Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Irony of Rwanda's Economic Development: "Two steps forward, three steps back?

The Irony of Rwanda's Economic Development: "Two steps forward, three steps back?"

The Ironies of Rwanda’s Economic Development: “Two Steps forward, three steps back?”
I am lucky to have had a math teacher who combined philosophy and numbers. One of my favorite quotes from him reads as follows: “a fool is an individual who repeats the same mistake while expecting a different result”. Indeed, I have found this wisdom-pregnant phrase to apply in many instances of life. My passion being politics, and African politics to be specific, I continue to observe, in this wretched part of the world, politicians who promise change while visibly regurgitating policies that are guaranteed to cause havoc and misery. They loudly proclaim democracy while circumventing and undermining institutions that make democracy possible. They are too blind to recognize the irony of their claims, and will find the courage to announce economic growth while secretly partaking and spearheading in the looting of the government’s treasury. It is not uncommon for presidents in this milieu to own luxury jets, costing several hundred million dollars, which they shamelessly use during their ubiquitous begging trips to New York, Paris, London or Moscow.
In 1994, after the Rwandan civil war, Paul Kagame’s Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) emerged victorious, and gained credit for ending the genocidal carnage. The young rebels charmed and attracted friends from around the world. Foreign leaders, either guilty for not having done enough to end the genocide or for having a direct role in the massacres, pumped money into Rwanda in the hope of rebuilding a new society. From ashes, the Rwandan people quickly started showing signs of recovery. However, the politicians did not repent. For instance, the ruling RPF arrogantly continues to practice thuggish politics that is likely to return the country into the abyss that it once was.
It is impossible to completely discuss the dynamics of post genocide Rwanda—without having to write an entire book! However, in a nutshell, over the last 16 years, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has centralized power into a one man dictatorship. The dictator, Paul Kagame, is surrounded by a tiny English speaking Tutsi elite, who grew up as refugees in Uganda. The politics of exclusion that marked the pre-genocide years is still intact albeit manipulated and subtalized. The Hutu community, comprising of more than 85% of the population, is excluded from most positions of power. Even more insulting, politics, business and the civil service are all dominated by military personnel or former members of the RPF rebel group. In Africa, military regimes are known for dilapidating the continent. There is not even a single recorded instance, where military regimes have either promoted democracy or economic development. Indeed, due to the lack of a precedence, it is both useless and naïve to speculate such an occurrence.
As I write this blog post, the internet is jammed with horrifying news headlines streaming from Rwanda. Just do a quick google search and you will see for yourself. To name a few, the British based Guardian has this “Editor Blames security forces after Rwandan journalist shot dead”, The Economist, “Who is out to kill the dissidents?” and the New York Times, “Rwandan Editor Who accused Government Is Shot Dead”. Even think-tanks are now raising the alarm. The respected International Policy Network, which for years has heaped praise on Paul Kagame says “…[Kagame is] using state powers to make life a living hell for political opposition and trampling over freedom of speech that forms the backbone of civil and open society”. Political violence remains the chosen strategy for dealing with opposition politicians.
There is a need and a reason to set the record straight. Kagame has gained a lot of undeserved praise around the world. At home, he is still a press predator, a stumbling block to free institutions and a military despot ruling with an iron fist. At the very least, the people of Rwanda deserve the right to choose their own heroes/leaders. Since dictators all over the world loathe free election, Kagame has done everything within his power to compromise the upcoming election (August 2010) and to further consolidate his clinging grasp on power.
First, he has single handedly appointed all the members of the National Electoral Commission. The members of this electoral body are all former and current members of the RPF. Although the opposition has launched a protest, Kagame has not show any signs of accepting reform. If undeterred, such an arrangement will make it possible for him to manipulate, rig and control the elections.
Secondly, Kagame has imposed a constitution on Rwandans that openly endangers democracy. The document is full of clauses that pose a direct threat to fundamental principles that are the basis for a free soceity. The laws on Genocidal ideology have been quickly embraced to silence dissent and weaken the opposition. In addition, the legal provisions governing elections, for instance, give prospective candidates only 12 days to carry out an election campaign. Even with the small size of Rwanda, this is hardly enough time to travel around the country seeking votes and educating the masses on a party’s policy. In another sad instance, the current constitution has made it criminal to speak or write about the crimes perpetrated by the RPF regime during the civil war. This is, despite the fact that these crimes are well documented by internationally recognized institutions such as UNHCR and Human Rights Watch.
Lastly, Kagame has abolished real opposition and manufactured his “fantasy opposition” to replace it. These are several “independent” parties that sing and praise the RPF. They [the fantasy parties] only come out during the election period and are otherwise unknown to the general public. When they contest, they openly campaign for Paul Kagame and eventually give up their votes to the RPF. This is what enables Kagame to win with a Stalinistic 95% of the vote. The blocked opposition candidates include madame Victoire Ingabire, the chairperson of FDU-inkingi, who is still under house arrests while the chief prosecutor investigates her for “genocide ideology”. Analysts worry that this crime is vague and misused for political purposes. The other candidates, Frank Habineza of the Green Party and Bernard Ntaganda of the PS Imberakuri are either in jail or their parties will not be registered.
Another myth that needs to be counteracted is the much praised Rwanda’s economic development. To be sure, Rwandans are hard working and have succeeded in rebuilding a country that, due to war and genocide had been reduced to ashes. However, Paul Kagame’s policies have neglected the rural peasantry. Take a trip to my village in Rugumba and you will hear cries of widows and orphans who no longer can afford to eat once a day. My village is in the agricultural belt of Rwanda. For all the talk on Kagame’s liberal economic policies, you will painfully learn that his economic policies have placed restriction on what peasants produce and how they sell it. In the past, the forces of demand and supply would dictate the price at which the rural folks sell their produce. However, today, those who produce potatoes can only sell them through a “co-operative”. The cooperative is run by corrupt RPF appointees who determine the price for these produce. In addition, they charge exorbitant taxes that are channeled to the RPF fund or into the pockets of corrupt officials.
In recent years, the ability of micro-finance to change the lives of the poorest has won praise around the globe. In Rwanda, despite an array of Not-for-Profit organizations, there is little fruit. Despite the fact that Kagame has gained awards for making Rwanda a fertile ground for foreign investment, the reality on the ground is that the government is completely anti-business and acts in a way that highly regulates and interferes with domestic enterprise. If RPF cadres are building mansions in Kigali, it is not because of an increase in profits accrued from industry. It is because of foreign aid, the millions of dollars coming from rich countries that are mostly diverted into “cooperatives” or sham, ghost businesses owned by these individuals. Otheriwse, business is still primordial and primitively underdeveloped.
Yesterday, as is expected, president Kagame was invited by the UN secretary Ban Moon to co-chair on the committee of millennium goals. There is consensus around the world that only business will alleviate extreme poverty—and I personally subscribe to this dogma. The irony is that, in Rwanda, there is very little will for the government to empower peasants towards this direction. Take another example: tales abound in Africa of how lives have been changed, children sent to school through micro-initiatives. The entrepreneur is mostly a woman who sells tomatoes, matoke (plantains) or sweet potatoes by the street side. If you are ever in Kigali, you will see for yourself the never ending confrontation between the police force and street vendors. Street vending has been declared illegal to keep the city clean. Once, I personally heard these vendors lament that, “if they don’t allow us to trade freely we will join the FDLR rebel group…otherwise, how will we feed our children?”
Another fact is that, in order to keep the streets “clean” the peasants are often discouraged to go into the city/towns. There are regulations on how they should dress and what shoes they should wear—doesn’t this sound like a commy state? By the way, these are very impoverished rural women who must carefully decide whether to purchase a pair of shoe—required to enter Kagame’s towns—or buy food for their children. The point is, in Rwanda, small business is an endangered species. Paul Kagame is only interested in foreign investment. Of course, foreign investment will enable him to earn more taxes which will finance the Rwandan elite’s high-end lifestyle.
Another problem is the existence of a local and unpaid militia known as the Local Defense Forces (LDF). The LDF in their red uniforms terrorize civilians and disrupt business in the local village markets. They demand levies and bribes from local business people. Those who refuse to give in to their demands are beaten up or imprisoned. Kagame has yet to explain the necessity of this evil force. In the context of Rwanda, where gangs of militias have perpetrated the worst forms of violence, tolerating this kind of behavior is highly precarious and deserves condemnation.
At the same time, Kigali is experiencing unprecedented growth. Skyscrapers are competing to dominate the sky. Large mansions are born every day. The city is home to some of the wealthiest men in east Africa. It is this kind of misleading economic indicator that has deceived the international community and some aid practitioners into believing in a Rwandan “economic miracle”. However, a proper analysis of Rwanda’s economic growth must be willing to distinguish between the “Rwandan elite” and the “Rwandan peasant.” The peasants are the drivers of the economy, they produce; the elites are the beneficiary of the economy, the consumers. Just because the elites drive the latest brands of European cars or have bungalows akin to those that exist in the American suburbs, does not mean that the economy is improving. The true test of Rwanda’s economic growth is in the rural areas. Are the lives of the peasants changing? Are the elites developing initiatives or businesses that will improve the standards of living for ordinary rural folks? Sadly, the answer to this question leans to the negative.
Several western academics and politicians, who will remain anonymous, should feel ashamed of praising and protecting yet another African tyrant. They know better that an orange tree will never produce apples. Kagame’s despotism cannot safeguard democracy; neither can it guarantee economic reformation. Ultimately, he and his policies are bound to fail. The latest attacks on basic human freedoms are just but the tip of the iceberg. At this juncture, before the situation worsen, it is important that the west stands in support of the Rwandan people for some meaningful democratic change.

Posted by Nkunda at 6:56 AM

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post! You touched on some very key points. It is sad how westerners see the skyscrapers in Kigali and they apply that to the rest of the country! Meanwhile, poor peasants can hardly eat! My aunt who lives in rambura, gisenyi, can barely eat once a day! Kagame has somehow managed to fool the west that he and his acolytes are not stealing aid money!
June 26, 2010 5:29 PM

The Congo: How and why the West organised Lumumba's assassination

The Congo: How and why the West organised Lumumba's assassination
Review of two BBC documentaries: Who Killed Lumumba?, and Mobutu
By Linda Slattery
10 January 2001

Later this year the Belgian parliament is due to report on the murder of the Congo's first prime minister after independence, Patrice Lumumba in January 1961. The circumstances of Lumumba's death have been shrouded in mystery for forty years, but as the Congo's vast mineral wealth is once again becoming a focus for imperialist rivalries, documents long hidden in official archives have been brought to light.

Last year, the BBC ran two documentaries on the tragic history of this central African state. Who Killed Lumumba?, was screened as part of the channel's Correspondent series. It drew heavily on the forthcoming new book by Belgian historian Ludo de Witte (The Murder of Lumumba, Verso Books, ISBN: 1859846181, published June 2001). De Witte has put together the facts of the case from official Belgian archives and the documentary also used archive film footage and interviewed surviving witnesses, to show that Lumumba was murdered in a plot masterminded by Western governments.

Mobutu, from the BBC's Storyville documentary series, reveals how the Western powers put Joseph Sese Seko Mobutu in power after the death of Lumumba, keeping him there for 32 years while he systematically looted the country. Mobutu became the west's main Cold War ally in Africa, and the Congo formed the staging post for CIA operations against Soviet-backed African regimes.

The film reveals the very close personal and political relationship that existed between Mobutu and several Western leaders. We see film clips of Mobutu being embraced by Jacques Chirac (now President of France), and sitting next to the British Queen in the royal carriage. For many years, until he fell out of favour at the end of the Cold War, Mobutu remained a friend of the Belgian king, but his closest friends were President George Bush Snr. and his family.

Between 1885 and 1908, some five to eight million fell victim to King Leopold of Belgium's personal rule over the Congo, under a barbarous system of forced labour and systematic terror. In 1959, the Belgium government finally decided to grant the Congo independence. The first elections brought Patrice Lumumba to power as prime minister. But his government was an unstable coalition of regional interests, and collapsed within a week. Sections of the army mutinied and the mineral rich province of Katanga seceded.

