Once again, President Kagame of Rwanda is on his autumn tour of North America. Anyone who follows the politics of Rwanda knows that Kagame does not like to stay in one place for very long. This weekend he will be present at the Rwanda Day Toronto event in Canada then he will jet set back to NYC for a baffling event where he will speak alongside Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate, and other Jewish community leaders in at an event entitled “Do the strong have a responsibility to protect the weak?”
Many are asking themselves why Mr. Elie Wiesel would sit next to a known killer like Kagame at an event to discuss the protection of civilians. This event no doubt will weigh in on the potential war in Syria. Yet, why would the world consult a man like Paul Kagame? Despite the national dialogue that “Kagame stopped the genocide in Rwanda” the truth is known that Kagame ordered the shooting down of the Presidential plan carrying presidents Habyarimana and Ntaryamira with the full knowledge of the level of tension in the country that an event like the Presidents assassination would cause an eruption of violence.
Should Elie Wiesel have any question about the character of Paul Kagame he should look no further than the UN Mapping Report on DRC . “The Mapping Report of 2010, which covers the period 1993 to 2003, provides evidence that the crimes committed by Kagame and his allies amounting to genocide against the Hutu people in Rwanda spread into the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, beginning in 1996 through to 2003, where the armed forces of Rwanda, Uganda and of the DRC committed genocide against the Hutu ethnic group in the DRC. One Hutu witness at the ICTR who fled 3,000 kilometers through the Congo forest to escape this attempted extermination called it the «genocide with no name and further testified, along with other witnesses, that they observed UN and US spotter planes over them before each RPF attack». During the entire period of time in which these crimes were committed Paul Kagame had command responsibility over the Rwandan armed forces.” (Source: here)
Rwanda Day not only brings out Kagame supporters but also brings out protesters in large numbers. Earlier this year in London Kagame was met with an angry crowd who threw eggs and cow dung at his motorcade while he traveled to Oxford University. Last Rwanda Day in Boston many Rwandans, Congolese and Tanzanians gathered to protest his event there as well. This year is no different. There is a large community organizing in Toronto to protest Kagame and his presence in Canada.
Christopher Black, a barrister on the Counsel List of the International Criminal Court and Counsel of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, addressed the following letter to the Prime Minister of Canada. Black demands that Kagame be banned from entering Canada. He also includes a letter of protest now circulating in Canada:
CHRISTOPHER C. BLACK
Counsel List, International Criminal Court
Lead Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
September 23, 2013
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C, M.P. Prime Minister
Honourable Steven Blaney, P.C, M.P. Minister of Public Safety
Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P. Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Honourable Peter Mackay, P.C. M.P.Minister of Justice
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister and Ministers
Re: Visit of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda September 28, 2013
I have been asked to convey to you the attached statement of protest against the visit to Canada by Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, scheduled to make a speech in Toronto on September 28, 2013.
The statement of protest is clear and I will not repeat its contents here. Pursuant to the facts contained in that statement the organisations and political parties concerned hereby seek your reconsideration in allowing this visit to take place and request that it be interdicted. They also ask your assistance in prosecuting Paul Kagame under the laws governing Canada’s universal jurisdiction with respect to war crimes.
You will understand that the visit of this man, whose war crimes are notorious, is causing great distress to the organisations concerned and all concerned Canadians and can only bring dishonour to the Canadian people and government and is not in the interests of this country.
The evidence of his crimes is contained in the files and trial transcripts of the proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and is before the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. I would be pleased to provide you with some of this evidence if you so require.
If you have any questions of me I am pleased to assist further. I thank you for your time and consideration.
Please accept my highest regards,
Christopher C. Black
The people of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, hereby represented in all their ethnic and cultural diversity by the Amahoro People’s Congress, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC-Ihuriro) the Forces Democratiques Unifees (FDU-Ikingi) and the Social Party PS Imberakuri, protest the visit to Toronto of Paul Kagame, a war criminal of the first order.
WE PROTEST the visit of a man who has murdered hundreds of thousands of Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda since 1990.
WE PROTEST the presence, in Canada, of a man who has murdered three African heads of state; President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda, and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi in 1994 and President Laurent Desire Kabila, of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) in 2001.
WE PROTEST the mass murder of over 6 million Rwandans and Congolese peoples since 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a mass murder committed by Paul Kagame, in a continuous war waged on behalf of western interests, and with their assistance.
WE PROTEST the Canadian government’s permission for the visit and its shameful support of a man who has crushed any attempt at democracy in Rwanda; of a man who has nothing but contempt for the human, civil and political rights of the Rwandan people, of a man who uses cruel tortures and assassination against those who speak out.
WE PROTEST the protection from prosecution granted him by the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which, though in possession of overwhelming evidence of 20 years of mass atrocities committed by Kagame in the Great Lakes region of Africa, have granted him complete immunity from prosecution, and thereby encouraged his crimes.
WE PROTEST AN WE DEMAND that Paul Kagame be charged with war crimes by the ICC, the ICTR and the Canadian government under its claimed universal jurisdiction under the Criminal Code and that the Prime Minister direct his Minister of Public Safety and the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Border Services Agency to immediately arrest Paul Kagame on his entry into the country and direct the Minister of Justice to commence criminal prosecutions against him forthwith.
WE PROTEST AND WE DEMAND that the Sheraton Hotel or any other hotels in Canada, refuse permission for Paul Kagame to stay on their premises and stain their reputation.
THE RWANDAN AND CONGOLESE PEOPLE PROTEST AND DEMAND ACTION AND JUSTICE
NO IMMUNITY FOR MASS MURDERERS
JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE GREAT LAKES!
JUSTICE FOR AFRICA!
NO MORE DICTATORSHIP OF PAUL KAGAME,
NO MORE WARS
ARREST KAGAME-GIVE US PEACE
Press and Public Contact for the Organisers: Christopher C. Black, Barrister, firstname.lastname@example.org