Rugambage, 34, is survived by a wife and a two-year-old daughter, according to local journalists.
Six arrested over shooting of Rwandan in South Africa
21 June 2010 Last updated at 10:05 GMT
Six people have been arrested in South Africa over the shooting of a Rwandan dissident, police say.
Police spokesman Govindsamy Mariemuthoo refused to give the nationalities of the suspects but said more arrests were likely.
Former army chief of staff Lt Gen Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa is recovering in hospital after what his wife called an assassination attempt.
Rwanda has denied any involvement in the shooting in Johannesburg.
The BBC's Karen Allen in Johannesburg says a Rwandan national known to Lt Gen Nyamwasa is believed to be among those detained.
FAUSTIN KAYUMBA NYAMWASA
• 1994: Helped bring Paul Kagame to power and end genocide
• 1998: Appointed army chief of staff
• 2006: French judge accuses him of shooting down plane of Rwanda's ex-President Habyarimana in 1994
• 2008: Spain accuses him of links to death of Spanish nuns
• Feb 2010: Leaves post as ambassador to India, flees to South Africa
• Accused of links to grenade attacks in Kigali
• June 2010: Shot in Johannesburg
Brig Mariemuthoo said the six would be charged with attempted murder but declined to give any more details, saying the investigations had reached a "sensitive stage".
Sources close to Lt Gen Nyamwasa told the BBC on Sunday that he was recovering and should be able to leave hospital in a few days.
Once a close confidante of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Lt Gen Nyamwasa fled to South Africa in February and has since accused the president of corruption - charges Mr Kagame denies.
Rwanda's government accuses Lt Gen Nyamwasa of links to grenade attacks in Kigali earlier this year and has previously tried to secure his extradition.
Lt Gen Nyamwasa has denied the allegations.
There have been several recent defections from the military ahead of elections due in August.
'Grabbed the gun'
The Nyamwasas had been returning from a shopping trip at around midday on Saturday (1000 GMT) when the gunman approached their car.
[Mr Kagame] said it in parliament that he will actually kill my husband”
End Quote Rosette Nyamwasa
"[The gunman] spoke to my driver, but he wanted space to be able to shoot my husband," Rosette Nyamwasa told the BBC.
"Then when my husband bent, he shot. And fortunately, it went into the stomach and not in the head.
"My husband got out immediately.
"And he grabbed the gun. In that kind of scuffle, the guy couldn't cock the gun."
She added that Mr Kagame wanted her husband dead.
"[Mr Kagame] said it in parliament that he will actually kill my husband, that wherever he is he will follow him and kill him," she said.
But Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement that Mr Kagame's government "does not condone violence" and said she trusted South Africa to investigate the shooting thoroughly.
Lt Gen Nyamwasa also claimed the judiciary was compromised and told the BBC in a recent interview that the judges were now "President Paul Kagame's property".
A couple of months after Lt Gen Nyamwasa went into exile along with another top military officer, Mr Kagame reshuffled the military leadership.
At the time, two high-ranking officers were also suspended and put under house arrest.
Lt Gen Nyamwasa played an important role in the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by Mr Kagame, which put a stop to the killing and which is now in power.
But France and Spain have issued arrest warrants against Mr Nyamwasa for his alleged role in the lead-up to and during the genocide, along with other senior RPF figures.
Mr Kagame, in power for the past 16 years, is viewed by many in the West as one of Africa's more dynamic leaders.
However critics have raised concerns about his more authoritarian tendencies and the government has recently been accused of harassing the opposition ahead of the elections.
The United Nations Ad Hoc Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR-TPIR): International justice or judicially-constructed victors’ impunity?
April 9, 2011
St. Paul, Minn. – The director of the International Humanitarian Law Institute, Professor Peter Erlinder, announced the publication of a book-length research work by DePaul University Law School Journal for Social Justice today: “The United Nations Ad Hoc Tribunal for Rwanda: International Justice or Judicially-Constructed Victors’ Impunity.”
Based on previously un-published U.N. and U.S. government documents, in the nature of the Pentagon Papers or WikiLeaks exposures, the heavily footnoted narrative is based on documents only in evidence at the U.N. Tribunal for Rwanda and published on the IHLI website: www.rwandadocumentsproject.net. The documents explain how the current RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) government became the dominant military power in the country more than a year before the Rwandan Genocide with outside assistance from Uganda, U.K. and the Pentagon.
The documents include ICTR (International Tribunal for Rwanda) evidence that the U.S. ambassador to Rwanda personally warned Kagame in late 1993 that mass killings would result if the RPF broke the February 1993 ceasefire, because of the example of the mass violence that erupted in Burundi in October 1993, when the first Hutu president was assassinated by RPF allies.
The documents also include sworn ICTR testimony of former RPF officers and members who testified that Rwandan President Paul Kagame ordered the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994, that touched off the mass violence predicted by the U.S. ambassador. Affidavits from a former FBI agent and the chief ICTR investigators are also duplicated in the document.
