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Over the weekend the organization Friends of Victoire hosted an international webcast to strategize about how to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Ingabire has become an icon of freedom, democracy and peace since returning to Rwanda in 2010 to attempt to stand for the presidency against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The government of Rwanda has established a Commission of Inquiry to indict the BBC for the crime of genocide denial. In its recently aired documentary, “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” the government and its supporters have accused the BBC of bias and speaking only to one side. This week, however, when Belgian scholar Filip Reyntjens offered to speak to the commission in response to those attacking him for what he told the BBC, they refused to speak with him.
Nov. 8, 2014, was the 20th anniversary of the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, and the court celebrated itself with a new legacy website and video tribute. CIUT-Ontario radio host Phil Taylor, a former private investigator for ICTR defense attorneys, who became a prominent critic of the court, called the video contemptible self-promotion and endorsement of Paul Kagame’s military dictatorship in Rwanda.
The City of Atlanta hosted the fourth international Rwanda Day on September 20, 2014. Rwanda Day celebrations were held in Chicago in 2011, Boston and London in 2012, and Toronto in 2013. Rwandan and Congolese exiles and refugees have appeared to protest each time, as they did again in Atlanta. Bruce Dixon, Atlanta resident and managing editor of the Black Agenda Report, attended the protest.
Yesterday the Southern Africa Development Community, a regional body, issued a statement of concern about the deployment of Rwandan troops along Rwanda’s common border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, expressing the hope that Rwanda will not invade and is not thinking about invading. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
The United States says it’s ready to send surveillance drones to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the African state despite the government of Rwanda’s objections from its new rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. also supports the plan to use drones to increase surveillance capacity in other African countries.
The International Development Committee of the British Parliament’s House of Commons has announced that it will examine the controversial decision to disburse budget support to the government of Rwanda after first withholding it in response to U.N. investigators’ reports that Rwanda is behind the M23 militia fighting and seizing territory in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"Peter Erlinder is in need of all assistance the international organization for human rights lawyers can muster. He is in the hands of a murderous, brutal regime," declares six-term Congress member and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. Professor Erlinder was jailed after traveling to Rwanda to defend Victoire Ingabire, leading candidate challenging incumbent President Paul Kagame.