samedi 28 avril 2007

Concern for Rwanda ex-spy chief

By Robert Walker
BBC News, Kigali

The detention of Rwanda's former spy chief is a cause for concern, a US-based human rights group says.

Once one of the president's closest confidents, Col Patrick Karegeya was demoted from his position last year and taken into military custody in April.

It is not known where he is detained and he has not been given access to a lawyer, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

The organisation says military authorities suggested his detention was for political reasons.

The army has declined to comment on these claims.

Fall from grace

It is a highly sensitive case for the Rwandan government.

As head of the country's external security service, Col Karegeya held a key position during Rwanda's occupation of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year Col Karegeya was moved from the position of spy chief to army spokesman, widely seen as a steep demotion.

His arrest at his home in the capital, Kigali, in April underlined a more serious fall from grace.

The army say it is a case of indiscipline. The chief of general staff told the local press the colonel had persistently breached the army's disciplinary code of conduct and would therefore face charges.

But Alison Des Forges, a senior adviser to HRW, told the BBC that Col Karegeya has not benefited from due process under Rwandan law and the charges against him have not been made public.


In Kigali, speculation is rife about what lies behind the colonel's arrest.

It is widely seen as an indication of wider internal rivalries within the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which keeps a tight grip on Rwanda.

No effective political opposition exists and within the RPF power is highly centralised around the president.

Recently, there have been reports of tensions. But these have dismissed by the party authorities.

HRW says the case of Col Karegeya highlights a continuing problem of lack of respect for due process in Rwanda's justice system.

Critics of the government have long claimed that the judiciary lacks autonomy and is used to suppress political opponents.

jeudi 26 avril 2007

Paul Kagame Please Free Patrick Karegeya

For the last 7 months, James Kabarebe under the orders of Paul Kagame, has illegally detained the now retired Colonel Patrick Karegeya. The colonel is being kept in a secluded safe house around Mulindi area in Kanombe district of Kigali.

Patrick Karegeya, an accomplished lawyer, former head of External Security and fomerly a close confidant of Paul Kagame is also being denied access to medical facilities despite his worsening health condition.

This is a second time that Patrick Karegeya has been detained under unclear circumstances.

Initially, Patrick was accused of 'insubordination and indiscipline', cases for which there was no evidence. Karegeya was not taken to court at all during this first arrest that lasted 3 months. Following immense pressure from the media and international community, Karegeya was released for a short period during which Rwanda military operatives under James Kabarebe went on a witch hunting mission to plant evidence against him.

Karegeya's release was indeed shortlived as he was brought to court, once again on flimsy charges of 'indiscipline and insurbodination'. The army chief of staff, James Kabarebe, accused Patrick of refusing to return to duty following his release from prison: A fact refuted by Patrick Karegeya. Besides his word, Kabarebe did not produce any evidence to the court. Apparently, Kabarebe gave Karegeya instructions to return to duty during a personal visit at the former's home that was never witnessed. Karegeya admits visiting Kabarebe as a personal friend but does not remember receiving such instructions; in what appears to be a classic case of typical Rwandan betrayal.

Karegeya was hence accused of desertion and insurbodination and sentensed to an 18month jail term: a period that does not corellate with the cases levelled against him. Aside from Kabarebe's word', there was no other evidence produced in court.

Today Karegeya continues to serve his jail term for reasons only known to those in Rwanda's top political and military circles.

However, we the People of Rwanda would like to humbly request the president of the Republic of Rwanda HE. to release Patrick Karegeya so that he can continue to work for his country. Having served at the helm of Rwanda's politics and military for over 10 years, Karegeya's track record, patriotism, and expertise are not questionable. More evidence needs to be produced for the general public to believe what is being said of Karegeya.

What experience and history teach is this-- that people and governments never have learned anything from history.

- George Wilhelm Hegel

Justice:18 mois de prison contre un ex-officier de l`armée rwandaise

Écrit le: 06, September, 2006 - 01:42:12 (-0300 EST)

Article par: Angolapress

Arusha, 04/09 - La Haute cour militaire du Rwanda a confirmé, mercredi, en appel la condamnation à 18 mois de prison ferme et à la dégradation militaire de l`ancien chef des renseignements militaires, le colonel Patrick Karegeya, a appris dimanche la PANA de source officielle à Arusha en Tanzanie.