Who Killed Lumumba? featured important new material about the Katanga secession. Ludo de Witte has uncovered documents in the Belgian archives showing that Moise Tshombe, who led the secession, acted on orders from the Belgian government, which has always claimed that it only sent troops into Katanga to protect Belgian lives and property. De Witte's researches have shown that the Belgians plotted to dismember the Congo.

US Documents released last August reveal that President Eisenhower directly ordered the CIA to assassinate Lumumba. Minutes of an August 1960 National Security Council meeting confirm that Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles to “eliminate” Lumumba. The official note taker, Robert H. Johnson, had told the Senate Intelligence Committee this in 1975, but no documentary evidence was previously available to back up his statement.

Larry Devlin, the CIA's man in the Congo at the time, told the BBC filmmakers how he had been told to meet “Joe from Paris”, who turned out to be the CIA's chief technical officer, Dr Sidney Gottlieb. “I recognised him as he walked towards my car,” recalled Devlin, “but when he told me what they wanted done I was totally, totally taken aback.” Gottlieb gave him a tube of poisoned toothpaste, which Devlin was to smuggle into Lumumba's bathroom.

He claims he never did so, because “I had never suggested assassination, nor did I believe it was advisable.” Instead, “I threw it in the Congo River when its usefulness had expired.”

The “usefulness” of the poison expired rather quickly because Lumumba was murdered very soon afterwards, at the hands of Belgian agents.

Eisenhower was not alone in coming to the conclusion that Lumumba must die. A British Foreign Office document from September 1960 notes the opinion of a top ranking official, who later became the head of MI5, that, "I see only two possible solutions to the [Lumumba] problem. The first is the simple one of ensuring [his] removal from the scene by killing him." What steps, if any, were taken to put this plan into action remain unknown.

De Witte's work reveals the steps that the Belgian government took to remove Lumumba. Belgian military chiefs made nightly visits to Mobutu, then head of the army, and President Kasavubu, to plot Lumumba's downfall. Colonel Louis Maliere spoke of the millions of francs he brought over for this purpose. The plot to kill Lumumba was called “Operation Barracuda” and was run by the Belgian Minister for African Affairs, Count d'Aspremont.

The Belgium government ordered Kasavubu to sack Lumumba, who turned to the new parliament and won two votes of confidence. Mobutu then lead a coup d'état and Lumumba was placed under house arrest, from which he escaped only to be captured by troops loyal to Mobutu.

Contemporary film shows UN troops standing by while Lumumba is first beaten in front of Mobutu, then paraded through the streets of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) and finally beaten again. When taken to Thysville prison, he almost provoked a mutiny among the guards.

Count d'Aspremont ordered him be taken to Katanga province and certain death. On the flight there, he and two supporters—Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okite—were beaten so badly the pilot complained the plane was in danger of crashing. All three were shot by a firing squad commanded by Belgian officers and watched by Moise Tshombe.

The Belgian commander of the Katangan police force, Gerard Soete, was given the grisly job of destroying the bodies. Enlisting the support of a friend, they chopped up the corpses before dissolving them in acid. Soete recalls that they were drunk for the two days because, “We did things an animal wouldn't do.”

Both these films do a valuable job in bringing to the attention of a wider audience the new evidence about Lumumba's death and in revealing the way in which the imperialist powers supported Mobutu's dictatorial regime. However, what neither of them fully explains is why the West acted as it did. They present the assassination of Lumumba and the installation of Mobutu as simply part of the Cold War rivalry between the West and Moscow.

The central mystery of Lumumba's death remains. Why was he killed? Why was the might of at least three Western powers bent on eliminating this one man—even as he was held prisoner, reviled and beaten by his captors and was without military or political power. Some say the answer is that he posed a threat to the West because he was a committed Pan-Africanist, and since his death he has certainly taken on the status of a Pan-African martyr.

By late 1959 Britain and America had concluded that, far from representing a threat, Pan-Africanism offered the best chance for preventing revolution in Africa. And Pan-Africanists of much longer standing than Lumumba, such as Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Nyerere, Obote and Azikiwe had also come to power around this time.

The experience of the Congo, with its million-strong working class the largest on the continent outside South Africa, was a powerful factor in bringing them to that conclusion. When strikes and demonstrations broke out in 1959 as the mineral boom ended, the Belgian government decided to grant its colony independence. Their repressive apparatus was geared up to brutalising a divided and dispersed rural population, not an increasingly well-organised working class that was losing its local and communal loyalties.

When Lumumba showed that he could not be relied upon to control the Congolese working class, his fate was sealed. The West decided to make an example of him to the masses and to other African leaders, to show what would happen if they opposed imperialist dictates. Mobutu, who had impressed the CIA on his brief visits to Brussels as Lumumba's secretary, was chosen as the better candidate to safeguard Western interests. Through a mixture of brutality and political guile, Mobutu succeeded in ensuring that the Congo (renamed Zaire) did not become the flashpoint for an African socialist revolution

Somali Islamists clash with Kurdish Muslims in Helsinki amusement park over Hijab

Somali Islamists clash with Kurdish Muslims in Helsinki amusement park over Hijab
Today at 5:59pm

June 7, 2010

Disturbance in Helsinki highlights tensions between Somali fundamentalists and Kurdish Liberal Muslims, Helsinki

Representatives of two immigrant minorities believed to have been involved in Sunday’s group fight at Linnanmäki have sharply condemned the melee. The incident has highlighted tensions that sometimes emerge between Somalis and Kurds in Finland. Some Somalis have taken issue with the dress and habits of Kurds, who are often fairly relaxed in their interpretation of Islam.

Dozens of young people with immigrant backgrounds took part in Sunday’s melee – mainly Somalis and Kurds. Kurds have said that there have been tensions between the groups before, because some of the Somalis, many of whom are devout Muslims, have been known to chide Kurds for their more worldly dress and behaviour.

A woman, interviewed by the late-edition newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, said that one of Sunday’s fights started with an argument over the use of head scarves. According to the 25-year-old woman, the Somalis denounced Kurdish women for not wearing scarves.

Kurds interviewed by YLE were not surprised to hear about tensions with the Somalis. They say that some Somalis have previously taken issue with the habits of secularised Muslims. One Kurdish woman spoke of an incident in which a Somali took issue with listening to music at a Finnish language course.

“When I was on a Finnish language course, we had the same problem. One Somali prevented us from listening to music, saying that it is banned under Islamic law.” The woman did not want her name mentioned, because she did not want to hurt the feelings of her Somali colleagues.

Friendship Society Condemns Violence

Sabah Abbas Ali, Chairman of the Finnish-Kurdish Friendship Society
Sabah Abbas Ali, the chair of the Finnish-Kurdish Friendship Society, says that there have been similar cases before.

“Unfortunately, this is not unique. What happened at Linnanmäki has happened before.”
Ali mentions a case at a public swimming pool in Vuosaari, where a bikini worn by a Kurdish woman sparked a conflict. Ali is occasionally told of cases in which a devout Muslim will take issue with the dress or activities of a worldlier Kurd.

“Both sides have behaved badly,” Ali said, commenting on Sunday’s news. Ali is quick to add that not all Somalis in Finland take issue with the religious habits of other Muslims, adding that he has close Somali friends himself.

"More about Self-Esteem than Scarves"

Youth worker Mohamed Xadar Mukhtar Abdi, himself of a Somali background, is surprised at the experiences reported by Kurds.

“Muslim girls have been friends with each other even though some wear scarves and others do not. I think that they have gotten along quite well in spite of this.”

Abdi believes that Sunday’s events were more about self-esteem and adherence to a group than about head scarves. He noted that stupid ideas tend to prevail in large groups. “If two people do not understand each other, then naturally, friends and groups of friends will come to the aid of their own.”

Peter Erlinder arrest a blow to international law

Peter Erlinder speaks after being given bail following his detention accused of minimizing Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Photograph: Sayyid Azim/AP

Peter Erlinder, the lead defence counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda arrested and detained by the Rwandan authorities, has now been released on bail. But the damage to the integrity of international criminal courts remains a very real problem.

Erlinder was arrested in Rwanda, accused of genocide denial, genocide ideology and of being a threat to national security. He had gone to Kigali to help in the defence of Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu expatriate who had recently returned to Rwanda to stand as an opposition candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections. Ingabire had herself been arrested and charged with offences of association with a terrorist group, propagating genocide ideology, negation of genocide and ethnic divisionism, all domestic crimes in Rwanda.

After an enormous amount of international pressure and the personal intervention of Hillary Clinton, Erlinder was eventually released on "humanitarian" grounds on appeal on 18th June. But the case against him continues.

Despite numerous requests, including from the Registrar of the ICTR asking for the proceedings to be dropped, the prosecution refused, stating that his release "… will not deter the prosecution as we finalise the case against Mr Erlinder. He will soon be called to defend his record of genocide denial that insults the people of Rwanda and inflames those who seek to harm us."

It is worth noting that all defendants in that ICTR trial have been acquitted of charges of conspiracy to commit genocide prior to 1994 when the then Rwandan president Habyarimana, a Hutu, and Burundi's president Ntaryamira were killed when their plane was shot down. Despite this judicial finding, and indeed the signature of Rwanda to the UN convention asserting immunity of counsel, the prosecutor emphasised that proceedings would be vigorously pursued. No charges have yet been brought.

The deluge of international support arose not only for Erlinder's personal fate, but also for the wider issue of genuine recognition of immunity of counsel. As an open letter by three legal associations including the International Criminal Bar to the secretary-general of the UN articulated it: "The arrest, by the Rwandan government, of an internationally respected criminal defense lawyer, while acting in that role, subverts orderly reconciliation and undermines the mission of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, which has been making fundamental contributions to international peace and justice."

Inevitably, if counsel is at risk of prosecution for proper representation of a client in court, the interests of justice generally and international justice itself are severely, if not fatally, undermined.

In principle, lawyers who undertake the difficult job of representing those accused of the most serious crimes are protected from being identified with the submissions they put forward on behalf of their clients by UN and other conventions; but, in practice, this case has shown that where a country has domestic laws which criminalise deviation from the official line, lawyers are at considerable and unacceptable personal risk.

It is of further concern that Erlinder articulated the statements which form the foundation of the allegations against him outside Rwanda – and yet the Rwandan prosecutor asserts, and the court has accepted, jurisdiction.

Those now acting before the ICTR are understandably concerned about their own positions. Peter Robinson, another defence advocate, was until Friday threatened with contempt of court proceedings before the ICTR, having refused to examine a witness on behalf of his client following Erlinder's arrest. (Although they appeared from transcripts to have been instigated by Judge Byron at the ICTR, last week the judge indicated that no such proceedings had in fact been commenced).

Events had intervened. Firstly, Erlinder, although still subject to proceedings despite the calls from the ICTR itself to terminate proceedings immediately on the basis of his immunity, had been granted bail and returned to the US. Secondly, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (an NGO with consultative status with Ecosoc and Unicef) had, with other organisations, protested at the issue of contempt proceedings in respect of lawyers appearing before the ICTR. And thirdly, it was apparent that the ongoing trials at the ICTR were going to be significantly disrupted by ongoing threats of contempt proceedings against counsel appearing before them.

Where an accused's defence requires that his counsel visits a country to seek further witnesses but he fears being arrested himself as a result of submissions made during proceedings (even if based on evidence and accepted by the tribunal), the balance and fairness of an international court is disrupted.

It is not merely the security and immunity of defence counsel that are at stake: the strength of an international court comes from equality of arms between the parties and a fair hearing by an independent judge. The loss of any one of these is detrimental to the integrity and credibility of all international tribunals and consequently to international justice.

