Unknown assailants kill eight near Rwanda’s volcanoes park – police///AIWA! NO!
KIGALI — Unknown assailants killed eight people on Friday night in Rwanda’s northern area near the Volcanoes National Park that is popular with tourists for its mountain gorillas, police said on Saturday.
The attackers, many of them carrying traditional weapons attacked Kinigi sector in Musanze district, a tourist hub where visitors visit the park to view the gorillas, an endangered species.
“Those criminals killed eight people including six who were killed using traditional weapons and two who were shot dead. 18 people were injured and are being attended by doctors,” police spokesman John Bosco Kabera said in a statement.
Security personnel were searching for the attackers, he said.
Police did not say whether any tourists were among those killed. However, the hotels in the area are heavily guarded by the military and are unlikely to have been attacked.
It was not clear who the attackers were or where they came from but Rwanda has in the past seen incursions by fighters from the rebel FDLR force from their bases in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The FDLR is composed of former Rwandan soldiers and Hutu militias who fled after taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Over the years various groups opposed to Rwanda have found sanctuary in DRC’s vast eastern jungles from where they have occasionally launched attacks on the country. (Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Frances Kerry)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is going through its worst ever Ebola epidemic and there appears to be no end in sight. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 72 people contracted the disease last week — more than double the number of the previous weeks’ averages. Since the widespread outbreak of the epidemic in August 2018, more than 1,000 people have contracted Ebola, the Congo Health Ministry reports.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared DR Congo’s Ebola outbreak an international health emergency, sounding a rarely used global alarm after the virus threatened to spread to a major city and into neighbouring countries.
The health agency also says the disease has spread into neighbouring Rwanda citing the infection of a pastor who rode from Butembo to Goma, and it’s identified 60 people who were on his bus tha have since been quarantined and vaccinated.
West African Ebola virus epidemic
February 2014 – The Western African Ebola virus epidemic was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history—causing major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in the region, mainly in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
A quarter of a century ago, in Rwanda, you stood a higher chance of getting flowing blood instead of running water if you opened a tap. That is, of course, if you were in one of the few areas that had access to piped water infrastructure. Elsewhere, poverty, pain and disease festered and the horror of death lurked, awaiting to claim the next victim. And there were many of them! Many stories of the suffering endured during this period are yet to be told in full, and many more will never be told in full for they bring into question the entire concept of humanity itself.
Regardless, a quarter of a century ago, a people decided to defy death, took a stance against an ongoing genocide and fought for freedom, dignity and prosperity. The Rwanda that is familiar in popular imagination today – environmentally clean, economically growing and politically stable – is the result of the sum of all the people who have chosen to be makers of their own history, not bystanders singing redemption songs to a selfish and disinterested international audience. It is a country that has vowed to never again go through the pain and suffering it did, losing over one million lives to ethnic chauvinism. It is also a country that, in building the future it desires, has come under severe criticism at best, and under serious attacks, some of which are – in fact – a threat to national security.
In building the new Rwanda in the aftermath of a horrific genocide, certain adjustments have had to be made resulting in a lot of people who previously enjoyed various privileges and the exercise of unaccountable power either being brought to justice or, fleeing the country altogether, turning themselves into fugitives from justice. Historically, the loss of unaccountable power and excessive privilege, especially in the political arena, has often inspired fightbacks aimed at regaining such power and consequently, privileges. In the case of Rwanda, after 1994, the fightback has also included even those who fought against the genocide but only with the intentions of removing, from power, the perpetrators so that they could replace them without fundamentally changing the order that had encouraged and empowered ethnic chauvinism. In doing so, they have refused to be subjected to public accountability – one of the founding values of a new Rwanda – and they have attempted to use their positions of power, and historical role in fighting the genocide to refuse being questioned by the people they claim to have liberated. Most of them have since coalesced under the banner of the RNC.
The RNC was formed in December 2010 in Washington DC by General Kayumba Nyamwasa, Colonel Patrick Karegeya, Theogene Rudasingwa, and Gerald Gahima (Mr. Karegeya’s January 2014 murder in South Africa remains unsolved). These four men were senior military and political leaders of the RPF until they fled Rwanda between 2004 and 2010, and as such played important roles in creating the post-genocide order they now want to see overthrown. They claim they fled Rwanda to escape persecution for legitimate policy dissent. There does not appear to be any evidence of this beyond their own claims. The Rwandan government has long asserted they fled to avoid being held accountable for corrupt activities. This goes unmentioned in the documentary flighted on BBC. But this is only its least egregious silence about the RNC.
The RNC entered into a formal and open alliance with the Unified Democratic Forces (FDU) and is concentrated in Western Europe, with branches in North America and Africa.
The FDU coalition’s core party, the Republican Rally for Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), was established in spring 1995 in eastern Congo (then Zaire) by the fugitive military leaders of the 1994 genocide, to replace the “interim government” which had just carried out the genocide. Several of the RDR’s founding leaders have since been convicted of genocide by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and several of its current leaders are the subjects of Interpol warrants based on Rwandan genocide charges. UN experts have documented supportive links between the FDU and the FDLR. The President of both the FDU and the RDR, Victoire Ingabire, has been convicted in open Rwandan court on charges of genocide denial as well as subversion related to her ties with the FDLR and her plans to create an armed group of her own.