"Jugeant l`affaire en appel, la Haute cour militaire a confirmé mercredi la décision qui avait été prise au premier degré par la Cour militaire", indique, sur son site internet, la Ligue pour la défense des droits de la personne dans la région des Grands lacs (LDGL) basée à Kigali.

La LDGL, qui comprend des organisations de défense des droits de l`Homme du Rwanda, du Burundi et de l`est de la RD Congo, souligne que Patrick Karegeya, ancien porte-parole de l`armée rwandaise, a été reconnu coupable, en première instance, comme en appel, de "désertion et d`insubordination à son Chef supérieur, le général James Kabarebe", chef d`Etat-major général de l`armée rwandaise. On rappelle que Patrick Karegeya avait été jugé et condamné en première instance le 13 juillet dernier.

D`après la procédure légale en vigueur, le condamné peut introduire un recours ultime devant la Cour suprême.

Colonel Karegeya Patrick Yakatiwe Amezi 18 no Kwamburwa Amapeti

VOA Report: following Karegeya's second arrest
Jeanne D'Arc Umwana (VOA)

(Brief English Translation) On 13th July 2006 Rwanda's military court martial in Nyamirambo read the case brought by the military court martial accusing rtd. Col. Karegeya of desertion and insurbordination. The military court came to a conclusion that
Karegeya is guilty as charged and went to on to pass an 18month sentence as well as disgraceful discharge from the army.

Both the prosecution and the defense were unsatisfied with the outcome of the case because; The prosecution felt that an 18 month sentense for desertion and insurbodination was extremely lenient whereas the defense stood by their claim that Karegeya is innoncent.

(Note: It is common knowledge in Rwanda this high profile case was carefully influenced by those in the high echelons of power. It is also worth noting that 2 judges resigned before the case could be closed.)

Kinyarwanda (original version)
Ku wa 13 Nyakanga 2006, urukiko rwa gisirikare i Nyamirambo rwasomye imikirize y’urubanza ubushinjacyaha bwa gisikare buregamo Colonel Karegeya icyaha cy’ubugande n’icyaha cyo gutoroka igisirikare.
Mu isoma ry’urubanza, urukiko rwa gisirikare rwemeje ko rwasanze ibyaha Colonel Karegeya aregwa bifite ishingiro, rwemeza kandi ko ibyo byaha bimuhama.

Mu mikirize y’urubanza, urukiko rwa gisirikare rwatangaje ko Colonel Karegeya atsinzwe, rumukatira igifungo cy’umwaka n’amezi 6, no kwamburwa amapeti ya gisirikare.

Nyuma y’isomwa ry’urubanza, impande zombi, ubushinjacyaha bwa gisirikare ndetse na Niyomugabo, umwe mu bunganira Colonel Karegeya, batangaje ko bazajuririra icyemezo cy’urukiko. K’ubushinjacyaha bwa gisirikare, ngo ntibwumva icyo urukiko rwashingiyeho rworohereza Colonel Karegeya icyaha.

Tubibutse ko iburanisha ry’urubanza rwa Colonel Karegeya ryabaye ku itariki ya 22 Kamena 2006. Colonel Karegeya yahakanye ibyaha aregwa byose. Mu myanzuro, ubushinjacyaha bwa girikare bwari bwasabiye Colonel Karegeya igifungo cy’imyaka 7 n’igice, ndetse no kwamburwa amapeti ya gisirikare.

Coup in Rwanda? You are kidding

Asuman Bisiika

Among the many false accusations levelled against Patrick Karegeya was that of treason. In this article, a known political analyst in Rwanda, Asuman Bisika, convinces us this is false.

Unconfirmed reports that spilled to the press last week said there was an attempted coup in Rwanda. These reports, lacking objective intelligence analysis, were occasioned by the arrest and consequent detention of Col. Patrick Karegeya and the fleeing of three junior officers and a non-commissioned officer.

Col. Patrick Karegeya, hitherto a close confidant of President Paul Kagame, was spokesman of Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF). What is surprising to Kigali watchers though is the two junior officers confessed they were involved in an unsuccessful coup in Rwanda,. Which is suspicious.