Amanda Pinto QC is the UK's representative on the Council of the International Criminal Bar

Mrs.Ingabire Victoire thanking International Community For Rallying Behind Prof. Erlinder

Thanking International Community For Rallying Behind Prof. Erlinder

We are very pleased that Peter Erlinder, an innocent person, who has committed himself to the defense of human rights and due process of law at the expense of his own life, was released from the inhumane conditions of a Rwandan jail.

This is a result of relentless pressure on the regime.

We are impressed by the struggle of his family, ordinary citizens, friends, scholars, colleagues, civil associations, journalists, human rights bodies, U.S. congressmen and senators for the work they did around the clock. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to his family for courageously bearing this ordeal and doing everything possible to bring the matter to the attention of the US Government and the United Nations.

It is an open secret that his arrest was against all norms of judicial process. He cannot be held responsible for his expressed or written views in the defense of his clients. Once again the Rwandan judicial system has clearly demonstrated what the world has failed to believe for a long time--namely that there is no rule of law in Rwanda.

The UN and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have established that the arrest and subsequent detention of Peter Erlinder were in violation of his immunity from legal process at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where he is a lead defence council. This is raising up again serious questions on the capacity of the current regime to deal with ICTR cases or to provide fair justice to many Rwandan suspects held in different countries.

The arrest of Professor Erlinder, a citizen of the United States whose government is a major ally of the Government of Rwanda and a person whose professional rights and credentials are covered by international conventions, clearly shows how difficult if not impossible for a Rwandan to get justice in Rwanda. This is particularly difficult for any person challenging politically President Paul Kagame.

The arrest of Erlinder, my lawyer, is also deterrent against anyone who tries to defend my case.

The contradicting declarations of the government, the chief prosecutor and the police during the detention of Peter Erlinder have also highlighted how justice is done in Rwanda: fabrication of proof, intrigue, manipulative tactics and unfairness.

We are appealing to the voices that have stood for Professor Erlinder to continue to be on the side of Rwandans that Peter Erlinder has been standing and fighting for in order to get to the root causes of the Rwandan crisis.

Ms. Ingabire Umuhoza is Chair of FDU – Inkingi, opposition party in Rwanda. She remains under house arrest and barred from running for the August presidential elections

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Prof.Peter Erlinder said: Arrest in Kigali “a nightmare”

Peter Erlinder, lead defense counsel for top genocide suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was released from a Rwandan prison on June 18th. The law professor was charged with genocide denial after questioning the official Rwandan version of the 1994 genocide. Click here to listen to the Radio Interview that Prof.Erlinder held with Chad Hartman

Erlinder was detained on May 28th while in Kigali to defend opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire.

He spoke to IJT’s Hermione Gee about his detention.

The arrest was a nightmare. I was having my breakfast coffee and finishing my croissant at the pool of my hotel when six young men surrounded me and very politely said come with us. They took me to a police facility, where I was held for about three hours or so. I was not questioned very much. Then we drove back to the hotel. They had a search warrant to search my room, but I had no idea what they were looking for. Everything I could ever be accused of saying is published on the web, so I was not sure what they expected to find in my room.

Did they tell you what you were charged with?

I am being investigated for speech and thought crimes, not because of anything in the material world. Rwanda has passed so-called call genocide denial laws or genocide ideology laws and they claim there is something similar to Holocaust denial laws in Europe. I guess there are some similarities but because the way they define genocide is so broad that anyone who questions the government’s version of events during the civil war that led to them taking power is accused of either being a genocide denier or having genocide ideology and the sole accusation is enough.

What did they ask you during the interrogations?

They would take out an article that I had written - which is available on the web - read excerpts to me and ask what I meant by that, inquiring about what my positions were. Basically it was based on my public writing.

Then they started to ask questions about what had had been filed in court. For example, there’s a pending lawsuit against Kagame in Oklahoma city for the assassination of [former Rwandan President] Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Ntaryamina. They quoted sections from that pleading as my crime.

And then I also quoted the indictments issued by the French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere - who also laid the responsibility over Habyarimana’s murder at Kagame’s doorstep - and Spanish judge Morales - who had identified 350,000 Hutu victims of [Kagame’s] RPF soldiers.
The fact that I cited the indictments they issued was used as a basis to charge me with a crime. As well as my arguments at the ICTR.

Have the charges against you been dropped?
I don’t think so. In the Rwandan system these investigations can go on indefinitely. Now, the investigation can proceed. If they decide to charge me we’ll deal with it at that time. Or, if during the investigation, I am called back to provide more evidence I will keep my pledge to return.

I am a legal academic, a lawyer and not a scofflaw. I have no hesitancy defending myself on the merits in court. I would love to do that. In fact, if I had the opportunity to do that I could then introduce into the Rwandan courts all of the documents that I have already accumulated. That will mean the people of Rwanda for the first time in history will be able to see what their real history is. I am not sure if the Rwandan government is going to want that to occur. click here to read the Rwanda Document Project of Prof.Peter Erlinder which details the new revelation of how Rwanda genocide happened and the international involvement.

If it turns out that the legitimacy of the government is based on a story that is factually untrue, and if having the trial requires me to prove that its factually untrue - which I am prepared to do - it might seem to me that logic would prevail. But logic doesn’t necessarily drive these decisions.

However, it is also true that in the interim the UN and the ICTR have both concluded that everything that I am charged with is covered by the immunity that I have because of my work at the ICTR. It all derives from that. So then the effect of that immunity has to be addressed some time in the future if I am called back

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga 'has head operation'

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has had an operation to remove fluid on the brain, doctors say, after initial reports he had been hospitalised for exhaustion.

Neurosurgeon Oluoch Olunya, who carried out the operation, said he was recovering in the Nairobi Hospital.

"I'd like to assure the country he is actually well," he said.

The BBC's Peter Greste in Nairobi says Mr Odinga, 65, has been one of Kenya's most energetic politicians.

In recent months, he has been campaigning particularly hard to win support for a new constitution, with no questions about his physical fitness.
Continue reading the main story

* Prime minister since 2008
* Joined power-sharing government in deal to end violence after saying he was robbed in 2007 poll
* Son of Kenya's first vice-president
* Ethnic Luo
* Joined and left numerous different political formations

Odinga: Kenya's king-maker

So our correspondent says Tuesday's statement from his press spokesman came as something of a surprise.

He had said Mr Odinga, was fit to work but had been advised to rest.

Mr Olunya said the prime minister had checked himself into hospital on Monday afternoon, complaining of a headache and fatigue.

He said there had been a build-up of pressure, which was relieved when some fluid was removed through a small opening in the skull.

Mr Olunya said the pressure might have been caused by him hitting his head while in a car three weeks ago.

"He is sitting comfortably in his room," he told journalists, adding that the prime minister should be fit to leave hospital in five days' time.
Shaky coalition

Until now, most of the questions about the health of Kenya's political leaders have been directed at President Mwai Kibaki, our correspondent says.

He disappeared from public view shortly after he was first elected in 2002, and rumours persisted that he had suffered a stroke.

His staff, however, consistently denied he had suffered anything beyond minor health issues.

Mr Odinga has been prime minister since 2008 under a deal brokered to end months of violence after his supporters claimed he had been cheated of victory by allies of President Kibaki.

The coalition government remains shaky but both men are campaigning in favour of the new constitution ahead of a referendum due in August.

Political repression in Rwanda in lead up to poll

Insecurity and political repression are increasing in advance of Rwanda's August 2010 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch warned Monday.

In the last two days, an independent journalist has been killed, the leader of an opposition party has been detained by the police, and other opposition party members have been arrested.

"The security situation is rapidly deteriorating," said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "With only 45 days left before the election, the government is lashing out to silence its opponents and critics."

The Rwandan government should investigate all incidents of violence and ensure that opposition activists and journalists are able to carry out their legitimate activities in safety, Human Rights Watch said.

Jean-Leonard Rugambage, a journalist for the newspaper Umuvugizi, was shot dead shortly after 10pm on June 24 outside his home in Nyamirambo, in the capital, Kigali. His colleagues and other sources in Rwanda told Human Rights Watch that the assailant appeared to be waiting for the journalist as he returned home.

As Rugambage drove up to his gate, a man approached his car and fired several shots at close range, hitting him in the head and chest. Rugambage died on the spot. The assailant then drove off. Police arrived on the scene and took Rugambage's body to the police hospital in Kacyiru for autopsy. The police stated on June 25 that they were investigating his death.

Umuvugizi, an independent newspaper that has often been critical of the government, had published an article online on the morning Rugambage was killed, alleging that the Rwandan government was behind the attempted murder of a former Rwandan general, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, in South Africa on June 19, and implicating senior officials. General Kayumba, once a close ally of President Paul Kagame and a former chief-of-staff of the Rwandan army, has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the government since fleeing to South Africa in February 2010. Umuvugizi's editor said that Rugambage had been investigating the murder attempt on Kayumba and had reported being under increased surveillance in the days leading up to his death.

"We are shocked and saddened by the death of this courageous journalist," Peligal said. "Freedom of expression is already severely restricted in Rwanda, but the death of Rugambage is a further chilling blow to investigative journalism and, more broadly, to freedom of expression in the country."

Human Rights Watch called on the Rwandan authorities to ensure that those responsible for Rugambage's murder are brought to justice without delay, and to ensure the security and protection of other journalists.

In the early hours of June 24, police entered the house of Bernard Ntaganda, leader of the opposition party PS-Imberakuri, and took him away for questioning. He has spent two days in police custody and is believed to be detained at Kicukiro police station. The exact accusations against him are not confirmed, but it is thought that the police have questioned him, among other things, about his alleged involvement in an attempted arson attack on the house of former party vice-president, Christine Mukabunani, and inciting ethnic divisions.

Members of the PS-Imberakuri reported that the police raided Ntaganda's house and the party's office and took away documents and other belongings. By June 25, the party's flag and sign had been taken down from their office.

Later on the morning of June 24, several members of PS-Imberakuri were rounded up by the police and taken into custody after they gathered outside the US embassy; they had gone there to ask for help following Ntaganda's arrest. Some were released, but several, including the party's secretary-general, Théobald Mutarambirwa, remained in detention in various locations in Kigali on June 25.

Also on the morning of June 24, police arrested several members of the FDU-Inkingi opposition party, who had gathered outside the Justice Ministry to protest a court case against their party president, Victoire Ingabire. Most were released on June 25, but the party's secretary-general, Sylvain Sibomana, treasurer, Alice Muhirwa, and Kigali representative, Theoneste Sibomana, were still in detention at the police station in Kicukiro on June 26. Some FDU-Inkingi members reported that when the police broke up their gathering, the police told them that they should stop being members of the party. Police also surrounded Ingabire's house at about 6am on June 24, and stayed there for most of the day.

Members of both parties reported being beaten by the police.

On June 25, the Commissioner General of Police issued a statement saying that about 40 individuals had attempted to hold a demonstration without a permit, that 22 people had been arrested and questioned, 14 had been released and eight were being held for further questioning.

"These incidents are occurring at the very moment that parties are putting forward candidates for the presidential elections," Peligal said. "The government is ensuring that opposition parties are unable to function and are excluded from the political process."

The killing of Rugambage was not the first incident of violence against journalists. In February 2007, a group of assailants attacked Umuvugizi's editor, Jean-Bosco Gasasira, in a near fatal incident outside his house, after he spoke out at a presidential news conference about the harassment of journalists. No one has been brought to justice for the attack.

In July 2009, the information minister publicly declared that "the days of the destructive press are numbered," referring to Umuvugizi and a second independent newspaper, Umuseso. Within 24 hours, the national prosecutor's office had summoned Gasasira to answer allegations of defamation, a criminal offense punishable with imprisonment. Gasasira was convicted and sentenced to pay a large fine. Umuseso faced similar defamation charges for exposing scandals involving public figures. In February, a court sentenced its former editor, Charles Kabonero, to a year in prison and the current editor, Didas Gasana, and a reporter, Richard Kayigamba, to six months each. The editors of both newspapers have fled the country after receiving repeated threats.

