The Global African Investment Summit
Savoy Hotel –London, UK, 20-21 October
September 28, 2014.
Re: Protest Against Torture, Murder and Disappearance of Rwandans inside and outside the country
We welcome your decision to host the Global African Investment Summit this October on 20-21 in London. While the Summit is an important step in building a platform to bring together both public and private sectors, we understand that this summit will be blessed by some African Heads of State including President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
As President Kagame has continued to violate the fundamental human rights both in Rwandan and beyond, we have been compelled by recent events to bring to your attention on behalf of the organization we serve to express our grave concerns for the Torture, murder, and disappearances of many Rwandans both inside the country and abroad by the Rwandan Head of State.
The obligation entrusted to any Head of State is to guarantee the basic human rights and physical security of his/her Citizen. The Human Rights Committee has expressly affirmed that all civil and political rights must be guaranteed by states without discrimination between citizens and aliens. The universal recognized rights of human beings that are non-derrogable include the fundamental right to life, liberty and security of person, the right to be free from torture and other cruel or degrading treatment, the right not to be discriminated against, and the right of access to the courts.
Unfortunately, the Rwanda Government under the leadership of President Kagame, is a dictatorship whose brutality is in every way comparable to, and perhaps even surpasses, the brutal dictators the African continent has ever produced among them ,the Idi Amin of Uganda, Gen. Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa of Central African Republic just to mention a few.
Indeed, the Rwanda regime’s brutality far surpasses the regime against President Kagame and his comrades took up arms in the early 90’s with the climax of Genocide against the Tutsis and many Hutus in 1994. It is now universally recognized that the regime subjects political opposition, human rights defenders, journalists and critics of the government in general, to persecution including threats, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions, politically motivated trials, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
Some of the leaders of opposition parties and human rights defenders and journalists critical of the regime have been killed and others are languishing in prison. Citizens who have been murdered by known operatives of the Kagame security forces (DMI) include the Transparency International Rwanda Official Mr. Gustave Makonene who was murdered in Rubavu District last year, the former BRD Boss Theogene Turatsinze was murdered in Mozambique, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka (Vice President, Green Party) Journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage, and Major(Rtd) John Sengati, to mention but a few.
We are very concerned with reports of current disappearances and politically motivated abductions or kidnappings committed by agents of the Rwandan state and are numerous to recount in this letter. The most disturbing massacres of Rwandans, who have appeared in the lake Rwecu in Burundi, have traces in Rwanda. While the Rwandan government has repeatedly denied that these dead bodies come from Rwanda, we have reports from many Rwandans who don’t know the whereabouts of their loved ones.
This report is also acknowledged by the US State Department in its weekly briefing where Jen Psaki the Department Spokesperson urged both Rwanda and Burundi to carry out independent investigation to establish the origin of these dead bodies and give them to their relatives for decent burial and also bring to justice the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice.
“The United States expresses its deep concern regarding the discovery of a number of corpses in July and August of this year, some bound and wrapped in plastic, in Lake Rweru, which borders Burundi and Rwanda. We note that several countries also raised their concern about these deaths during the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances that was held in conjunction with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 12.
We urgently call on the Burundian and Rwandan Governments to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial and concerted investigation of these deaths with the assistance of independent, international forensic experts.
We firmly believe that these victims deserve to be identified, their families deserve to know their fate, and those responsible should be brought to justice”.
Just recently the South African Judge confirmed that the Rwandan Head of State was behind the attempted murder of the former Rwandan Military Chief. Gen, Kayumaba Nyamwasa. In ruling that the assassination attempt was politically motivated, Magistrate Mkhari said that the plot emanated “from a certain group of people from Rwanda”. No Rwandan would have any political motivated interest in Gen Kayumba other than President Kagame.
Again on the New Years Eve in South Africa a group of Rwandans and foreigners under the instruction of President Kagame strangled to death his former Spy Chief Patrick Karegeya, The Rwandan President boasted that anyone who betrays the Rwandan cause will face consequences. “Anyone who betrays our cause or wishes our people ill will fall victim. What remains to be seen is how you fall victim,” Mr Kagame said.
Even as we write, it has come to our attention that Mr Paul Manzi Byabagamba the brother to Col. Tom Byabagamba and Dr David Himbara respectively was picked by Rwandan security forces and has been not produced to court. Mr. Paul Manzi adds to a long list of the former Rwandan Senior military officers who have been arbitrary arrested on orders of President Kagame on fabricated charges and will never get a fair trial.
Agents of the Government of Rwanda under their Commander in Chief even go beyond their jurisdiction. In 2010, the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police Service took the extra-ordinary step of warning some members of an opposition Rwanda group living in the United Kingdom of an imminent attack against them by agents of the Rwanda government. The notification of the Metropolitan Police Service reads, in part:
‘Reliable intelligence states that the Rwanda Government poses an imminent threat to your life. The threat could come in any form. ….You should be aware of other high profile cases where action such as this has been conducted in the past. Conventional and unconventional means have been used’.
As I have mentioned above Rwandan killing hand has been targeting what we can call abortive and successful assassinations, abductions, disappearances in many countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Seth Sendashonga, who resigned as Minister of Interior in August 1995 in protest over massacres of innocent civilians, was assassinated in Nairobi, Kenya in 1998. Theoneste Lizinde, an army Officer was assassinated in Nairobi, Kenya in 1997.
Similarly on 26 December 2010, agents of the government of Rwanda killed FDU-Inkingi member Jerome Ndagijimana in Kampala. Charles Ingabire, journalist, was murdered in Kampala, Uganda in December 2011. The list of murder, disappearances, incarceration, is endless in Rwanda and beyond, systematic attacks on human rights have become increasingly common under Kagame leadership.
A spate of repressive laws, including Genocide Ideology, Abandoned Property Act, those which limit peaceful protest and restrictions on the independence of NGOs, as well as outright violence, intimidation, and harassment are the latest indicators of this trend. We therefore request your organization to disassociate with President Kagame because by providing official space during the Global African Investment Summit for participation by the most repressive ruler on the continent you will send a wrong message to the relatives of the victims of the Kagame regime and other dictators that they can do whatever they want without accountability even in the most democracy of the World.