Rwanda lacks a tradition of forward-leaning civic attitude. People’s socio-political feelings are muffled, which gives analysts a field-day whenever there is public expression of disaffection. It was, therefore, not surprising that analysts were already building a scenario of a crumbling regime in Kigali.

However, anyone watching Rwanda closely would tell you Col. Karegeya does not have a support base in the army to enable him topple the government. And the two junior officers were no longer in service.

But is a military coup possible in Rwanda? No. And I am staking my credibility as an analyst on Rwanda on this. I have to repeat this for the sake of clarity: A coup in Rwanda is impossible due to foreign and local factors. I will explain.

The RDF has transformed itself to reflect a national character. This national character ties into the national spirit of submission to the state. Most of the original RPF military and political leadership has been edged from positions of influence. Save for Lt. Col. Dr. Emmanuel Ndahiro, Director General of National Security Agency, most of the people now surrounding President Kagame are people who came from Burundi or Congo and Rwandans with no refugee background. With the national spirit of submission, these people cannot afford the luxury of espousing divergent views from those of the president.

Lt. Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, the Minister for Defence, is a former FAR (Habyarimana army) officer. In Rwanda, a serious attempt has been made to separate policy issues concerning the military and operational functions of the army.

This gives the Ministry of Defence political control over the army. And to ensure that such a structure does not become troublesome to the regime, the National Security Agency (NSA) which is under President’s Office supervises all intelligence gathering organisations including Immigration.

That Col. Patrick Karegeya planned to topple the government in a military coup with some junior officers seems impossible.

Although he was close to President Paul Kagame, Col. Karegeya stayed away from the dynamics and the operational functions of the army. The closest he might have been to the dynamics of the RDF was when he supervised the rebels Congolese RCD-Goma.

Another factor that would make a coup in Rwanda difficult is that most of the officers who have expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are done have either been redeployed in less-influential positions or punished into submission. My personal opinion is that even if there were expressions of disaffection, particularly among senior officers with Ugandan refugee background, it could not have reached a stage where people would plot a coup against the regime. The fear of how to execute a coup and the consequences make it impossible to take the proposition of coup rather seriously.

Such a coup would have to be supported by another government in the region, and it so happens there is no such government with the moral strength to sell a military coup in Rwanda to the international community. Besides, the international sympathy the regime (and President Kagame in particular) enjoys because of the genocide, scares many from engaging in political undertakings involving violence.

That is why the rebel FDLR was convinced by the international community to lay down their weapons and talk peace with the regime. Even if there were a justification for a political change, the fear of violence in Rwanda is so pervading that it stops people (even the international community) in their tracks.

Perhaps the most mitigating factor against a coup in Rwanda is the conspicuous trend of international unanimity on zero tolerance of military coups. The international community may stand a stolen election, but it seems they are firm against military coups. A concerted African effort to resist a military ‘arrangement’ for Faure Eyadema to succeed his late father in Togo is a pointer to coup plotters.

My personal estimation is that a successful coup in Kigali would not stand for more than one month. I remember Col. Patrick Karegeya (then Director of External Security) and I analysing scenarios to mitigate for a military coup in Kigali.

Reviewing a multitude of possible scenarios (I think we were later joined by Maj. Dr Richard Masozera, former director of Immigration), we concluded that a coup in Rwanda would be a tall order even with political justification.

We agreed that the excesses and consequences of genocide brutalised the population into high level submission. That was early 2002 and my estimation is the situation has not changed a lot.

Which explains why Faustin Twagiramungu, who used to give the late President Habyarimana a hard time, paled against President Kagame in the 2003 presidential elections.

Besides, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the military to successfully topple governments in Africa. Well, a coup can succeed, but it would be a Herculean task to explain it, leave alone sustain it particularly in a country like Rwanda, which enjoys a lot of international sympathy.

The writer was editor of The Rwanda Herald, 1999 - 2002

Colonel Patrick Karegeya Afungurwa bwambere

Upon Karegeya's first release from prison, this was the VOA Report by Lucie Umukundwa

Brief Translation: Following a three month detention at an unknown location, Col. Patrick Karegeya has been released. His arrest was not legal. Under accusations of indiscipline that were never verified, he was denied visits from his family and the location of his detention facility was never disclosed. No evidence or example was given of his reported 'indiscipline'. It is rumoured that he was involved in a coup attempt and accused of disobeying the state ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara. Until today, the real reason for his arrests remain unknown.

