#Africa - In Other News

Rwanda Parliament Throws Ball Back To EU Counterparts

In a strongly worded 12-point resolution, Rwandan lawmakers rejected the European Parliament’s baseless assertion that terror suspect, Paul Rusesabagina, who is appearing before the court today, will not receive a fair trial in Rwanda.

The lawmakers issued the resolution on Tuesday evening calling off EU Parliamentarians that “numerous criminal suspects extradited from Europe and other jurisdictions have received fair trials before Rwandan courts.”

“The Constitution of Rwanda guarantees the right to a fair and impartial trial for all accused, and calls on the Government of Rwanda to continue to ensure this right is also fully upheld for the victims,” the resolution noted.

Rusesabagina was arrested in August 2020 to face terrorism-related charges committed on Rwandan soil by his organisation, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), with a rebel outfit, the “Front for National Liberation” (FNL), whose recruits had Rusesabagina’s clear orders to forcefully remove the Rwandan government.

Rusesabagina was televised boasting about FNL’s commitment and confessed their “unwavering commitment” after they launched attacks in SOuthern Rwanda, killing innocent civilians, torching homes, and looting villages.

Even though the EU belligerent lawmakers admit to Rusesabagina’s terrorism activities, they weren’t hesitant to issue an abhorrent statement condemning “the enforced disappearance, illegal rendition and the incommunicado detention of Paul Rusesabagina,” and offensively called for his “immediate release.”

The Rwandan Parliament said in its refutation that it was ‘dismayed’ that the European Parliament’s resolution acknowledges that Rusesabagina’s armed group claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in 2018 in which numerous civilians were killed, “yet the resolution does not denounce these attacks, referring to him as a human rights activist.”

“This silence constitutes implicit support by the European Parliament for the armed attacks, which may, in turn, encourage further attacks,” the resolution said, deploring the assumption that “European citizenship is an implicit entitlement to impunity from Rwandan or other African courts.”

Rusesabagina, a Rwandan with Belgian citizenship, will appear before court this Wednesday alongside other suspects, mainly those who were captured by the Rwandan military and their leaders.

The Spokesperson of the Judiciary, Harrison Mutabazi, told the national broadcaster that the trial of terror suspect Rusesabagina and his co-accused will be televised live on different platforms to allow the public to follow the proceedings at the main trial chamber of the Supreme Court in Kimihurura, Kigali.

The case is being tried by the High Court Chamber for International and Cross Border Crimes.

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