Tag: Bernard Ntaganda
Oct. 14 marked the seventh anniversary of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire’s arrest shortly after she attempted to run for president against Rwanda’s military dictator, President Paul Kagame. The Brussels-based International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace commemorates Oct. 14 as Ingabire Day, a day of solidarity with Victoire Ingabire and all political prisoners. I asked Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide survivor and founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network, to explain Victoire Ingabire’s message.
Rwanda Day-San Francisco was a bad day for identity politics. Rwandan President Paul Kagame stepped to the podium and said that he was happy to be in San Francisco because it’s so diverse, seeming not to understand that his guest speaker, Rev. Rick Warren, champion of the 2008 Prop 8 ballot measure banning same sex marriage, wouldn’t appeal to San Francisco’s diverse population.
Five Rwandan political parties and organizations – Amahoro PC, FDU-Inkingi, PDP-Imanzi, PS-Imberakuri and IHURIRO-RNC – have united in a common platform. The platform calls for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, president of FDU-Inkingi, and Déo Mushayidi, president of PDP-Imanzi.
As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?
Gen. Paul Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane in which President Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, French citizens, and all others on board were killed on April 6, 1994. This assassination triggered the genocide. Since then President Kagame has imposed a reign of terror to keep himself and the ruling party in absolute power.
Twenty-four years after the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda in October 1990, both the history of the four-year war that followed and realities of life on the ground in Rwanda today are fiercely disputed. Claude Gatebuke survived the violence and founded the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN) to promote truth and reconciliation in Rwanda and the rest of the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Today, as President Paul Kagame has finally decided to go to pay his last respects to the freedom and reconciliation hero Nelson Mandela, his Supreme Court sentenced political prisoner Madam Victoire Ingabire to 15 years in prison on final appeal, almost double the eight-year High Court sentence of Oct. 30, 2012. This is a very strong message to the whole opposition.
Bernard Ntaganda and his colleagues founded the political party P.S. Imberakuri on Jan. 18, 2009. During its inaugural congress, the party was registered in July 2009, becoming the first opposition party to be registered in Rwanda. After several attempts to neutralize the P.S. Imberakuri unsuccessfully, the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, arrested Ntaganda on June 24, 2010.
Rwandan opposition leader Bernard Ntaganda is reported to be in perilous condition after going on a hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions in Rwanda’s Mpanga Prison, which is also known as Rwanda’s Guantanamo. Rwanda has been a close ally and military partner of the U.S. since President Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front seized power in 1994.
Ingabire returned to her native Rwanda from the Netherlands in January 2010 to stand for the presidency against incumbent President Paul Kagame, but she was not allowed to run and was imprisoned on charges of terrorism and genocide ideology. A court sentenced her to eight years, and her lawyers have filed an appeal with the Rwandan Supreme Court.
It’s time for dialogue between Rwandan and Congolese people of like mind to finally end the 16-year war between our two armies and their various ancillary or surrogate militias. The vast majority of both of our people need democracy, political space, economic opportunity and a common share in their countries’ resource wealth.
Imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and her supporters await a Kigali court’s verdict in her case this coming Friday, Sept. 7. Ingabire has been in prison for nearly two years, charged with giving financial support to a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity, and divisionism, a violation of Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statute.
On Aug. 17, Rwandans, Congolese and international criminal attorney Christopher Black delivered a complaint and documentary evidence to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling for Rwandan President Paul Kagame to be investigated for war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kagame jails and kills people in Rwanda and is sending his agents to pursue people in Europe and here in the U.S. for the crime of simply saying that not only Tutsis but also Hutus died in 1994. One young man who is now under attack as a “bad” survivor is Claude Gatebuke.
In Rwanda, which has received over $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid in the past 10 years, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire made every attempt to participate in the political process that Rwandan President Paul Kagame insists is democratic, but instead she now stands in the dock in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, facing charges that could keep her behind bars for 30 years to life.
Rwandan, Congolese and American activists rallied in Chicago Saturday to protest the appearance of Rwandan President Paul Kagame at “Rwanda Day,”
On Jan. 20, Rwanda’s High Court once again rejected the bail appeal of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, chair of Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi coalition of opposition parties.
The Kagame regime arrested opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza 15 days after the release of the U.N. report documenting the regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocidal massacres of Hutu civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she has remained behind bars ever since.
On Dec. 15, a French judge filed preliminary charges against six people close to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for the 1994 assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide. When will Obama take heed of these new French charges? How much longer will the U.S. back the regime sued on two continents and in three countries?
Victoire Ingabire, widely regarded as Rwanda's opposition leader, was arrested on Oct. 14, 2010, after a week long police siege on her home. She is charged with the formation of a terrorist organization with the aim to disrupt the territorial security of Rwanda.
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