On April 13, the Media High Council, a government-aligned body in charge of regulating the media, suspended Umuseso and Umuvuzigi for six months, and then called for their definitive closure. It alleged, among other things, that some of their articles constituted a threat to national security. The newspapers' appeal against the suspension is still pending. The suspension has effectively shut down most independent reporting in advance of the elections, since Umuseso and Umuvugizi were among the very few active independent newspapers left in Rwanda. Umuvugizi has since posted an electronic version of its newspaper, but access to its website has been blocked inside Rwanda.

Incidents of harassment and intimidation of members of opposition parties have steadily increased in the months leading up to the August elections. Ntaganda and Ingabire, as well as their party members, have been especially targeted. Unless the situation changes in the very near future, none of the three main opposition parties (PS-Imberakuri, FDU-Inkingi, and the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda) will be able to take part in the elections. Parties and independent candidates must submit their candidacies to the National Electoral Commission by July 2.

U.S. Woman Falsely Accused of Rwanda Genocide Rape Crimes

U.S. Woman Falsely Accused of Rwanda Genocide Rape Crimes

Millions of U.S. Taxpayers Dollars Fund Fabricated Rwanda Genocide and Asylum Cases

by Keith Harmon Snow / June 29th, 2010

On June 24, 2010, U.S. agents in Manchester, New Hampshire arrested Rwandan genocide survivor Beatrice Munyenyezi, a Hutu and a U.S. citizen since 2004. Charged with lying on her immigration documents to conceal her alleged major role in genocide in Rwanda, Ms. Munyenyezi is also charged with rape as a war and genocide crime. Meanwhile, a federal prosecutor for the case is known for misconduct, falsification of evidence and perjury. Is it a crime to have a Facebook profile? Is it a crime to use a computer?

“If the road would speak, then I wouldn’t be scared, if the birds would sing, then I would vow to never vanish,” wrote Beatrice Munyenyezi, “I wouldn’t be lost in the woods, a place where sound and noise is unheard of, and the sky, the sky is not even there to guide you, to guide me.”

So begins Beatrice Munyenyezi’s personalized account as a refugee who survived the slaughter of millions of people in Rwanda, in Zaire/Congo, and in neighboring countries, between 1990 and 1998—always erroneously defined as “the 1994 Rwanda genocide” where brutality is universally attributed to the Hutu ethnic group and Tutsis are always the only victims.

Ms. Munyenyezi has been transforming her ordeal of unspeakable brutality and terror into a book tentatively titled Life in the Middle of Nowhere: Surviving Genocide in Rwanda and Zaire. It is her version of Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire (2004) a renowned non-fiction book published in Europe and written by Marie Beatrice Umutesi, a Hutu and genocide survivor.

On Thursday June 24, 2010, this project abruptly came to a halt when Federal agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confiscated all of Ms. Munyenyezi’s texts, notes, documents, computers and other personal items. (ICE is the largest investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.) Now her private testimony as a refugee and survivor will likely be used against her in another case of politically motivate genocide charges.

The U.S. Department of Justice has suggested that Beatrice Munyenyezi might be deported to face genocide charges in Rwanda. But Ms. Munyenyezi will be a milestone case: the first international legal proceedings in the United States involving a female of any ethnicity or nationality charged with rape as a genocide and war crime.

On June 24, 2010, Beatrice Munyenyezi (MOON’-yen-yezi) was arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire (USA) and charged, according to U.S. prosecutors, with “procuring U.S. citizenship unlawfully by misrepresenting her activities during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.”

According to the government of Rwanda, Beatrice Munyenyezi, 40, allegedly “participated in, committed, ordered, oversaw, conspired to, aided and abetted, assisted in and directed persecution, kidnapping, rape and murder during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.”

These are generic genocide charges used by the Rwandan military regime against all Hutus.1

According to U.S. prosecutors, Ms. Munyenyezi allegedly concealed these facts in order to obtain immigration and naturalization benefits and lied about her connection to the genocide when seeking citizenship. Ms. Munyenyezi’s husband and mother-in-law are in custody at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania on genocide charges.2

If convicted of the two counts of procuring U.S. citizenship unlawfully, Munyenyezi faces up to 10 years imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, along with revocation of her U.S. Citizenship.

Beatrice Munyenyezi survived the invasion of Byumba Prefecture by Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) guerillas in 1990, and the years of RPF persecution and genocide that saw entire Hutu villages in Byumba razed, massacres of scores of thousands of people, and the internal displacement of some 2 million Hutus—forced into a life-and-death refugee existence inside Rwanda between October 1990 and April 1994.

Ms. Munyenyezi then survived the so-called ‘100 days of genocide’ in Rwanda from April to July 1994. She fled Rwanda with family members on July 18, 1994, part of the massive exodus of millions of Rwandans, mostly innocent Hutu women and children, after the RPF won the civil war in Rwanda, to eastern Zaire (Dem. Rep. of Congo), where she survived the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Hutu civilians by the RPF.3

Beatrice Munyenyezi fled from Congo to Kenya at the advice of her brother, Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, another U.S. citizen also being hunted by the Kagame regime and its political, military and economic partners.4 In Tanzania and Kenya she survived RPF agents hunting refugees and assassinating dissidents (including former RPF official Seth Sendashonga).5

Evacuated to the United States in March 1998, Beatrice Munyenyezi was first assisted by a Catholic charity in New Hampshire. She later worked for the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which owns and manages 1,271 public housing apartments for low-income families, elderly, and adults with disabilities, from March 2001 to March 2005. MHRA spokeswoman Michelle Desmond would not comment on Ms. Munyenyezi’s service record, but Beatrice has regularly worked with other groups to assist refugees of many nationalities. She taught herself English and pursued degrees at a local community college and at the University of New Hampshire.

The Associated Press and other news outlets splashed Ms. Munyenyezi’s arrest across the news on June 24, 2010. “An estimated 800,000 people were murdered during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which took place over the course of approximately 100 days,” these outlets universally reported.6

The official narrative on ‘genocide’—distilled to the simple sound-bite above—is maintained by the current government of Rwanda and its military, political and economic partners to silence debate and manufacture a version of events that protects the perpetrators and criminalizes victims like Beatrice Munyenyezi and her family members.

President Paul Kagame runs the military dictatorship in Rwanda with his closest military associates from the former Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF), now known as the Rwanda Defense Forces. In October 1990, the RPF guerrilla army invaded northern Rwanda from neighboring Uganda, backed by the United States and Britain. Over the next four years the RPF terrorized Rwandan civilians as they slowly seized the country and overthrew the Hutu-majority government of President Juvenal Habyarimana.7

Predominantly comprised of hardened Uganda guerrillas of the Tutsi ethnicity who fought (1980-1985) to bring Uganda’s strongman Yoweri Museveni to power, these guerrillas, backed by London and Washington, have perpetrated massive genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity on millions of innocent civilians in Uganda, Rwanda and the Dem. Rep. of Congo.

Contrary to popular propaganda, the sound bite claiming that the RPF ‘stopped the genocide against Tutsis’ in Rwanda is a gross mischaracterization of the nature of genocide versus civil war in Rwanda. It is also a sound bite that deflects attention from the RPF role in mass atrocities in Rwanda and Congo. The Kagame regime is able to get away with anything it wants—arrest and torture opponents, persecute refugees everywhere, plunder minerals from Congo —because President Paul Kagame has provided the Pentagon its biggest, centralized base for the Pentagon’s U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM.


On June 24, 2010, the Kagame regime in Rwanda violently suppressed dissent in Rwanda as the three primary political parties standing in opposition to President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front saw their members and leaders physically harassed, barred from leaving their residences, and in some cases arrested. Reports were of ‘mobs’ of government supporters—these are often rented crowds—at each location where the harassment occurred.8

This follows the June 19, 2010 assassination attempt in South Africa of exiled Rwandan General Faustin Nyamwasa, who fled Rwanda after being accused of opposing the Kagame government.9 Nyamwasa is one of over 15 leading military officers and Ambassadors who have been imprisoned or forced into exile in recent months.10

On June 29, 2010, South African Security Service (SASS) arrested four men for the June 19 attempted murder Nyamwasa and all four men have asylum in South Africa. Three of the four men have already surrendered asylum papers for an investigation.11 South African officials are withholding information about the nationality of these bogus ‘refugees’. However, initial reports have confirmed that these are Rwandan nationals, former RPF soldiers and agents from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), sent by President Paul Kagame and his chief operative General James Kabarebe. The operation to assassinate Nyamwasa was run by a former soldier of rank Captain while the actual shooter was a soldier who formerly served under General Nyamwasa.

Authentic Rwandan refugees, asylum seekers, and true genocide survivors have claimed for years that Rwandan intelligence agents are infiltrated through the asylum process into foreign countries to assassinate or otherwise neutralize perceived enemies, or anyone who speaks out against the Kagame regime. INTERPOL should have arrested General Nyamwasa and Kabarebe, indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the Spanish National Court, along with Paul Kagame, whose diplomatic immunity prevented his indictment.

On June 24, Rwandan journalist Jean-Leonard Rugambage, from an opposition newspaper, was shot dead by assailants when returning to his home in Kigali.12

On May 23, U.S. attorney and ICTR defense counsel Peter Erlinder was arrested and illegally detained in Rwanda.13 Mr. Erlinder flew to Rwanda to represent his client Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu woman also persecuted by the Kagame regime. Erlinder, charged with ‘genocide denial’ and denied bail twice, was released on medical grounds after 21 days incarceration but faces charges with punishment up to 25 years.14

Victoire Ingabire arrived in Rwanda in January 2010 to contest the upcoming presidential elections. She and her aides were immediately arrested and she has been charged with genocide denial and other thought crimes.15

The military and intelligence apparatus directly run by President Paul Kagame maintains elite networks of death squads inside and outside Rwanda. Tasked with hunting and neutralizing any dissidents, critics, intellectuals, writers, human rights activists, or other ‘opposition’ to Kagame’s regime, these agents operate freely throughout Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. Anyone critical of the Kagame military regime is falsely accused of involvement in genocide, ‘genocide negationism’ or ‘genocide denial’.16

Young Congolese men falsely accused of being Hutu genocidaires beaten and detained in Eastern Congo. Photo by KHS

RPF agents in the Boston, Massachusetts area, which is very close to Manchester, New Hampshire, include Tufts University ‘law scholar’ Patrick Karuretwa, a current member of the Rwandan Defense Forces, a former RPF guerrilla, and a member of Paul Kagame’s elite and brutal Republican Presidential Guard.17 Paul Kagame has been a regular guest in Boston at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston University and Harvard: his power base in the U.S. is Boston.

Karuretwa has been using the Harvard Law Review, a high profile student newspaper, to advance propaganda favorable to the Kagame regime and to turn public opinion against legitimate Rwandan refugees and portray them as genocidaires or genocide deniers.18 (The Harvard Law Review claims to be independent but would not respond to inquiries or publish comments contrary to Karuretwa.)

The process of Karuretwa’s admission to the United States and enrollment and funding at Tufts University has not come under scrutiny by the Department of Homeland Security. The Kagame government has infiltrated agents into western countries posing as asylum seekers.19

“The Kagame government is trying to frame my sister now,” says Professor Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro. “They are trying to get to me. They have tried to accuse me of lying on my immigration forms, but I was evacuated from Rwanda [1994] as a family member of a U.S. citizen. Probably I will be arrested soon.”

Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro is a U.S. citizen who was evacuated by the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda and U.S. marines from Bujumbura, Burundi, on April 9, 1994.

