Search

 

Cablegate: Rwandan Response to French Judge's Arrest Warrants

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #1125 3261611
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221611Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3492
INFO RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 1581
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0782
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1485
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0145
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0673
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0171

UNCLAS KIGALI 001125

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KAWC RW
SUBJECT: RWANDAN RESPONSE TO FRENCH JUDGE'S ARREST WARRANTS

REF: KIGALI 1110

1. (U) In response to press reports that a French judge had
requested arrest warrants for nine senior GOR officials
allegedly involved in the downing of the Juvenal Habyarimana
presidential jet on April 6, 1994, the GOR on November 21
formally denied its officials' involvement. "There is no
basis whatsoever to these allegations," said a Foreign
Ministry statement. The statement accused the French
government of attempting to "intimidate Rwanda using strong
arm tactics" and to "hide the truth of France's involvement
in the Genocide." Further, by the issuance of arrest
warrants, the French government intended to "pre-empt the
findings" of a GOR Commission investigating France's role in
events of 1994 and before: "France actively supported the
Genocide and armed and fought alongside the forces that
committed the genocide."

2. (U) In front-page remarks to the New Times government
newspaper, Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama suggested
that the request for international arrest warrants by the
French judge was a "political" act, not in keeping with
international norms, and done to "harass" and "intimidate"
the Rwandan government. "It is totally strange and very
absurd that a foreign judge can issue an indictment" aimed at
foreign leaders, for acts committed in "their own country."
Karugarama suggested as well that the French government meant
to forestall the investigations of the Rwandan Commission on
French involvement in the genocide.

3. (SBU) At the opening session of the sixth annual Rwanda
and Development Partners Meeting on November 22, before an
audience of hundreds of diplomats, representatives of local
and international NGOs, and senior GOR officials, President
Kagame deviated from his welcoming remarks to harshly
castigate the French government. France was practicing a
"justice of bullies," he said, and offering an "arrogant"
face to the GOR. Kagame did not address the substance of the
French judge's claims, nor the judge's reported
recommendation that Kagame himself be prosecuted by the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for his own
supposed involvement in the destruction of the Habyarimana
jet. Some time later, at the mid-morning coffee break in
tents on the lawn outside the hotel, Kagame appeared deep in
conversation with French Ambassador Dominique Decherf.

4. (SBU) In conversation with our DATT, also on November 22,
senior GOR military officers expressed little concern over
prospective travel plans, dismissing rumors circulating that
Chief of Defense Staff James Kabarebe, reportedly one of the
nine subject to the French arrest warrants, had postponed
travel to Cameroon (in fact the DATT saw Kabarebe at the
airport yesterday, proceeding to his scheduled flight).

5. (SBU) Comment. The GOR has reacted with fury and
condemnation, dismissing out of hand the French judge's
attempt to secure the appearance of Rwandan officials at his
inquiry into the shooting down of the Habyarimana plane. We
cannot judge the legality or appropriateness of the attempt,
but the depth of anger on the part of the Rwandan government
is palpable. The GOR is dismayed by the timing of the action
of the French judge, coming just after President Kagame
completed successful visits to China and Europe. In
particular, Kagame just finished high level meetings with the
EU in Brussels, including meetings with High Representative
Javier Solana, which highlighted positive economic relations.
Coupled with the recent letter to the ICTR by Paul
Rusesabagina requesting investigation of RPF offenses during
and after the genocide (reftel), the GOR is feeling that once
again "negative forces" are seeking to undercut its
reputation and achievements. End comment.

ARIETTI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>