The documents also show that U.N. Gen. Dallaire reported that “there was no coup” after the assassinations; Kagame repeatedly refused ceasefire requests to stop the killings; and according to Dallaire, Kagame would not use superior military force to stop the civilian killings touched off by the massacres because “he was winning the war.”
According to IHLI Director Erlinder, who served as lead defense counsel in the Military-1 case at the U.N. Tribunal for Rwanda and who was released from a Rwandan prison on medical grounds only after an international campaign in the summer of 2010:
“These U.N. documents are the reason Kagame had me arrested. I have never denied that tens of thousands of Tutsi were killed in ways that fit the definition of ‘genocide,’ but ICTR evidence shows that the RPF were the militarily superior aggressors and took advantage of the predicted civilian massacres as part of their war plan. Had the RPF not been made militarily dominant by outside support and the two presidents not been assassinated in the RPF assault for power, the ICTR evidence suggests that the Rwandan genocide would never have occurred.”
For more information, contact Professor Peter Erlinder, Director, International Humanitarian Law Institute, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN, USA 55105, (651) 290-6384, www.rwandadocumentsproject.net. This story was first published by the France-Rwanda Tribune.
Rwanda Genocide: Erlinder v. Kagame in the court of public opinion
April 15, 2011
by Ann Garrison
KPFA Weekend News April 9, 2011
Law professor and former National Lawyers Guild President Peter Erlinder’s case against Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his official history of the Rwanda Genocide continues in the court of public opinion, with Erlinder refusing to return to work at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda for fear Kagame might have him assassinated. Erlinder has also published an 80-page analysis of documents which he says prove Kagame’s culpability for the Rwanda Genocide and ensuing Congo Wars. KPFA News spoke to him on Saturday, April 9.
KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg: April 6 was the 17th anniversary of events that triggered the massacres that the world came to know as the Rwanda Genocide. The history of the 1994 genocide and the ensuing war in Rwanda’s resource rich neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, are fiercely disputed by a growing number of scholars, journalists and human rights investigators and by Rwandan and Congolese opposition leaders, genocide survivors, exiles and refugees.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Rwanda’s 43-year-old opposition leader and mother of three, remains in Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison, charged with terrorism and disputing the official Rwanda Genocide history. And William Mitchell law professor and former National Lawyers Guild President Peter Erlinder has now published an 80-page footnoted and documented report in the DePaul University Law School’s Journal for Social Justice in which he argues that Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front regime bear responsibility for the Rwanda Genocide and Congo Wars.
Last year Kagame arrested and imprisoned Erlinder in Rwanda after he had traveled there to defend Ingabire, and last week the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda came close to sanctioning him for refusing to return to Arusha, Tanzania, to defend another client. Erlinder had said that he would not return because Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front agents might well assassinate, kidnap or disappear him if he did. The court did not acknowledge Erlinder’s claim that his life would be in danger in Arusha, but they did excuse him after his doctor reported that he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a consequence of his arrest and imprisonment in Rwanda last year.
KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Professor Erlinder by phone from his office at William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minneapolis:
On June 14, 2010, 17 days into his ordeal in the notorious Kigali prison known as “1930,” Peter Erlinder prepares a response while prosecutor Jean Bosco Mutangana argues that he should be denied bail. The American law professor is dressed in the pink Rwandan prison uniform.
Ann Garrison: Peter Erlinder, this story is still obscure to many KPFA listeners. Could you explain why Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, would conceivably want to assassinate, kidnap or disappear you?
Peter Erlinder: Well, during my work at the U.N. Tribunal, I had an opportunity to have access to the previously secret United Nations files that were kept by U.N. personnel in Rwanda during the time that’s known as the genocide. And those documents tell a completely different story than the story the world has heard about what happened in Rwanda during that time.
Also I was able to link that to U.S. documents from the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon and the documents from other countries. And I used those documents to defend my client and he and other military officers were acquitted of the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide, which means there was no plan on the part of the previous government and military.
Ann Garrison: And do the documents that you’ve assembled demonstrate that President Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front regime are most responsible for the mass slaughter of 1994, which came to be the principle justification of the Kagame regime?
Peter Erlinder: Yeah, what the documents show is that the RPF were the dominant military power in Rwanda. They were responsible for assassinating the Rwandan and Burundian presidents, which touched off the mass violence. They were in a position to stop the mass violence and didn’t do so because of their desire to win the war. And then once they did seize power, continued carrying out violence against civilians.
Ann Garrison: And what do those documents that you’ve assembled say about the ensuing Congo War?
Peter Erlinder: Well, the documents make clear that the RPF went on to carry out an invasion of the eastern Congo along with Uganda and then essentially to control the eastern Congo, which they do to this day. And that was accomplished because of ongoing support from the Pentagon, and then, unfortunately, it becomes clear that this support was covered up as the ICTR began to develop.
Ann Garrison: Links to Professor Erlinder’s report on the Rwanda Genocide and Congo War can be found on the websites of the San Francisco Bay View and AfrobeatRadio.net. For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.
San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own blog, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend News on KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story first appeared on her blog.