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Former UNAMID deputy commander arrested in Rwanda over ’immoral conduct’


April 20, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Rwandan government announced today that it had taken into custody two senior military officials including the former deputy commander of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

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Major General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake

The arrest took place few weeks after Rwandan Paul Kagame initiated a major shake-up in the military leadership that took place at the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Former air force chief Lieutenant General Charles Muhire and Major General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, the former deputy commander of UNAMID were arrested on accusations that they committed serious offenses.

"Lt-Gen Muhire was suspended due to serious charges of corruption and misuse of office," the military spokesman, Major Jill Rutaremara told reporters in Rwanda. "Major-General Karenzi was suspended on serious charges of immoral conduct."

"This action was taken in order to enforce discipline, moral conduct and accountability in the Rwanda Defence Force" he added.

The two generals were members of an exclusive circle of top military officers in the former Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel movement which brought an end to the 1994 genocide.

The RPF is currently Rwanda’s ruling party headed by Kagame, who is widely expected to seek, and secure, re-election in presidential polls due in August.

Last month Rwanda accused two former senior army officers exiled in South Africa of instigating grenade attacks in the capital Kigali.

The arrests come months after a series of grenade attacks hit Rwanda, one coming just a day after President Kagame declared that a coup d’état could never be pulled off in the country.

Local media had reported that Karenzi was questioned over the attacks, which were eventually pinned on other renegade generals.

Back in 2007, rights groups accused Karake of supervising extra-judicial killings of civilians before and after the Tutsi-led RPF rebels took power in Rwanda following the genocide there.

The Rwandan general was at the time the nominee for the post of the deputy UNAMID commander but his endorsement faced hurdle in light of the alleged claims rights abuses.

Rwanda fiercely defended Karake and even threatened to withdraw their highly trained troops from Darfur if he is not appointed to the position.

In 2008 commander Karake was indicted by a Spanish court along with 39 other Rwandan officers last February for war crimes allegedly committed in the mid-1990s. However, the US pressed the UN Secretariat to renew his contract despite that.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) authorized up to 26,000 troops and police for Darfur and approved the use of force to protect civilians against violence which has driven more than 2.1 million people from their homes over the past four years.


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  • 21 April 2010 10:57, by Gabriel Green

    OH my God,

    what a wretched country we re in? Look bringing a criminal to oversee the genoicide he spearheaded in his homecountry? how sure were you that he would do his job well?

    We are indeed saddened by this if Mr Karake is truly found guilty. If it will be so, then a serious scrutiny has to be done inorder to stop criminals from coming into our country and instead be taken to the ICC first.

    repondre message

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