The war in Rwanda was escalated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front on April 6, 1994, after the plane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down by the RPF with surface-to-air missiles, killing both presidents, their chiefs of staff, the French pilots and other top Rwandan and Burundian officials. The United States and its allies, including the United Nations and the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR), have blocked all investigations into this major act of international terrorism.20

The Rwandan Patriotic Front and Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) marched through Byumba Province clearing the land of its people, whether Hutu or Tutsi. Attacks against Byumba began with the RPF invasion of October 1990, another act of international terrorism that remains opaque and unpunished, though it set the stage for the death of more than ten million people in Central Africa since. Ninety-nine percent of Byumba was occupied by the RPF and their scorched earth campaign to clear the land through massacres, rapes, and forced displacement.

In their village in Byumba, the family home of Beatrice Munyenyezi, Prudence Kantengwa and Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, built by their father with the help of Catholic missionaries in 1957, was destroyed by the RPF in 1991.

“I was born in Northern Rwanda, a province of Byumba, a place that perhaps many of you have never heard of,” the introduction to Ms. Munyenyezi’s book continues. “Yes, it is in the middle of nowhere. It is a place where your cry, echoes and echoes but still is not heard, a place where you cry and the tears refuse to come, a place where you wait for someone, anyone to come and save you, but instead the ghost of your failure, of your misery shows up on your doorstep. No one can hear your cries, your sobs, for you are alone.”

Associate Professor of Communications at Western New England College in Springfield, MA, Dr. Higiro is one of few remaining Hutu intellectuals not arrested or killed by the RPF regime. He has been a constant source of tension to Kagame, who in turn maintains intense pressure on the U.S. government—its leading military and economic partner—to arrest Higiro.

Dr. Higiro was critical of both the Habyarimana and Kagame governments, and he has published articles and given talks about the media climate just prior to the events of April-July 1994, and about the commodification of genocide used to advance the political and economic objectives of the Kagame military regime and to hide the RPF’s organized criminal activities and war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.21

Prior to April 1994, Higiro was director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINFOR). The RPF government has tried to arrest and extradite Higiro since Dr. Higiro’s refusal to accept the RPF government appointment of Minister of Information, in July 1994, after seeing reports of RPF massacres against scores of thousands of Hutus.

“They arrested my sister Prudence Kantengwa in Boston in 2008. Her case resulted in lengthy trials costing U.S. taxpayers a lot of money. Now they have arrested Beatrice. But she [Beatrice] was not a government official in Rwanda, she was not with the Interahamwe [militias], she is just a young Rwandan woman who survived the genocide and made it to America.”


Prudence Kantengwa was arrested in Boston in 2008. Also a Hutu and the sister of Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro and Beatrice Munyenyezi, Ms. Kantengwa applied for asylum in the United States in 2001, but she was initially denied.

U.S. immigration judge Eliza C. Klein granted asylum to Prudence Kantengwa against the U.S. government prosecutor’s wishes. U.S. immigration then appealed to the Immigration Review Board who confirmed Judge Klein’s ruling in June of this year.

But prior to the first favorable asylum ruling by Judge Klein, the U.S. immigration prosecutors saw that the Kantengwa asylum case was not going their way. ICE then arrested and accused Prudence Kantengwa of lying on her visa application. The resulting U.S. Federal Criminal Court case is ongoing.

Jeffrey Auerhahn is a U.S. prosecutor on Prudence Kantengwa’s criminal court case. In a high-profile organized crime murder case in Boston, begun in 1985, U.S. prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn engaged in misconduct and when deposed by the court in 2003 he lied about it. Auerhahn went beyond misconduct to criminal behavior, including: [a] coercing a witness into giving false testimony (suborning perjury); [b] falsifying evidence; 
[c] withholding exculpatory evidence from defense; and [d] lying before the court (perjury).22 He is also named in an open citizen’s letter seeking redress from the U.S. prosecutor’s office in Boston for FBI retaliation against Muslims who have refused to work as FBI informants in the Muslim communities around Boston.23

The case was investigated and reported in detail by Boston’s WBUR News journalists David Boeri, Lisa Tobin, Jesse Costa and Andrew Phelps. “Federal Judge Mark Wolf called the conduct of Jeffrey Auerhahn ‘A fraud upon the court’,” they reported.

U.S. prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn is one of two federal prosecutors on the Beatrice Munyenyezi case, also a Federal Criminal Court case because Beatrice Munyenyezi is now a U.S. citizen and the asylum system no longer can be used against her. Auerhahn was never disciplined or disbarred for his unscrupulous actions. The case raised troubling questions from critics—including judges—who worry that withholding evidence has become a tactic of some federal prosecutors.

“Unfortunately, this U.S. prosecutor Mr. Auerhahn is still exhibiting the same misconduct in my case,” says Prudence Kantengwa. “The discovery process, which usually takes no more than 3 months, has taken more than a year and is still going on because prosecutors have refused to share the information they have that contradicts their allegations. And my guess is that they are hiding written information—such as investigation made about me which took 6 months before I was granted a visa to the US in 2001—and plan to bring witnesses in collaboration with the Rwanda government [whom] they have trained on what to fabricate against me.”

Rwandan asylum hearings in the U.S.,24 Canada and Europe also suppress evidence that would exonerate the accused. Instead, prosecutors and judges rely on disinformation and falsified evidence, including the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Report on Human Rights: Rwanda, which are extraordinary documents that suppress critical facts and information and advance very positive images of the Kagame regime: Not only is the Rwanda Government cleansed of its crimes, it is applauded for its supposed attention to the rule of law and recovery from an untenable political horror story: genocide.25,26

U.S. asylum hearings also rely heavily on testimonies collected by Rwandan military and intelligence officials using intimidation, bribery, torture and the threat of being accused of genocide and tried before the so-called ‘people’s courts’ in Rwanda, the Gacaca courts.27 Communities and family members in Rwanda are also retried for the same offenses at Gacaca trials where intimidation is used to force a verdict that satisfies the Kagame regime. People are also routinely disappeared in Rwanda, and assassinated in other countries.28 Young men and boys are forced to attend “re-education camps” on remote Iwawa Island in Lake Kivu, heavily guarded by RDF soldiers, subject to ‘thought-control’ and psychological intimidation.29

In United States of America vs. Francois Karake et al., a U.S. court dismissed all charges brought by the U.S. and Rwanda governments against three Rwandan defendants, all Hutus, accused of the murder of two U.S. and other tourists in Uganda’s Bwindi National Park in March 1999. The investigation spanned four years and involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ascertained that the defendant’s testimonies had been extracted through physical torture with the involvement of U.S. agents. The prisoners were incarcerated and interrogated at Kami Military Barracks, notorious for RPF torture operations, in Rwanda.

Terror is a strong incentive to make people collaborate with Rwandan government officials to produce convincing documentary ‘evidence’. In the fall of 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the case where more than 300 Rwandans fled southern Rwanda to Burundi in fear of being falsely accused or genocide, sent back to Gacaca for retrial, or disappeared.30

“Jeffrey Auerhahn continues to work as a federal prosecutor in Boston,” WBUR News David Boeri reported in February 2010. “He’s been praised by the last U.S. Attorney. There’s never been a public action by the Justice Department to discipline him.”22

The evidence used by U.S. prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn against Prudence Kantengwa was in part marshaled in Rwanda by investigator Thomas Brian Andersen Jr., a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Boston, MA.

Agent Anderson traveled to Rwanda on U.S. taxpayer’s money to investigate the case of Prudence Kantengwa for the Federal criminal hearing. In his notarized affidavit to the court, Andersen provides facts that seriously discredit his claim to expertise on Rwanda or the case in question.

* Paragraph 12: “The vast majority of the Hutu elite, including the assassinated president, were from Byumba.” President Juvenal Habyarimana was from Gisenyi Prefecture, northwestern Rwanda, not Byumba Prefecture, northeastern Rwanda; the vast majority of the Hutu elite did not come from Byumba either; if anything Byumba was one of the least privileged provinces even though it was considered as President Habyarimana’s fiefdom.

* Paragraph 12: “The prime minister, who was a member of the RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front] Tutsi party, was murdered.” Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana was a Hutu, never a member of the RPF party, but a member of the MDR, or Mouvement Démocratique Républicain; further, the prime minister’s murder remains shrouded in questions about RPF and United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) troop involvement as extensive ICTR trial documents make clear; the assumption and allegation that she was murdered by Hutu extremists is another example of the investigator’s prejudice based on news media, falsified stories, and falsified human rights reports, and RPF propaganda;

* Paragraph 12: “[Prudence] Kantengwa was married to Athanse Munyemana, who was a minister in the extremist Hutu government.” Athanse Munyemana was never a Hutu government minister: he was a state intelligence bureau official and a magistrate who could not have belonged to a political party under the Rwandan constitution of 1991.


In his June 2010 request for a warrant for search and seizure of property belonging to Beatrice Munyenyezi, ICE special agent Thomas Brian Andersen Jr. provided an affidavit that is a travesty of justice.31 He does not anywhere discuss his relationship with the Rwandan government, but nonetheless declares his independence from, for example, the Rwandan regime’s Directorate of Military Intelligence: it is impossible to pursue the investigations he claims to have performed independently without the involvement, oversight, or monitoring of the notorious DMI.

Agent Andersen does not elucidate his relationship to Rwandan ‘genocide survivor’ organizations IBUKA (“remember”) and AVEGA (Association des Veuves du Genocide/Association of the Widows of Genocide), both known to be populated with bogus ‘survivors’ coached, paid and protected by the RPF government.32

Basing his statements from witnesses whom he purportedly interviewed in Rwanda, purportedly without government interference, these being people whom he claims are independent and authentic witnesses, authentic genocide survivors and authentic convicted genocidaires, special agent Thomas Brian Andersen then testified:

I believe these witnesses are reliable because they are eyewitnesses for whom it is a great personal risk to submit to being a witness and because there is no motivation to provide false information, given that many of these witnesses reside in Rwanda and have no contact with Munyenyezi.

The above statement indicates that Andersen has no understanding of events in Rwanda in general, and, in particular, no understanding of: [1] the politics of genocide accusations; [2] motivations such as land, housing and other property disputes; [3] motivations such as personal or economic rivalry; [4] intimidation, accusation and the threat of physical violence used to coerce and fabricate witnesses and testimonies; [5] financial and other incentives used to induce testimonies that suit the Rwandan regime; [6] the motivations of Hutu prisoners accused or already convicted of genocide to produce false testimonies against other Hutus.

The fact that witnesses ‘reside in Rwanda’ is not evidence of their absence of bias, but rather evidence of their propensity toward bias. In particular, thousands of Ugandans currently occupy Rwandan homes and lands taken by force by the RPF from previous landowners of both Hutu and Tutsi ethnicity. (If agent Andersen went to Butembo in North Kivu province in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo he would find thousands of Rwandan RPF Tutsis occupying homes and lands there; it would be impossible and outrageous to conclude that their presence in Congo substantiated evidence of their veracity as ‘witnesses’ to events that took place in the local geographical areas of their illegal occupation.)

Paragraph 11 of Andersen’s affidavit reveals the real reason that President Paul Kagame seeks to punish and imprison Beatrice Munyenyezi, with ICE support, and why Rwandan officials are pressing the U.S. government to intimidate, arrest and silence her:

“Over the several days in February 2006, Munyenyezi testified in her husband’s and mother-in-law’s trials at the ICTR.”

ICE agent Andersen offers ‘evidence’ of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s alleged criminality primarily based on guilt by association with her husband and mother-in-law, both involved in ongoing trials at the ICTR. Further, he alleges by association that Beatrice Munyenyezi, a witness who testified in her family member’s defense at these ICTR trials in 2006, is complicit in genocide merely because she testified on her sister’s behalf. Icing the cake of injustice, special agent Andersen alleges in his affidavit (paragraph 11) that Beatrice Munyenyezi committed perjury in her ICTR testimony. Finally, the modus operandi of the Kagame regime and RPF military is to arrest, convict, re-educate (through intimidation and terror) or disappear anyone who testifies contrary to the wishes of the Kagame regime or contrary to the established ‘Rwanda genocide’ narrative, as did Munyenyezi.

