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Viewing cable 08KIGALI796, SENIOR RWANDAN OFFICIAL ARRESTED IN GERMANY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KIGALI796 2008-11-10 16:04 2010-12-09 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kigali
VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0796/01 3151633
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101633Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5738
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0333
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0432
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 1245
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2020
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0572
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0346
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1351
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0605
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0058
C O N F I D E N T I A L KIGALI 000796 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RW
SUBJECT: SENIOR RWANDAN OFFICIAL ARRESTED IN GERMANY 

REF: KIGALI 620 

Classified By: Ambassador Stuart Symington for Reason 1.4 (b) (d) 

1. (C) Summary. German authorities in Frankfurt arrested 
close Kagame confidant and Chief of Rwandan Presidential 
Protocol, Rose Kabuye, under a European arrest warrant, based 
on indictments issued by a French judge in 2006. Kabuye 
requested transfer to France, where she will answer charges 
that she participated in the shooting down of the Habyarimana 
presidential jet in 1994, an event which touched off the 
genocide. GOR officials will continue to assert that the 
case represents an abuse of jurisdiction by a French 
government unable to acknowledge its own failures and 
complicity in the genocide. Rwanda's efforts to cement its 
own economic future by doing such things as begin today a 
land title process for genocide survivors and perpetrators, 
or a novel power generation scheme for Lake Kivu methane, 
continue to be shunted aside and undermined by ill-conceived 
actions such as this arrest. End summary. 

2. (C) Rose Kabuye, Chief of Protocol at the Rwandan  Presidency and a highly-trusted member of President Kagame's  inner-most circle, was arrested in Germany on November 9  while advancing a visit by President Kagame to the Frankfort  stock exchange. Kabuye had previously visited Germany this  year as part of an official Kagame visit, and had traveled  with the immediate presidential traveling party to benefit  rom the German version of "entourage" immunity. 

3. (C) Kabuye and eight others were accused in 2006 by  French terrorism Judge Bruguiere of having participated in  the shooting down of President Habyarimana's jet in April of  1994, the event which touched off the genocide. Bruguiere's  indictment resulted in the issuance of European arrest  warrants. During the past two years, the British, Dutch,  Belgian and German governments have issued Kabuye diplomatic  and/or transit visas allowing her to advance Kagame's trips  or make connections in European airports for onward travel to  the U.S. or elsewhere. The Rwandans have largely rejected  the Europeans' (specifically the French) contention that they 
can do little to influence the judicial process to have the 
indictments overturned. In turn, the GOR response has been 
to assert the speciousness of the Bruguiere indictments 
within the African Union and elsewhere. The GOR has sought 
to quash the indictments in French courts. The GOR claims 
that European governments are furthering the agendas of 
various Hutu Power organizations such as the Democratic Force 
for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the rump genocidal armed 
group ensconced in eastern Congo by these indictments, and by 
their failure to arrest and extradite to Rwanda genocide 
suspects. 

4. (C) These indictments have weighed heavily on the GOR, 
as have the February 2008 Spanish indictments on genocide and 
other charges of an additional 40 senior Rwandans (some also 
are on the French list). The GOR asserts these two sets of 
indictments are inappropriate usages of universal 
jurisdiction (jurisdiction not based on links of 
territoriality or nationality as to the crime, suspect or 
victim), arguing that only international bodies such as the 
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or the 
International Criminal Court (ICC) should hear such cases. 
International Criminal Court (ICC) should hear such cases. 
The French indictments concern the death of the French air 
crew on Rwandan soil, while the Spanish indictments concern 
in part the death of Spanish citizens in Rwanda and the Congo 
-- neither case is a pure expression of universal 
jurisdiction. 

5. (C) Rose Kabuye, herself a war hero in the effort by the 
Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) to stop the genocide and defeat 
the Hutu Power rump government, has also expressed to embassy 
contacts her weariness with the French indictments.  Following her return from UNGA-related travel in October, she  confided - after the Dutch Embassy cautioned her not to  transit Amsterdam en route to the U.S. - it would be better just to travel to France to fight the indictment and have the case heard. According to another highly-placed source in the  Presidency, Kagame has himself expressed his fatigue with the  burden of working to achieve the entry into various capitals  of indicted officials when official GOR visits are planned  and had suggested to Kabuye that other protocol officers 
begin to gain greater experience in organizing his travel. 
In comments both to the press and the DCM on November 9, 
Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in some ways the 
arrest was a "blessing in disguise" as the truth would 
finally be known. Kabuye has waived any right to contest her 
detention in Germany, opting instead to be transferred 
immediately to France where she and at least two others on 
the Bruguiere indictments already have legal counsel. As 
this is written, a large crowd, several thousand strong, 
peacefully gathered in front of the German embassy to voice 
its (government-organized) concern at the arrest of Kabuye. 