Kinyarwanda version (original)

Nyuma y’amezi atatu afungiye ahantu hatamenyekanye, Colonel Patrick Karegeya yafunguwe kuri uyu wa gatanu tariki ya 30 z'ukwa 9. Uburyo yari afunzwemo ntibwigeze bwubahiriza amategeko.

Usibye kutagira uburenganzira bwo gusurwa n’umuryango we, icyo yari afungiye ntikigeze gitangazwa. Icyavuzwe gusa ni uko ngo yagize imyitwarire ya gisirikare idahwitse - indiscipline - , ariko ntihagira urugero rutangwa ku bijyanye n’iyo myitwarire.

Kudashyira ku mugaragaro impamvu nyakuri yatumye afungwa byatumye ibihuha byinshi bigaragaza igituma afunze bihwihwiswa hirya no hino, ndetse byandikwa no mu binyamakuru bitandukanye.

Muri ibyo bihuha harimo no kuba ngo yaba yarasuzuguye umuvunyi, akanga gutangaza imitungo ye, ndetse ngo akongeraho ko abayobozi be, barimo na Perezida wa Repubulika, na bo batatangaje imitungo yabo yose.

Ikindi cyavuzwe cyane mu bihuha harimo no kuba ngo yaraketsweho gushaka guhirika ubutegetsi afatanije na bagenzi be.

Hari na none abavuga ko hari amadosiye y’abantu baba baranyereje umutungo cyangwa se bakarenganya abantu yaba yari yaratangiye gukurikirana, bari nyiri ubwite babimenya bakamuteranya na Perezida Paul Kagame ko yaba ashaka kuziyamamariza kuba Perezida wa Repubulika, n’ibindi byinshi.

Twababwira ko nyuma yo kuyobora ishami ry'iperereza ku makuru y'igihugu yo hanze Colonel Patrick Karegeya yabaye umuvugizi w'ingabo. Yafunzwe akora akazi ko guhuza igisirikare n'izindi nzego.

Kugeza ubu impamvu nyayo yatumye Colonel Karegeya afungwa yakomeje kugirwa ubwiru mu nzego nkuru za gisirikare.

James Kabarebe speaks out on Karegeya's first arrest

James Kabarebe, himself a close friend of retired Colonel Patrick Karegeya was asked about the Karegeya's first arrest. This is what he had to say...

A lot of fuss has been made about the arrest of Colonel Patrick Karegeya, especially in the foreign media. However, General Kabarebe emphasized that there is nothing strange about Karegeya's arrest and that just like any other indisciplined RDF officers of even higher ranks, he is being punished.
"He has persistently been indisciplined and crossed the expected line of the RDF disciplinary Code of Conduct, ethics and values," the General said, adding that on more than one occasion, the Colonel had been warned and advised to change, which he failed to do thereby attracting the punishment.
Kabarebe emphasized that with properly managed institutions like the RDF that checks and emphasizes on discipline, it is to no surprise that officers are reprimanded.
"We do not believe in heroism or untouchables, no one is beyond disciplinary conduct," the General warned.
Kabarebe said that on one occasion Col. Karegeya, while a Corporate Staff asked for permission to go to South Africa, which he was granted, "however, during the same trip, the Colonel also went to Kenya and on his return to Rwanda, he never bothered to explain his stay in Kenya. The reason as to why the Colonel went to Kenya or how he behaved could not be established."
"That is gross indiscipline not required of someone of his status," General Kabarebe noted adding that there are several other cases which he would not want to discuss in the press.
Kabarebe, who said he personally counseled the Colonel, disclosed that the Prosecutor of the General Court Martial (Auditorat Militaire Général) is to prefer charges against Karegeya soon.
"This is a normal procedure and should be considered as a positive development; an institution that does not discipline will crumble," Kabarebe said adding: "That is why we are respected, we have earned it. It depicts who we are in terms of character."

However no evidence was ever produced of Kabarebe's allegations. In what can only be described as betrayal, the two faced general did not even appear in court during Karegeya's trial despite being the sole reason Karegeya was being accused.