In paragraph 12, agent Andersen claims that Beatrice Munyenyezi manned roadblocks, organized killings, oversaw rapes, and gave public speeches inciting mass murder and rape and all the standard crimes that the Kagame regimes uses to criminalize Hutu people. On its face, the evidence produced by agent Andersen appears irrefutable. However, Mr. Andersen does not have all the facts, and it seems he has very few of them, and certain facts are being reserved for the defense arguments of Beatrice Munyenyezi in a court of law.

In attempting to make a case that Beatrice Munyenyezi lied on her immigration forms, ICE special agent Thomas Brain Anderson adduced that she was a member of the Rwandan political party Movement Republicain pour le Developpment (MRND), the party of President Juvenal Habyarimana that has been castigated as an extremist Hutu genocide organization, and she did not check the box declaring her membership in ANY organization.

However, everyone in Rwanda was required to be a member of the MRND party for many years, beginning in 1975, soon after President Habyarimana seized power (1973), and lasting until 1991, when the Habyarimana government opened political space for opposition parties. Also, the fact that your brother and father are members of a certain political party does not confirm that you are also a member of that political party, certainly not in Rwanda, certainly not in the years between 1991 and 1994, when allegiances, alliances and memberships were highly in flux and highly politicized.

Is special agent Thomas Brian Andersen a member of the National Rifle Association? Timothy McVeigh was also a member. Does this make agent Andersen an ‘NRA extremist’? Is agent Andersen a democrat? Are his siblings ALL democrats? Is his father a democrat? Of course, there is no automatic inference of guilt attached to being a democrat or republican in the U.S.—not like MRND membership in Rwanda has been criminalized—no matter the involvement of democrats or republicans in advocating, authorizing and supporting atrocities in foreign interventions. Finally, Did David Kaczynski share the ideology of his brother, Dr. Theodore John Kaczynski? Quod erat demonstrandum…

Additionally, any Hutu refugee fleeing the RPF terror apparatus and genocide against Hutus would have been suicidal to identify themselves as MRND members after July 1994. Further, the assumption or suggestion that the U.S. State Department and its immigration and naturalization service agents would be impartial towards Hutus is unreasonable, and the immigration forms clearly take no account of the extreme conditions of mistrust, terror and basic survival that genocide and war crimes survivors (including Beatrice Munyenyezi) were subject to at the time.

In fact, special agent Andersen later confirms the U.S. official who granted Beatrice Munyenyezi her naturalization status would not have done so had he ‘known the truth about’ her statements—supposing she admitted she was a member of the MRND party: he declared he would have denied her application.

Special agent Thomas Brian Andersen also unreasonably concludes that Beatrice Munyenyezi must have lied in answering the question “have you ever committed a crime of moral turpitude”? Here Andersen jumps from being an ICE investigator to judge and jury against Beatrice Munyenyezi with this conclusive statement of absolutes:

“In fact, as described herein, Munyenyezi had participated in the genocide, and had committed a number of individual crimes, including the assistance of murder, rape, assault and theft, against the Tutsi minority.”

An admission by Beatrice Munyenyezi of involvement in genocide is not herein accepted to be amongst the ‘truthful’ statements that Ms. Munyenyezi was mandated to provide.

Perhaps the most outrageous statement of all, and evidence of special agent Thomas Brian Andersen’s extreme psychological and paranoid prejudices, applied herein against Rwandan genocide survivor Beatrice Munyenyezi, is the Paragraph 28:

n addition, on or about January 31, 2005, Munyenyezi was interviewed by the New Hampshire affiliate of National Public Radio to discuss the challenges which face African refugees in the Manchester, New Hampshire area. During the interview Munyenyezi said that she escaped a war in Rwanda with her family and husband. Munyenyezi described how there is discrimination against her in New Hampshire as an African refugee, and she also described herself as a ‘fighter’ against adversity.

Now it is a crime to be interviewed on National Public Radio? Or, is it a crime to be interviewed on NPR in New Hampshire only? Clearly it is a crime to ‘escape a war’ when the top officials for the victor’s of that war, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, have been internationally indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. But the coup de grace comes in the possibility that the ‘crime’ or ‘infraction’ or violation that Beatrice Munyenyezi has committed in special agent Thomas Brian Andersen’s mind is to have admitted so shamelessly that “she described herself as a ‘fighter’ against adversity.”33

The outrageous crimes of Beatrice Munyenyezi—or the absurdities and paranoia of special agent Thomas Brian Andersen’s mind—don’t stop there however. In paragraph 29:

Munyenyezi also appears to use a computer to correspond with others. An Internet search related to Munyenyezi reveals that on or about May 11, 2009 Munyenyezi submitted a story for publication to the National Endowment for the Arts website related to how she is persevering after her experience in Africa. In addition, a public Internet search as of June 21, 2010 reveals that Munyenyezi has a FACEBOOK account and is virtually connected with several on-line friends.

Is it the appearance of using a computer or the actual use of a computer to correspond with others that agent Andersen finds incriminating? Are Africans not supposed to know how to use computers, or is it only Rwandan Hutus (even U.S. citizens) who are not supposed to use computers and/or correspond with others? Is having a FACEBOOK profile one of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s crimes? Or is her crime that she is “virtually connected with several on-line friends?”

Amongst the most egregious examples of the extreme biases of special agent Thomas Brian Andersen—in favor of the current Rwandan Patriotic Front regime, and against Beatrice Munyenyezi, a former Rwandan national and a person of Hutu ethnicity, now a U.S. citizen, comes in Paragraph 35:

Based on my training and experience and my discussions with other agents who have investigated similar offenses, I have reason to believe that people who were active participants in the Rwandan genocide were themselves Hutu extremists and that they have maintained an active Diaspora throughout the world in the hope of returning to Rwanda for the purpose of overthrowing the current government and re-instituting the policy of genocide, ‘to complete the work’ of killing every last Tutsi. To promote that effort and prove their long-term commitment to the cause—i.e., the extermination of the Tutsi race—Hutu extremists, like Munyenyezi, maintain documents, photographs and memorabilia, which link them to their past and their expected role in the future. The documents, photographs and memorabilia are particularly important to Hutu extremists because, to them, the items prove that the extermination of Tutsi is an act of self-defense.

According to the above reasoning, every Hutu is a genocidaire; every Hutu must be denied any memorabilia of their past or hope for the future; and every Hutu dreams of exterminating Tutsis, and is nefariously plotting “the extermination of the Tutsi race.” This is evidence of special agent Thomas Brian Andersen’s psychological projection, conjecture, paranoia, indoctrination and, worst of all, it exemplifies a psychological profile of an individual or group of one ethnicity (white, Anglo-European) harboring a hostile racial categorization and extreme racial prejudice that seeks to dehumanize all members of different ethnic group—the Hutus—comprised of millions of people.

The FBI surveillance visit to the home of Beatrice Munyenyezi and the subsequent ICE fishing expedition—secured through the arrest warrant obtained through agent Andersen’s affidavit—were clearly in search of, for example, “photographs and memorabilia” that could be used to make an Orwellian argument about “Hutu extremists, like Munyenyezi.” Agent Andersen’s belief that any memorabilia found in the home of a Hutu person is by default evidence of their intention to retake Rwanda by force and “overthrow the current government” is paranoid, hysterical and delusional.

Thomas Brian Andersen shows his extreme hatred for ‘Hutu’ people as a group. His prejudice is exhibited throughout the document, beginning with his summary of Rwandan history, e.g. in paragraph 5, where his encapsulation of hundreds of years of complex African history destroys all context of Hutu-Tutsi relations in favor of the ‘Tutsis as victims’ narrative advanced by the RPF and its allies. He demonstrates his lack of knowledge of the simplest discernable facts, such as the October 1, 1990 date of the illegal RPF invasion of Rwanda (in paragraph 6 he states: “In or about the early 1990’s, the RPF invaded Rwanda”). He uses the label ‘Hutu extremist’ to mask his hatred against Hutu instilled in him by the current government of Rwanda and its one-sided historiography.


It appears that it can be reasonably established that Thomas Brian Andersen committed perjury—at least once—in his affidavit signed June 22, 2010, and that the FBI used deception to gain access to Beatrice Munyenyezi’s home, under conditions of her trust and cooperation on an international matter completely unrelated to her asylum status, with the intent of surveillance of both Beatrice Munyenyezi and her sister Prudence Kantengwa.

In paragraph 36 agent Andersen states:

I am aware of the close relationship between Munyenyezi and her sister Prudence Kantengwa. I am also familiar with the ongoing proceedings before the Immigration Court related to Munyenyezi’s sister, Kantengwa, and I know that Munyenyezi had appeared in court during those proceedings and was announced as a witness for her sister. In addition, on January 13, 2010, the FBI visited Munyenyezi at her residence at 73 Goffe Street, Manchester New Hampshire, and they were invited into the home. While present, the FBI noticed that Kantengwa was present at the home, and appeared to be living or at least sleeping there.

To begin with, agent Andersen is more than simply “familiar with the ongoing proceedings before the Immigration Court related to Munyenyezi’s sister, [Prudence] Kantengwa,” but he does not disclose these and instead downplays his vested interests in both cases: He is also the ICE agent who has investigated the Kantengwa case in Rwanda and his investigations, affidavits and testimonies are evidence for the Kantengwa case in Boston. So there is an absence of full disclosure in this affidavit to New Hampshire U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Lynch, who is likely very unfamiliar with the Boston cases or deeper issues.

Second, special agent Thomas Brian Andersen has added a very curious footnote to his affidavit that begs explanation. From December 18, 2009 to January 10, 2010, Beatrice Munyenyezi was traveling to the ICTR in Arusha (Tanzania), via Kenya, from/to the United States. On her return entry to the U.S. Munyenyezi volunteered information about, apparently, Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal (Trevor William Forrest), who was detained in Kenya during the same time period (creating a barrage of western mass media stories about his supposed terrorist profile).34 As noted in agent Andersen’s peculiar footnote number 3, Beatrice Munyenyezi was interrogated on her return to Boston Logan Airport on January 10, 2010:

Footnote 3: “At the time of her entry, Munyenyezi told the Customs and Border Protection personnel that she had important information to relate pertaining to someone she believes she saw in Kenya who had been in the news recently as an associate of a contemporary terrorist group. Munyenyezi was told that the FBI would follow up with her on a later date.”

When FBI agents showed up at Beatrice Munyenyezi’s Manchester, NH home on January 13, 2010, it was not in the context of ascertaining her asylum status, as ICE agent Andersen falsely indicates, but rather as the follow-up to Munyenyezi’s volunteered information at Logan airport. The statement that FBI agents were “invited to her home” (paragraph 36) also misrepresents Munyenyezi’s position: she was intimidated by the FBI agents but even so she invited them into her because she felt she had nothing to hide. However, based on the above details, it seems that Beatrice Munyenyezi had long since been under surveillance, and the “invitation to her home” was used as a cover for FBI surveillance of Beatrice Munyenyezi, her sister Prudence Kantengwa, and the 73 Goffe Street dwelling.

It seems that Beatrice Munyenyezi’s attempt to demonstrate her allegiance to the U.S. war on terror backfired and was used against her. More importantly, it is clear that the search warrant of June 22, 2010 was used for an ICE fishing expedition with the hope that something incriminating (a computer, manuscript of surviving genocide, old photographs or other memorabilia) might be discovered and used against either Beatrice Munyenyezi or Prudence Kantengwa or both.

But the surveillance was much more comprehensive. FBI agents were not only watching and photographing the Munyenyezi home, as agent Andersen indicates, but they were also spying on her, she alleges, by planting plain-clothes FBI operatives in her political science classes at the University of New Hampshire, where she was enrolled in an advanced degree program, in the spring of 2010.

Is Beatrice Munyenyezi a suspected terrorist? It appears that all Hutus outside of Rwanda have been designated de facto ‘terrorists’ by the U.S. government in its alliance with the Kagame regime.

