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Enjoy News stories in Photographs
Monday, 29 April 2013
24 April 2013
CAN YOU ANSWER THE THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BELOW?
Dear Insight Reader
the Licensing of Business Bill now before Parliament just "another bit
of useless legislation "as one journalist has described it? Or does it
have a sinister significance which should concern all businesses?
lawyers, both internationally and nationally,have publicly supported
advocate Jeremy Gauntlet’s several applications to be appointed a judge.
Why is the ANC so against this?
What's happening in our Universities?
What are the implications of the Legal Practice Bill?
How important to political freedom are the professions?
Africa presents a very mixed picture to international business and
investors. There's so much that we have reason to be pleased and proud
of. But there is also a lot to be genuinely worried about. Every
fortnight for more than 20 years Omega has dealt with these issues -
objectively and independently. You will receive our answers to these
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DRC Crisis: Rwanda makes case before UN sanctions committee
Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo
RWANDA last evening appeared before the UN’s DRC Sanctions Committee
to officially present its rebuttal to allegations by a UN Panel of
Experts (GoE) that Kigali was backing the M23 rebels who are fighting
the Congo government.
“We will officially present our case. Maj Patrick Karuretwa
(Presidential security advisor) will make the presentation,” Olivier
Nduhungirehe, First Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN,
told The New Times yesterday.
The Rwandan delegation is led by Foreign affairs minister Louise
Mushikiwabo, who is also today scheduled to brief the UN Security
Council on recent political developments in the region, specifically
regional efforts to end the Congo crisis.
It was expected that Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda and
Steve Hege, the coordinator of the UN Group of Experts on the Congo,
would also make presentations to the committee after Rwanda’s
While the Rwandan team was set to debunk the allegations by the
Hege-led group that Kigali supplied the rebels with fighters and
weapons, Tshibanda and Hege were expected to argue otherwise.
In July, an addendum to an interim report by the GoE implicated
Rwanda in the crisis, but fell short of impartiality since it did not
include any word from Kigali.
Later, Rwanda produced a rebuttal to the allegations and forwarded it
to the UN Sanctions Committee. In its response, for instance, Kigali
refuted allegations that M23 recruits had been trained from Kanombe
military barracks, arguing that Kanombe was a garrison-type barracks
that comprises “living quarters; a referral military hospital also open
to civilians; a cemetery; and five service support units’ headquarters
and related facilities”.
“It wouldn’t require any form of expertise to find out that this
barracks cannot host the training of recruits or any other force
The government also dismissed claims that the Rwanda Defence Forces
(RDF) provided M23 commanders with 75mm cannons and their ammunition,
saying RDF does not hold 75mm cannons in ordinance stores and has never
purchased such cannons or their ammunition. “Remnants of these weapons
and ammunition from the 1990-94 war of liberation were disposed of in
2008, which is well documented by the RDF ordinance regiment.
“Moreover, through RDF participation in several joint-operations with
FARDC (Congolese army), including the recent operations codenamed
Amani-Leo and Umoja-Wetu, the Government of Rwanda has credible
information that FARDC, unlike RDF, maintains 75 mm cannons and
anti-tank rifle grenades on their arms/ammunition inventory,” Kigali
said in its rebuttal.
It later emerged that a 2008 UN GoE report had indicated that FARDC were indeed in possession of the ammunition in question.
In the weeks that followed, the Group of Experts came under pressure,
after its coordinator, Hege, was accused of being anti-Kigali, owing to
his past publications which depicted the Rwandan government in the
negative light, describing it as “a Ugandan Tutsi elite”, while he
appeared to advocate for the Congo-based Democratic Forces for the
Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who are linked to the 1994 Genocide against
In one of his articles, “Understanding the FDLR in the DR Congo: Key
facts on the disarmament & repatriation of Rwandan rebels”,
published by Peace Appeal Foundation, on February 24, 2009, Hege wrote:
“The FDLR must be viewed in light of the regional history of armed
rebellions formed by refugees and/or political exiles who have
eventually taken power back from undemocratic regimes”.
“The FDLR have not constituted a military threat to Rwanda for over
five years…The FDLR would rather wait for political negotiations when
international opinion eventually sours on the Rwandan regime,” he added
in the same article.
And more recently, it also emerged that an ID which GoE recently
claimed belonged to a Rwandan soldier before it was allegedly recovered
in the Congo, instead belonged to a known Congolese army captain,
identified as Janvier Saddat, with ID number 166964208920.
The officer in question, who was integrated into the FARDC as a
former CNDP officer in 2009 but later arrested as a potential mutineer
and imprisoned in Butembo, served as Company Commander within the 807th
regiment, 1st Battalion, C Company, according to reports.
“Everything we know will be on the table,” Nduhungirehe told The New Times yesterday.
Allegations of Rwanda’s links with M23 rebels, who have seized parts
of North Kivu province since fighting erupted in April, have since led
some donors to either suspend or cut aid to Rwanda.
The rebel group is largely composed of former Congolese soldiers who
mutinied in April after the collapse of a 2009 peace deal between then
CNDP rebels and Kinshasa, which Kigali had helped broker. The rebels who
accuse President Joseph Kabila’s government of reneging on its
commitments under the previous accord, have since called for peace talks
but Kinsasa has shown little interest in negotiations.
Both the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR)
and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have stepped up efforts
to try and find a lasting solution to the crisis which has since driven
hundreds of thousands out of their homes, with many fleeing across the
Rwandan and Ugandan borders.