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Spanish court closes Rwandan Generals’ case

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The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered for the closure of a case the European country had slapped against 40 senior Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) officers including the recently-released Lieutenant General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake.

In June, Lt Gen Karake, the Director General of Rwanda’s National Security and Intelligence Services (NSIS) was arrested in London on an indictment issued in 2008 by Spanish judge Fernando Andreu Merreles, linking the General to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the war that brought the Rwanda

Patriotic Front government to power in 1994. Other prominent RPA officers linked to the Spanish case include Defence Minister General James Kabarebe, Brig Gen Sam Kaka Kanyemera and Col Dan Munyuza, the current Deputy Inspector General of Police.
In January this year the High Court in Spain cleared 11 of the accused and ordered for the closure of the file if no new evidence was brought against the remaining 29, some of who like Brigadier General Dan Gapfizi have since passed on.

As a result of the High Court ruling, a rights group, Association Parala Defensay Progresso de los Intereses Ciudadanos, appealed to theSpanish Supreme Court, challenging the revocation of the cases, an appeal that was thrashed on October 7, 2015 by five Supreme Court judges: Justices Anna Maria Ferrer Garcia, Miguel Colmenero, Candido Pumpido Touron, Medendenz de Luarca and Andres Palomo Del Arco.

Meanwhile, the Spanish indictment mirrors another one issued by the French against nine senior RPF/A members including Lt Col Rose Kanyange Kabuye, a former Chief of Protocol to President Paul Kagame, who was arrested in Germany in 2008 on the strength of a French indictment issued by controversial Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière in 2006, linking her to the murder of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was brought down by a missile on April 6, 1994 as it approached the Kanombe Airport.

Habyarimana, who was in the company of his then Burundi counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira, was returning from Arusha, Tanzania, where the Rwanda peace talks were being held. In Rwanda Habyarimana’s death set off a killing frenzy that engulfed the country, leading to the 1994 Genocide in which about a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were massacred by rampaging groups led by the
Interahamwe militia.

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