The sudden arrest of Karenzi Karake has brought about a diplomatic crisis between UK, where he was arrested, and Rwanda, who had sent him on an official mission to meet with MI-6. Kigali was right to feel angry, a major ally had acted on a flimsy warrant by an investigative Judge in Spain. This is a repeat of the Rose Kabuye arrest some 6 years ago, the case was thrown out but only after much hullabaloo and diplomatic/legal wrangles. It was seen then as part of a wider imperialist agenda by the West to hold Africans back. Cut to 2015, same scenario, a major Rwandan figure arrested on flimsy charges that don’t hold to scrutiny of international justice. It pains my heart to see us held in such low contempt but we have gotten to this situation over decades by own actions as Africans. Who should we be accountable to, them or ourselves? So it was with much confusion that Rwandans marched on the British High Commission holding placards in English that they couldn’t understand. This kind of protest was unlikely to produce any positive outcome, it was a half-hearted appeal. It is wrong to encourage demonstrations because you are teaching people how to eventually overthrow you, people can pretend to support then turn once their numbers are big.
A shot in the foot
So where does this anger go? UK arrested him, so start there. Then it was a Spanish judge, Spain is next. The responses I got on Twitter were telling “Let them take their stupid aid, how can they do this to us, this order could only have come from the very top, CAMERON!!” They think Europe is like Africa where the president/prime minister is god, where they control every aspect of government. A UK Border Guard can even arrest a Head of State if he’s holding a valid arrest warrant, he/she doesn’t need to call the Head of State. There is no way UK planned a diplomatic faux pas that has left them with egg on their faces. After all, they have sunk billions of pounds in Rwanda, despite the harsh criticism for doing so. They could never turn and say “We never knew” because they supported RPF since it was just a handful of rugged guys in the bush. This will reflect badly on them, London is a world capital because the Queen guarantees the person of all visitors. The Conservative Party has a strong link with Rwanda, the previous Labour government of Tony Blair was closer still. The Umubano Project was very important in humanising the Tories who were seen as a racist party, now they were building schools for little black kids in Africa, the humanity. It was a rebrand but some were genuine converts to this new Compassionate Conservatism, their leader remains Andrew Mitchell – the Plebgate dude, he defended Rwanda as well.
Know your enemy
Rule one of the Art of War – know your enemy, Britain is not that enemy, this goes deeper. The EU arrest warrant was an act of genius, it gave nations a chance to use proxies to attack their enemies. The previous Bruggiere indictments were seen as overtly political, given the huge role France played in the Genocide. So around about the same time, they passed a dossier to a Spanish Judge Andreu Murelles. A Spanish judge could not be accused of colonial bias, plus he had universal jurisdiction under Spanish law. He also had a pretext, 3 Spaniards killed in Musanze, the only survivor of the attack claimed it was Interahamwe and the New York Times reported it as such. When I pointed to France, there was uproar – what has France got to do with this? It was UK that arrested him, it can’t be France. We are now friends with France, Sarkozy even came here and vaguely apologised for the Genocide, surely not. Look closely, and you will see the invisible hand of those elements who had always backed the Genocidal regime. What evidence do you have Rama? The document itself, it is dripping with the DNA of France all over it. It is a counter-narrative from the French Perspective; it is an acquittal for every sin of commission or omission that France committed. There is no way a Spanish judge who has never been to Rwanda could write such a detailed but deliberately misinformed diatribe as that. He got help, from the perpetrators and their supporters, France.
The Devil’s Bible
Somewhere out there, there is the Devil’s Bible, a Bible written from the Devil’s perspective, explaining why he turned out so evil. The Devil was pain too, he was hurt too, so before you despise him, try to understand. The document is laughable, poorly written, repetitive, and out of touch with reality. There is hardly no evidence, it is just a long diatribe against the RPF. It claims “The RPF was a Criminal Genocidal Organisation formed in 1987 with the purpose of wiping out the Hutu population.” It goes massacre, by massacre, explaining that every Tutsi pogrom was preceded by some transgression by the Tutsi, to say they deserved it. It is a perversion of reality, the objective is not to investigate the deaths of 3 Spaniards but to acquit the accused and blame the RPF for every murder. This is the “switch and bait” tactic used by Hutu extremists, to paint themselves as victims as a way back into power. The wikileaks cables showed the US envoy saying “The Spanish indictment of 40 Rwandan military officers offers an unrecognizable version of some of the most painful and violent episodes in Rwanda’s history, distorting the established record, inventing mass killings, placing the blame for any misfortune Rwandans have suffered (including the 1994 genocide) on the Kagame government. It is a bloated political tract, sloppily organized and endlessly repetitive, and, ultimately, a disservice to Rwandans.” If it is political then who has a political agenda? A comic aside, several of those who were indicted were long dead. How can a dead man be indicted? They didn’t even research to see if they were alive or not. This shows it was cut and pasted from a much older document, not written by the Spaniard.
read the full indictment here http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/pdf/spanish_indictment.pdf
An opportunity in every crisis
There is crack team of top lawyers, among them is Cherie Blair, this case will be thrown out in due course. This will hurt our pride, but we can show just how absurd International Justice is. Instead of mobilising demonstrations, we should mobilise African leaders, we should speak with one voice as Africans. No African leader wants his chief of Intel arrested on trumped up charges. What allows the West to play god is that we never say anything, we worry that we will be next. The Emperor is naked, we can expose that nakedness. These charges have hovered for almost seven years, we dismissed them, but we eventually would have to deal with them. We can end this madness, International Justice has a lower burden of proof than local courts, that cannot be right. There’s a slight stinging sensation, that’s pride, messing with us. We can still be proud in front of international justice, we won’t be bowed while bowing our heads. These injustices have the effect of bring us together, that is good, we will need this solidarity in the years to come. We should always remember who is behind this, it is going to be hard but we must defeat that narrative once and for all.