Third, the evidence of Thomas Brain Andersen’s perjury in his June 22, 2010 affidavit comes in his paragraph 36 statement: “…and I know that Munyenyezi had appeared in court during those [her sister Prudence Kantengwa’s immigration court] proceedings and was announced as a witness for her sister.”

However, Beatrice Munyenyezi was never a witness at the immigration trial of her sister Prudence Kantengwa. Instead, the trial was interrupted when U.S. prosecutor Mary Kelly noticed Beatrice Munyenyezi sitting in courtroom taking notes. The judge had no problem with note taking by Beatrice Munyenyezi. U.S. prosecutor Mary Kelly then apparently complained that she had planned to call Beatrice Munyenyezi as a witness. After discussions with the defense lawyer for Prudence Kantengwa, and a few questions to Beatrice Munyenyezi in a private chamber, the U.S. prosecutor dropped the issue of Munyenyezi’s presence in the courtroom. Munyenyezi was never registered as a witness by either side, and she never testified.

ICE special agent Thomas Brian Andersen misrepresents the presence of Beatrice Munyenyezi at her sister’s immigration trial to exaggerate a greater sense of collusion and conspiracy between these two ‘Hutu extremists’, no matter that the two women are sisters, or that it is common for someone to testify in behalf of a family member. If special agent Andersen was present in the court on the day that Beatrice Munyenyezi appeared to support her sister Prudence, either he was sleeping through this disturbance in court proceedings or he lied directly. If he was sleeping, he obviously fabricated this ‘evidence’ used as sworn testimony. If he was not present, then he used hearsay—incorrect information related by someone else—as sworn testimony in his affidavit.

An evaluation of the overall methodology employed by special agent Andersen, according to his own affidavit, suggests he has little or no training in international human rights and genocide investigations. Indeed, Mr. Andersen has been with the Boston Bureau of ICE for approximately two years, coming from five years duty with law enforcement in Vermont State. After less than two years with ICE in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, special agent Thomas Brian Andersen, a Vermont State cop, purports to have gained expertise on Rwanda and ‘genocide’ (as related in paragraphs 5-21 of his affidavit) and the operations of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda that ICTR defense attorneys—trained in human rights law, some having more than ten years full-time and dedicated experience with ICTR trials and the government of Rwanda—would never claim.

All the genocide charges in the Thomas Brian Andersen affidavit signed June 22, 2010 are generic charges that have been leveled over and over, against all Hutus, and the Thomas Brian Andersen is not credible or impartial: he should be rejected as a witness in all Rwanda hearings.

Instead, special agent Thomas Brian Andersen should be deposed under oath and interrogated about his clandestine relationship to RPF officials and RPF intelligence agents, He should be interrogated about his relationship to the Rwanda ‘genocide’ front-organizations IBUKA and IVEGA. And he should be interrogated about ties between ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Directorate of Military Intelligence and other secretive organizations of the state of Rwanda.


As in the 2009 asylum trials of Dr. Vincent Bajinya and three other Rwandan Hutu men in the U.K., and Dr. Leopold Munyakazi, in Maryland, VA, where all defendants are accused of being genocidaires, and similarly for other Rwandan asylum hearings in the U.S., Europe or Canada, anyone traveling to Rwanda on a discovery for the defense would not be able to investigate without government interference. Even cases at the ICTR in neighboring Arusha, Tanzania, have seen serious interference from the Rwanda regime. Similarly, ICE agent Thomas Brian Anderson would not have been able to travel to Rwanda without the direct involvement and highest authorization of the RPF regime, in collaboration with the U.S. State Department, and his actions were monitored from beginning to end.

Usually the RPF regime provides ‘handlers’ that manage investigations and spoon-fed investigators with information fabricated or cleared by the regime. Rwanda experts for the defense at asylum hearings, including ICTR lawyer Peter Erlinder and Filip Reyntjens, a Belgian Rwanda expert, have testified (as experts for the defense) to the problems of asylum cases and the interference by the Kagame regime in court cases in Rwanda, at the ICTR and abroad.

Dr. Vincent Bajinya was arrested in London, many years after he arrived and gained citizenship in England, and was framed by Fergal Keane, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist who was also deceived by Rwandan officials.35 Keane traveled to Rwanda and worked with RPF ‘handlers’—agents posing as civilians—to ‘discover’ and interview the ‘witnesses’ to Dr. Vincent Bajinya’s (et al.) supposed crimes.36

Dr. Leopold Munyakazi was a professor employed at Goucher College in Maryland until 2008, when he was arrested by ICE agents after making a public speech decrying the abuses of the Kagame regime, the falsification of genocide charges and the lies of the official RPF genocide narrative.37

Dr. Munyakazi was framed by the Kagame regime and publicly branded as a genocidaire by a short-lived NBC News television program that sought prime-time ratings by tracking down and ‘exposing’ supposed genocidaires. The program was titled The Wanted, and the morality of ‘good versus evil’ was underscored by the choice of the show’s commentator, Scott Tyler, an ex-Navy Seal, while the wanted man, Dr. Leopold Munyakazi, was their embodiment of evil. The zealous NBC News team acted as accuser, judge and jury against Dr. Munyakazi.38

U.S. prosecutors in Rwanda asylum cases are generally very ignorant of the politics of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, or they have been irreconcilably swayed by the propaganda of the Kagame regime and its partners, which is everywhere in the western media.39

In two related U.S. court cases (where the Rwandan defendants’ hearings are underway and they do not wish to be named) two U.S. prosecutors traveled to Rwanda and later testified in court to that it was very easy to get the information they wanted, they did not need a clearance from the Rwanda government, and that they went to the countryside and met witnesses without government assistance or monitoring. They even went to prisons to talk to prisoners without Rwanda government help, they claimed, and reported to the court that conditions of prisoners were excellent.

While U.S. government prosecutors who have worked in Rwanda under these supposed ‘independent’ conditions have not been deposed under oath, their claims are impossible under the current military regime in Rwanda.


Beatrice Munyenyezi’s husband, Shalom Ntahobari, and mother-in-law, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, remain in detention at the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. Both have been on trial at the ICTR for more than ten years and are awaiting decisions on genocide and rape charges for more than a year now.

The same ‘Tutsi victims’ of rape who testified in the ICTR hearing against Shalom Ntahobari also allegedly testified in the case of Hutu businessman Désiré Munyaneza, the first alleged Rwanda genocidaire tried in Canada, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in October 2009. In Shalom Ntahobari’s case, the women could not even recognize the defendant in court, no matter their allegations of having been repeatedly raped.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was the first woman internationally charged with rape as a war crime or act of genocide. The former Minister of Family Affairs, she is accused of ordering Interahamwe militia to rape members of the Tutsi minority.

These rape charges were handed down immediately after then First Lady Hillary Clinton visited the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR). When Ms. Clinton pledged $600,000 to be paid after the first ICTR rape conviction was delivered, indictments at the ICTR were modified to include rape charges against most top alleged genocidaires on trial.

The case against Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was sensationalized in an eight-page feature in the New York Times Magazine (September 15, 2002). Penned by Peter Landesman and titled “The Minister of Rape: How Could a Woman Incite Rwanda’s Sex-Crime Genocide?” the magazine ran an unflattering and blurred photo of Ms. Nyiramasuhuko’s bespectacled face on the cover.

“The 1994 genocide, one of the worst mass slaughters in recorded history,” Landesman later wrote in “Out of Madness, A Matriarchy,” another fictional account (also deploying the racist “madness” theme) this time in Mother Jones magazine, “was triggered by the assassination of Rwanda’s Hutu president, after a lengthy civil war between the Hutu-led government and the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front. It was a deliberate effort to eliminate the country’s Tutsi ‘problem’; books about Hitler and the Holocaust, and lists of potential victims, were later discovered in the offices of top government officials. In all, at least 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus died… Among the most nefarious tools of the genocide was a planned mass sexual assault on Tutsi women, with Hutu officials encouraging HIV-positive soldiers to take part in gang rapes.”40

First, these numbers of Tutsi’s killed are highly disputed, and many of the Tutsis were killed by the RPF. Second, any ‘deliberate effort to eliminate the country’s Tutsi ‘problem’ was more the responsibility of the RPF than any other institution of power in Rwanda in 1994. Third, every western library and most all western human rights and media professionals, and academics, have books about Hitler, just as every western public and university library does. Fourth, these supposed genocide ‘lists’ have never been produced at the ICTR. Fifth, the reference to the Holocaust is part of the overall ‘genocide’ propaganda that defines the Tutsi minority as the sole proprietors of victim-hood in Rwanda and falsely defines them as “the Jews of Africa.”41

Finally, there was no “planned mass sexual assault on Tutsi women.”

Notwithstanding the fictions, when the allegations against a branded genocidaire are repeated they are often no longer presented as allegations, but as absolute fact.

For example, Emily Heroy, the founder and executive editor of Gender Across Borders—“a global feminist blog—regurgitated the 2002 ‘Minister of Rape’ story in 2009.42 “In 2002, Peter Landesman wrote an article in the New York Times about Nyiramasuhuko entitled ‘A Woman’s Work’ about her role in the genocide… Nyiramasuhuko ordered her son and militia to rape and kill thousands of women during the Rwanda genocide.”

The falsification of rape testimonies by Rwandan ‘survivors’ of genocide used to accuse opponents or critics or others targeted by the Kagame government has occurred before. Considering just one very significant example, supposed Tutsi ‘genocide survivors’ and ‘rape victims’ were used as witnesses against Rwandan Catholic Bishop Monsignor Augustin Misago.

Bishop Misago’s female Tutsi accusers cried on the witness stand in an effort to sway the court. They claimed to have been repeatedly raped by Misago over more than one day. When asked to identify a very remarkable physical feature of Bishop Misago’s anatomy, these women were proven to be fakes who falsified testimonies with Rwandan government support.

The London-based ‘non-government organization’ African Rights, co-founded by RPF agent Rakiya Omaar, helped frame Misago, who was subsequently arrested and jailed in 1999, but was cleared by the Rwandan Court of all genocide and rape charges in 2000.

Rakiya Omaar has worked since 1990-1991 as a paid agent of the RPF regime, always casting the Hutus as perpetrators and the Tutsis—especially the RPF Tutsi extremists—as the victims of the violence, creating a positive image for the RPF. She works freely in Rwanda, where she has a special office.43

Rakiya Omaar also fabricated evidence against Beatrice Munyenyezi, Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro and Prudence Kantengwa.44 Omaar reportedly traveled to the home village of Dr. Higiro and sisters and then produced documentation used by the western media, United Nations experts, the RPF regime, and by U.S. asylum courts, to accuse Dr. Higiro and Beatrice Munyenyezi of crimes. Family members were also intimidated and threatened in Rwanda.

One of the most suppressed facts about the realities of the RPF Tutsi extremists and their elite networks is the historical and contemporary existence of ubwenge (ou-WEN-gay)—a complex Kinyarwanda language term referring to wisdom, trickery, caution, cleverness, prudence, deceptions, lies, manipulations. It relates to the capacity to gain a clear understanding of situations and the capability to surround oneself with a network of profit generating social relations.

French author Pierre Péan discussed ‘ubwenge’ in his 2005 book Noires Fureurs, Blancs Menteurs (Black Furies, White Liars), noting that Tutsis were affected by a ‘lying culture’ and questioning the historiography of genocide in Rwanda. Péan alleged that Tutsis have systematically resorted to lying, while employing doubtful and fraudulent maneuvers, with the aim of misleading the international community relating to the accuracy of its genocide cause. Péan was immediately sued in French courts by S.O.S Racisme, an ‘anti-racism’ organization that has been very pro-Kagame and pro-RPF in France.

Ubwenge or the culture of deception was highly valued in traditional Rwanda, particularly in Tutsi aristocratic circles. Young Tutsi aristocrats were trained in ubwenge to help insure the Tutsi domination of Rwanda and the enslavement of the Hutu majority. By any name, the extremist RPF Tutsi regime and its leaders excel at ubwenge.

