Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rwandan MP asks Kenyans to condemn Kabuye arrest

By ODHIAMBO ORLALE

A Rwandan MP has accused the International Criminal Court of bias and asked her Kenyan counterparts to condemn the recent arrest of a senior Kigali official in Germany on genocide allegations.

Ms Faith Mukalisa said the arrest of Ms Rose Kabuye, one of President Paul Kagame’s aides, over claims that she played a role in the 1994 genocide was political.

The Rwandan MP said a war was being waged against Africa and the continent should rise against threats by Western powers using ICC. She revealed that they had filed a case against the claims in the Hague.

Unacceptable

Ms Mukalisa insisted that the arrest of Ms Kabuye in Germany while she was part of an advance team for the Rwandan president was illegal and unacceptable.

She said: “All the accusations are false and have no foundation and I call on Kenyan MPs to join us to condemn her arrest and demand for her unconditional release.”

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim and Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara threw their weight behind Ms Mukalisa.

Mr Maalim accused Western powers of double standards. He wondered why they did not demand perpetrators of human rights violations in South Africa during the apartheid era to be arrested and charged at the ICC.

“The problem in Sudan is about oil and not about the poor residents of Darfur,” said Mr Maalim in reference to the warrant of arrest against the Sudanese president El Bashir.

Mr Imanyara read mischief in the arrest of Ms Kabuye on claims she took part in the shooting down of Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana’s jet, sparking the genocide in which nearly a million people were killed.

The controversial issue came up a day after President Kibaki called on Kenyan leaders and the public to promote forgiveness and national reconciliation following the post-election violence early this year.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Justice minister Martha Karua asked leaders named in the controversial Waki report on the poll chaos to hold their horses and wait for it to be discussed by the Cabinet and then tabled in Parliament.

Split politicians

The Waki report has split politicians, with Agriculture minister William Ruto leading Rift Valley MPs to reject it.

Last month, former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, who brokered Kenya’s peace deal, was presented with a secret list by Mr Philip Waki containing names of suspected chaos financiers and inciters.

Mr Waki’s commission recommended that the suspects be prosecuted by a local tribunal. If one was not set up by the Government, it said the suspects should be tried by the ICC.

Ms Mukalisa said the Rwandan government had asked for help from the African Union and European Union to secure Ms Kabuye’s release.

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