26 Jun 2015

General Karenzi: bluster and fury won’t change the law

I have never heard President Kagame of Rwanda so angry. As he addressed parliament in Kigali yesterday his words dripped with fury and venom. The arrest in London of his Intelligence Chief, General Karenzi Karake, known popularly as KK, was, he said:

“A continuation of slavery, of colonialism, of arrogance, bigotry and telling the African, wagging a finger at them and saying, this is where you belong.” He drew out his words for maximum impact.

General Karenzi was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain.

The 185 long document accuses him of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, primarily in the murder of Hutus in the wake of the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994. Although the witness statements are precise, and there have long been reports of revenge killings, the document is couched in terms that suggest that the Tutsis not the Hutus were the prime instigators of killing in those dark days.

That’s what makes many Rwandans – especially Tutsis – so angry. General Karenzi was a leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the guerrilla army that put an end to the genocide and then formed a government.

“He was a hero. He stopped the genocide. Where was Spanish justice then?” asked a protestor outside Westminster Magistrates Court where General Karenzi appeared.

General Karenzi had come for a meeting with the head of Britain’s MI6, which was cancelled, presumably when they heard of the arrest warrant.

“If we arrested one of their chiefs of anything, even for a very good reason — is that even thinkable? Can you even imagine it?” asked President Kagame. “You know what would happen. But it is easy to do it to the Africans. I think they must have mistaken him, you know this problem they have for illegal immigrants, these fellows sinking in the Mediterranean. This is the way they treat that is the way they treat minister from Africa, head of intelligence.”

But bluster and fury don’t change the law. General Karenzi is accused of serious crimes. He was bailed for a million pounds. Today he should be staying at the house of a Rwandan diplomat in London, and reporting to a police station every day. It’s better than remaining in Belmarsh detention centre where he has been since his arrest on Saturday. But it’s still a humiliation for the Rwandan government.

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6 reader comments

  1. Ferdester says:

    Hi Lindsey

    No matter what is being said I am very pleased that this criminal has been arrested. During the revenge attacks that happened in 1997 myself I had on the same day killed my mum, my eldest half brother, his wife and three of my nieces. And the killings continued in days after that and lost so many of my families, friends etc. I am 100% that all these people were killed by the current Government army then called RPF. No one dared ask for justice as it would be risky to the remaining members of family still in Rwanda.

    To see justice take its course it is one of the best thing that has happened since I lost my mum

    I thank, support and salute the Spanish judge to have the courage of contributing to the truth of what happened in Rwanda

    Thank you

  2. ssekulima robert says:

    what goes around always comes around, let karenzi pay for what he did. besides the whites should also know that we are no longer in a colonial era.

  3. Alan says:

    The ‘powers’ that enables a dictator like Kagame are the same that capitilised upon strategic opportunities in 1994. Mr Kagame understands this, so is naturally belligerent at such hypocrisy. Unfortunately western media is adept at excluding key facts so the article appears straight forward.

  4. johnson says:

    UK is expected to obey to the universal jurisdiction by extraditing the genocidaire karaoke in Spain because he killed many hutus!

  5. solange says:

    When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour. We stand with our savior KK,We will have a safe country whether you like it or not

  6. paul miller says:

    western journalists who have turned a blind eye to Rwandan tyrant paul kagames atrocities in the eastern congo are part of the problem. when 2 female journalists criticized the dictator they were jailed for a few years. where was the outrage Lindsey?

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