The ideology and goals of the FDU, like those of the FDLR, demonstrate continued loyalty to the Hutu Power coalition which perpetrated the 1994 genocide. Of itself, the RNC’s alliance with the FDU demonstrates a complete lack of scruples. But there is more. The RNC is reported, largely in Rwandan and other African media but also in several UN reports on the Congo, to have its own ties to the FDLR and allied armed groups in Congo. These reported ties include meetings with FDLR leaders in eastern Congo, Tanzania and South Africa, and, as documented by UN experts, a significant volume of telephone communication between the RNC and FDLR as well as the provision of money and communication equipment to an FDLR faction by an RNC coalition partner, General Emmanuel Habyarimana, resident in Switzerland.
Finally, the government of Rwanda has since 2010 named the RNC as a leading organizer, along with the FDLR, of the recurrent grenade attacks in different parts of Rwanda which have killed and maimed scores of Rwandan civilians, as well as two recent assassination plots aimed at the present Rwandan leadership. All this can be summarised as a direct threat to Rwanda’s national security, peace and stability.
As Rwanda’s profile grows, and as the country takes up various positions of responsibility within numerous pan-African institutions such as the African Union (AU) and EAC, the attempts at destabilisation are likely to escalate. If not countered, they may pose significant threats not just to Rwanda itself but to several countries as well. It is, therefore, imperative that all peace loving Africans pay proper attention to outfits such as the RNC, who harbour aspirations of promoting violence and the destruction of democratic institutions by mobilising and emphasizing ethnic difference while disregarding popular democratic will. Africa should not entertain such bigotry and chauvinism in the name of democracy because such aspirations are opposed to democratic culture. On its part, Rwanda has to continue sticking to principles of democracy by ensuring that the space for political participation remains open while putting in place national security mechanisms that can prevent the country from sliding into its horrific past. Hence the timing of the “Inquest” is because the prosecution couldn’t provide any proof to link Rwanda Government, this is now a desperate attempt to drag the case and make Rwanda look guilty in court of public opinion!
It has been a lot of work to get Rwanda to the place it is today, 25 years after the genocide. Key parts of this work have only been possible because of pan-Africanism – a cherished value in Rwanda after 1994 – and it is important that these bonds are strengthened in fighting against all those who do not share in the vision of a united, peaceful, democratic and prosperous Africa. If Rwanda is the contemporary model for African development, then its stability must be prioritised by all.
“Our strength lies in unity,” said Pacifique Kayihura, President of the Rwandan Diaspora in Côte d’Ivoire at #Kwibuka25 commemoration hosted by the Bank. He also urged participants not to be indifferent to the suffering of others.
#Kwibuka25: African Development Bank marks the 25th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
The event, held Thursday, April 11, was attended by the Ambassador of Rwanda in Côte d’Ivoire, Stanislas Kamanzi, and the Rwandan community; a delegation of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire led by Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, Minister of Animal and Fishery Resources; members of the diplomatic corps and Bank employees. The ceremony also included the lighting of candles to commemorate the occasion.
Ousman Jammeh shared that, through his work with the ICTR, he had the opportunity to see first-hand the courage and resilience of genocide survivors in their difficult testimonies. He also drew attention to the crucial role that the media played in enticing hate and division and called for Africans to closely learn from this tragedy.
The commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda is an opportunity to remember and honour the one million lives lost within three months in 1994. In Rwanda and across the world, the commemoration is a moment of reflection on the past and a time to recommit to the pledge of “Never Again”.
Oley Dibba-Wadda, the Bank’s Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, speaking on behalf of President Akinwumi A. Adesina, stated that the 1994 genocide remains “a deep scar on humanity’s conscience.” She expressed her solidarity with the people of Rwanda during this period of commemoration and saluted the bravery and sacrifice of helpers who risked their lives to save others.
Dibba-Wadda also commended the resilience and determination of the Rwandan people, especially Rwandan youth, whose dynamism and sense of purpose are already shaping country’s future for the better. She concluded by reaffirming the African Development Bank’s commitment to continue its strong partnership with Rwanda on its journey of transformation.
In his remarks, Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, representing the Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, stated that the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda reminds Africa and the world of the dramatic consequences of policies based on hatred, communitarianism and any other form of divisionism. He underlined the importance of educating African youth to equip them with the tools to systematically reject genocide ideology and protect unity.
Addressing the participants, Pacifique Kayihura, President of the Rwandan Diaspora in Côte d’Ivoire, highlighted that the progress made in Rwandan over the last 25 years in the areas of unity, justice, reconciliation and development, demonstrate that no country is doomed to failure and that our strength lies in unity. He further urged the participants not to be indifferent to impunity and the suffering of others.
In closing, Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi thanked the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the African Development Bank for the solidarity shown during this period of commemoration. He reiterated that over the past 25 years while we mourn the loss of our loved ones “we do not let despair bring us down. Rwanda has instead embarked on a challenge of rebirth…for an inclusive, equitable, dignified and prosperous society.” Continue reading →