“They will bring into the U.S. court these women from Rwanda,” says Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro. “They will say ‘I was raped’ and they will cry. The jury will think this is spontaneous and the judge and jury will believe them. But the jury will not understand that this is an exercise in ubwenge. Some Hutus will also use ubwenge. In the RPF kingdom ruled by Paul Kagame there are people who train people to lie in court. They are used in different trials to lie and frame and accuse. Westerners and judges in western countries do not grasp this.”

Beatrice Munyenyezi’s case will join those of other Rwandans accused by the Kagame regime that are costing U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars for hearings that have historically involved fraud, disinformation, and U.S. government manipulation. The U.S. government is fighting its own judiciary in its effort to maintain the shiny clean façade masking the terrorism of the Paul Kagame government in Rwanda. This is not a successful entrepreneurial government, but an absolute military dictatorship whose grip of terror extends into the hearts and minds—as with Thomas Brian Andersen—of the United States of America.

1. See, e.g., Dr. Helmut Strizek, Discredit the Hutu Population Forever, Report by Dr. Helmut Strizek, Expert Witness in “The Prosecutor v. Innocent Sagahutu,” Before the International Criminal tribunal For Rwanda, (Case No. ICTR 2000-56-I), entered into ICTR records October 30, 2008. [↩]
2. For a singular example of the western press reporting on her arrest, which has some factual errors but no context or balance, see: Joseph C. Cote, “Woman Allegedly took part in Genocide,” Nashua Telegraph, June 25, 2010. [↩]
3. The RPF (U.S. & U.K. & Israel backing) war crimes and genocide against Rwandan and Burundian refugees is well documented. In August 1996 there were an estimated 1.5 million refugees in eastern Zaire, and by November the estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Rwandan refugees that did not return to Rwanda under the illegal forced repatriation became the targets of a systematic manhunt by ADFL forces. See, e.g., Roberto Garreton, Special Rapporteur of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Zaire” No. E/CN.4/1996/66, June 29, 1996; Howard French, A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, Vintage Books, 2005; and Filip Reyntjens, The Great African War, Cambridge University Press, 2009; Gerard Prunier, Africa’s World War, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 120-128; Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999; and “International Non-governmental Commission of Inquiry into the Massive Violations of Human Rights Committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Former Zaire) 1996-1997,” Int’l Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, 1998; DRC: What Kabila is Hiding: Civilian Killings and Impunity in Congo, Human Rights Watch, Vol. 9, No. 5(A), October 1997. [↩]
4. See Rwanda state newspaper Rwanda New Times propaganda republished at Kennedy Ndahiro, “Rwanda Genocidaires Should Be Hunted Down and Punished,” February 26, 2010. [↩]
5. See: Human Rights Watch World Report 1999, December 1998, p. 62; and “Alleged Murderers of Sendashonga Mysteriously Die One After Another,” AfroAmerica Network, March 3, 2001. [↩]
6. “Feds Say NH Woman Involved in Rwandan Genocide,” AP, June 24, 2010. [↩]
7. See: Robin Philpot, Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard, The Taylor Report and Robin Philpot, 2003. [↩]
8. See, e.g.: Ann Garrison, “Erlinder released as Rwanda cracks down on its own,” San Francisco Bay View, June 27, 2010; “Rwanda Repression Rises Ahead of Poll—Watchdog,” Reuters (AlertNet), June 27, 2010; “Rwanda: Stop Attacks on Journalists, Opponents,” Human Rights Watch, June 26, 2010. [↩]
9. See, e.g.: Reuters, “Rwanda Repression Rises Ahead of Poll—Watchdog,” AlertNet, June 27, 2010; “Rwanda ex-army chief Nyamwasa shot in Johannesburg,” BBC News, June 19, 2010. [↩]
10. “Rwandan Ambassador Flees Post,” The Amsterdam Post, March 19, 2010; Juma Kwayera, “Kagame in Spot as Spate of Killings Hits Rwanda,” The Standard, June 27, 2010. [↩]
11. Kristin Van Schie, “Rwandan General Shot by Asylum Seekers,” IOL News South Africa, June 29, 2010. [↩]
12. “Murder Stokes Rwanda Crackdown Fear,” AlJazeera, June 26, 2010. [↩]
13. Heidi Boghosian, “NLG Demands Immediate Release of Attorney Peter Erlinder,” National Lawyers Guild, May 28, 2010. [↩]
14. Josh Kron, “American Lawyer Denied Bail in Rwanda,” New York Times, June 7, 2010; Jeremy Herb and Kevin Diaz, “Rwanda Frees Peter Erlinder on Bail,” Star Tribune, June 17, 2010; Madeleine Baron, “Minn. law professor detained in Rwanda accused of threatening national security,” Minnesota Public Radio, June 1, 2010; Steve Karnowski, “Professor: Rwanda Officials Wanted Me to Disappear,” AP, June 24, 2010. [↩]
15. Josephine Whittaker, “Rwandan Opposition Leader Appears in Court,” Open Security, April 22, 2010; “Rwanda’s Election Opposition Leader Demands Protection After Mob attack in Rwanda,” VOA News, February 4, 2010; “Mob attacks Rwandan opposition leader in capital,” Reuters, February 3, 2010, (AlertNet). [↩]
16. Keith Harmon Snow, “The Rwanda Hit List: Revisionism, Denial & the Genocide Conspiracy,” 24-31 March 2010, The African Executive. [↩]
17. See: Patrick Karuretwa biography, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University. [↩]
18. See: Patrick Karuretwa, “Not up for debate: Rwanda cannot excuse Peter Erlinder’s genocide denial,” Harvard Law Review, June 16, 2010. [↩]
19. See Keith Harmon Snow, “The US Sponsored ‘Rwanda Genocide’ and its Aftermath: Psychological Warfare, Embedded Reporters and the Hunting of Refugees,” Global Research, April 12, 2008. [↩]
20. Tiphaine Dickson, “Rwanda’s Deadliest Secret: Who Shot Down President Habyarimana’s Plane?: The most under-investigated of political assassinations,” Global Research, November 24, 2008. [↩]
21. See: Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, “Rwandan Private Print Media on the Eve of the Genocide,” in Alan Thomson, Ed., The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, Pluto Press, 2007, and Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro and William Woodward, “The Commodification of Genocide in Ruanda Since 1994,” paper at the Seventeenth Annual ESHHS Conference held at Durham Castle, August 28-September 1, 1998. [↩]
22. David Boeri, “Evidence of Misconduct,” WBUR News, February 17, 2010. [↩] [↩]
23. See, e.g., “Open Letter to U.S. Attorney from Terek Mahana Support Committee,” March 13, 2010. [↩]
24. The author has provided expert testimony in two Rwandan asylum hearings in the United States in 2010. [↩]
25. The author has analyzed the U.S. State Department country reports on human rights for Rwanda, where the U.S. tolerates and abets violence, from 1993 to 2009, and has compared these to reports from countries that the U.S. does not like, in particular: Cuba, Sudan and Iran. [↩]
26. 2009 Country Report on Human Rights: Rwanda, U.S. Department of State, March 11, 2010. [↩]
27. Kenneth Roth, “The Power of Horror in Rwanda,” Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2009. [↩]
28. There is extensive documentation of assassinations in articles, books or ICTR documents by Jordi Palou Loverdes, Wayne Madsen, Luc de Temmerman, Filip Reyntjens, Dr. Helmut Strizek, Peter Erlinder, Christopher Black, Phil Taylor and others. See, e.g.: Filip Reyntjens, “Rwanda, Ten Years On: From Genocide to Dictatorship,” African Affairs, 2004, 103, 177–210: p. 197. See also: Keith Harmon Snow, “The Rwanda Hit List: Revisionism, Denial, and the Genocide Conspiracy,” The African Executive. [↩]
29. “Iwawa Island: Prison Camp or Paradise Vacation Spot?” NGO News Africa, May 1, 2010. [↩]
30. “Rwandans Flee into Burundi,” SAPA, October 1, 2009, and “Burundi: Stop Deporting Rwandan Asylum Seekers,” Human Rights Watch, December 1, 2009 [↩]
31. Find affidavit with article by Joseph C. Cote, “Woman Allegedly took part in Genocide,” Nashua Telegraph, June 25, 2010. [↩]
32. See, e.g.: Filip Reyntjens, “Manipulation and Falsification of ICTR Evidence: The Role of the Rwandan Government,” (Excerpts from Expert Report, Prosecutor v. Joseph Kanyabashi, Case No. ICTR-96-15-I); “An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress Regarding HR #1426,” BusinessWire, June 17, 2010; and “The Rwandan Genocide: Result of a Carefully Planned Military Operation.
“Open Letter to President Kagame,” Global Research, June 3, 2009. [↩]
33. Laura Noy, “Finding Refuge in the Queen City,” NHPR, January 31, 2005. [↩]
34. See, e.g, “Kenya: Airlines Refuse to Fly Jamaican Home,”, January 6, 2010. [↩]
35. Fergal Keane, “Rwanda Genocide Suspect in UK,” BBC News. November 6, 2006. [↩]
36. keith harmon snow, “The US Sponsored ‘Rwanda Genocide’ and its Aftermath: Psychological Warfare, Embedded Reporters and the Hunting of Refugees,” Global Research, April 12, 2008. [↩]
37. While the article and the framework for the article are in many ways flawed, displaying the same tendencies toward a priori assumptions of guilt, please see, e.g.: Andrew Rice, “Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC’s Quest for a Prime Time Hit,” The New Republic, August 12, 2009. [↩]
38. While the article and the framework for the article are in many ways flawed, displaying the same tendencies toward a priori assumptions of guilt, please see, e.g.: Andrew Rice, “Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC’s Quest for a Prime Time Hit,” The New Republic, August 12, 2009. [↩]
39. See, e.g., Steven Da Silva, “Revisiting the ‘Rwandan Genocide’: Resurrecting Ghosts, or Exorcising Demons?”, Global Research, June 1, 2007. [↩]
40. Kimberley Acquaro and Peter Landesman, “Out of Madness: A Matriarchy,” Mother Jones, January/February 2003. [↩]
41. Even New York Times journalist (sic) Bill Berkeley, whose work deep in the pro-RPF, Pro-Tutsi establishment narrative, has criticized the ‘Jews of Africa’ characterization of the Tutsis: “As Stephen Heder was pointing out at lunch when we were talking earlier, the Tutsis were not the Jews of Africa. Philip Gourevitch… got it wrong in that regard. To put it in its crudest, simplest terms historically, the Tutsis were the bad guys.” Speaker series, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, March 6, 2002. [↩]
42. Emily Heroy, “International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Woman is Accused of Inciting Troops & Militia to Rape 1000s of Women,” Gender Across Borders, April 25, 2009. [↩]
43. See, e.g.: [1] Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, “Death, Despair and Defiance,” African Rights, November 1994; [2] Rakiya Omaar, “Rwanda: Insurgency in the Northwest,” African Rights, 1998; [3] Rakiya Omaar, “Letter to Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc, President of the United Nations Security Council,” African Rights, October 19, 2005; [4] Rakiya Omaar, “An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II,” African Rights, May 13, 1998. [↩]
44. Rakiya Omaar, Consultant to the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, Report for the RDRC on the Leadership of Rwandese Armed Groups in the DRC, December 2008, p. 215-217. [↩]

Keith Harmon Snow is a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) Project Censored award winner. He is also the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies. The first UCSB Regent's Lecturer, in 1960, was Aldous Huxley; other recipients include Margaret Mead, Peter Matthiessen and Meredith Monk. Read other articles by Keith, or visit Keith's website.

This article was posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 at 8:30am and is filed under Crimes against Humanity, Democratic Rep. Congo, Disinformation, Genocide, Military/Militarism, Propaganda, Refugees, Rwanda, War Crimes. ShareThis
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