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President's adviser arrested in Europe

Article published on the 2008-11-10 Latest update 2008-11-11 16:37 TU

Paul Kagame with Rose Kabuye in November
(Photo: AFP)

Paul Kagame with Rose Kabuye in November
(Photo: AFP)

Rose Kabuye, an adviser to Rwandan President Paul Kagame was arrested in Germany on Sunday on a 2006 international arrest warrant issued by a French judge. The Rwandan government responded on Monday by calling in the German ambassador, saying that Kabuye had been travelling on a diplomatic passport and should not have been arrested.

Germany's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Kabuye is being detained, saying that the German judiciary was now in charge. Her lawyer said on Monday that she had accepted to appear before a French judge.

Kabuye is one of nine Rwandan politicians, all close to President Kagame, who were named in an international arrest warrant issued by the French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière in late 2006. She is the first to be arrested under the warrant.

France accuses the nine of being involved in shooting down the plane of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994. The attack triggered the massacre of 800,000 Tutsi Rwandans.

The issuing of the arrest warrant two years ago led to the breakdown of Franco-Rwandan diplomatic relations.

Rwanda's Ministry of Information described Kabuye’s arrest as "a political manoeuvre" and said Kabuye had been warned against travelling to Germany. She had, however, already visited other European countries this year without difficulty.

"Right now as we talk, there are discussions going on with the African Union and we believe that Germany should have let this course take its pace and not be interrupted," Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali told RFI on Monday.

"This is a very sensitive issue here... for us it is a much more sensitive issue than people may think," she added.

Interview: Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali

10/11/2008 by Michel Arsenault

Jan van Eck, an independent security analyst based in South Africa told RFI that "arresting individuals who are accused of having participated in the shooting down of the then-president's airplane means that this case will not disappear and that Rwanda will have to therefore respond to these allegations".

Van Eck says that most of the people convicted after investigations into the 1994 killings have been Rwandan Hutus or from the former government.

"The allegations are being made by Hutus in Rwanda that nobody from the Kagame forces, who ended the genocide—that none of them have been either investigated or prosecuted,” he said.

Interview: Jan van Eck, independent conflict analyst

10/11/2008 by Laura Angela Bagnetto

government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, also reacted to a libel case announced last week by ten French officers. The ten were named in a Rwandan report last August on the causes of the 1994 massacre.

Mushikiwabo said the libel accusation was "intimidation" and that in 1994, "France helped, politically and militarily, a government which committed genocide".