Tag Archives: Paul Kagame

Buhari suggests ‘what must be done’ to African Union for relevancy.

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Buhari commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for presenting a special report on the need to reform the AU.

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a comprehensive reform of the structures and operations of the African Union to make it more functional in meeting targets.

Buhari, in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Sunday warned that the organisation would become stale, except it becomes more result-oriented.

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Buhari made the call in an intervention at the ongoing two-day 34th Summit of the AU, held virtually.

“As your excellences are no doubt aware, global realities demand that the AU be overhauled, if it must remain relevant in intergovernmental processes.

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“We must work concertedly to ensure a productive, self-sufficient and purpose-driven organisation that will fully serve the interests of the people.

“As we commence the operationalisation of this new structure and system, Nigeria demands a truly reformed, efficient and effective AU Commission, one that is fully committed to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities,’’ the President said.

Buhari commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for presenting a special report on the need to reform the AU.

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He also appreciated the support of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in the election of Amb. Bankole Adeoye as Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

He noted with gratitude the overwhelming and historic endorsement of the ambassador with 55 votes, an indication that all the members voted.

He congratulated the career diplomat, who also serves as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU and UNECA.

The president urged Adeoye to deploy his knowledge and experience in foreign policy and diplomacy, particularly on bilateral and multilateral issues, to bring value to the new position.

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Buhari assured Adeoye of the country’s support.

The Nigerian leader congratulated all elected members of the African Union Commission, 2021 which include the Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad and Deputy Chairman, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Rwanda.

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#Newsworthy

[Rwanda] Paul Kagame denies abduction of Paul Rusesabagina

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President says detained government critic ‘led himself’ to Rwanda, accuses him of of being a ‘terrorist’ leader.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame denies that a detained opposition figure who inspired the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda was kidnapped in order to be brought back to the country, saying he was responsible for his own arrest.

Paul Rusesabagina is credited for saving 1,200 lives during the country’s 1994 genocide by letting people shelter in the hotel he was managing during the mass killings.

The outspoken government critic is now accused of supporting rebel violence in Rwanda. His family and supporters say they have not been able to speak to him and that he has not had access to a lawyer nearly a week after he was paraded in front of the media in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in handcuffs.

Appearing on national television on Sunday, Kagame did not explain how Rusesabagina – who had lived outside Rwanda since 1996 and is a citizen of Belgium and has a US permanent residence permit – was brought back.

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The 66-year-old’s family has said they believe he was “kidnapped” during a visit to Dubai and that he would never knowingly have boarded a plane to Kigali.

But Kagame suggested that Rusesabagina came of his own accord.

“What if someone told you that he brought himself – even if he may not have intended it? You will be surprised how he got here. He was not kidnapped or hoodwinked. His coming to Rwanda has more to do with himself than anybody else,” Kagame said.

The president suggested that Rusesabagina was told a story that fit into his expectations and ended up in Rwanda. “There was no kidnap in the process of bringing Rusesabagina here. It was actually flawless!” said Kagame. “When the time comes, he will tell the story himself but he led himself here.”

The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation said Rusesabagina has had no consular visits, and it rejected the Rwandan government’s statement that it had talked to his sons about a potential visit as “not true”.

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“Paul’s wife has called the jail and has not been allowed to talk to him,” it said on Saturday.

The Rwandan government has said it issued an arrest warrant for Rusesabagina to answer charges of serious crimes including “terrorism”, arson, kidnap, and murder perpetrated against unarmed civilians. Police called him the suspected “founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits including the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change” (MRCD).

The MRCD has an armed wing, the National Liberation Front, that has been accused of attacks in 2018 and 2019. Rwanda arrested NLF spokesman Callixte Nsabimana last year.

“Rusesabagina heads a group of terrorists that have killed Rwandans. He will have to pay for these crimes,” Kagame said on Sunday. “Rusesabagina has the blood of Rwandans on his hands.”

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Rusesabagina in the past has denied the charges that he financially supports Rwandan rebels, saying he is being targeted for criticising the Kagame government over human rights abuses.

Rwandan authorities have not publicly shared any international arrest warrant. They have referred to “international cooperation” but given no details.

Rusesabagina was paraded last week in front of media in handcuffs at the Kigali headquarters of the Rwanda Investigation Bureau [Clement Uwiringiyimana/Reuters]

No trial date set
Rusesabagina’s detention has prompted concern among human rights activists that this was the latest example of the Rwandan government targeting critics beyond its borders.

Rusesabagina has received several international honours, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, for helping to save lives during Rwanda’s genocide, in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

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The US government has said it expects the Rwandan government to provide “humane treatment, adhere to the rule of law and provide a fair and transparent legal process” for Rusesabagina.

It is not clear when Rusesabagina will appear in court. Rwandan law says a suspect can be in provisional detention for 15 days, renewable for up to 90 days.

Kagame said Rusesabagina’s trial will be held openly and conducted fairly.

“We are obligated to do this,” he said. “We want to do things in a right way.”


#Newsworthy…