6. (SBU) Comment. The timing of Kabuye,s arrest, while 
seemingly unconnected to other events, comes after German 
courts last week released two genocide suspects previously 
detained upon request by Rwandan authorities, including FDLR 
Secretary General Callixte Mbarushimana, who was picked up 
while traveling to Germany from France to visit FDLR 
President Ignace Murwanashyaka. Also last week, ten French 
citizens accused of complicity in the 1994 genocide in the 
Mucyo Commission report (ref A) filed a libel suit against 
the Kagame government. In both instances, these legal issues 
are taking place against the backdrop of increased 
international attention, including on the part of the French 
government, to try to resolve the deteriorating situation in 
eastern Congo. Kabuye,s arrest and the release of the two 
genocide suspects in Germany will reinforce Rwandan 
suspicions that European governments are not serious about 
addressing what they underscore is the fundamental problem in 
the Great Lakes region -- namely the ongoing presence of the 
genocidal forces in eastern Congo. 

7. (SBU) Moreover, the GOR has aggressively asserted the 
unfairness of the two sets of indictments as well as the 
right of its officials to travel to EU nations without 
restriction on what it regards as official business. A 
reported warning of the German government in this particular 
case went unheeded, perhaps purposefully so. Both the French 
government and the GOR may now get what they purport to want 
-- a full hearing on the merits of the alleged participation 
(of at least one RPA suspect) in the 1994 shootdown of the 
Habyarimana plane. The GOR will likely express considerable 
unhappiness with a French court hearing this case, and 
criticize the French government for continuing to deny its 
own failures and complicity in the genocide. Kabuye's 
reputation as a fearless fighter will only be enhanced by her 
apparent willingness to subject herself immediately to the 
French courts. Today, Rwanda began to issue its first land 
titles to farmers in an area with both former genocidaires 
and survivors. Last week, as violence spiked in North Kivu, 
Rwanda began generating electricity with a pilot plant using 
methane gas from Lake Kivu. In both events, government 
ministers decried the continued failure of the regional and 
international community to "turn the page." End comment. 

8. (U) Text of GOR press release follows: 

Begin Text: 

Kigali November 9, 2008 

The Government of Rwanda wishes to inform the public that the 
Director General of the State Protocol, Mrs. Rose Kabuye was 
arrested in Germany today November 9, 2008 while on official 
business. The arrest was effected in connection with a 
warrant put forth in 2006 by Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere of 
warrant put forth in 2006 by Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere of 
France for her alleged implication in a 1994 plane crash 
which killed Rwanda's then-president Juvenal Habyarimana. 

Mrs. Kabuye appeared in court earlier today, where the judge 
offered her the option to contest the warrant in Germany or 
face it in France, she chose the latter. 

Mrs. Kabuye was not surprised by the arrest; among other 
warnings, attempts to stop her last trip to Germany in April 
this year and just a few days ago through official 
communications from Germany. 

Mrs. Kabuye is innocent, which is why she undertook the trip 
despite warnings, and ultimately why she is ready to face 
trial in France. 

The Government of Rwanda believes that this is a political 
game designed to blur the truth and weaken the Government. 

The arrests warrants have been contested in courts in 
Belgium, France, The Hague; and they were condemned by all 
Heads of State of the African Union. 

The Government of Rwanda therefore continues to be 
disappointed that mass murders of the 1994 genocide continue 
to enjoy freedom and protection in European capitals, 
including Germany and France even as they pursue their 
extermination plans on European soil. 

The Government of Rwanda, once again, strongly condemns the 
judicial bullying it,s been subjected to by European judges 
and the perversion of the principle of universal jurisdiction 
by some powerful nations. 

End Text. 
SYMINGTON