Rwanda: French Justice


December25, 2006: The UN prepared to withdraw its peacekeeping contingent from Burundi. While the UN considers the Burundi peacekeeping effort to be a success, the political situation in Burundi is considered "fragile." One of the issues remains a trial for an alleged coup. One of the suspects is a former president, Domitien Ndayizeye. who was arrested in August 2006. A potential "food crisis" also exists in northern an east-central Burundi. Famine has a way of creating refugees, which in Burundi often leads to bandits attacking the refugees. In the past some of the "bandits" have been Burundi Army soldiers. At its height, the UN mission in Burundi had over 5,500 peacekeepers. The force is now down to around 2,500 troops. The peacekeeping force will have a civilian follow-on monitoring office, the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB). South Africa promised on December 12 to keep a contingent of its forces in Burundi after the UN officially withdraws. South Africa has 850 troops in Burundi, but that number could decrease in 2007. The South African contingent would serve as a "stabilizing" force in Burundi.

December 18, 2006: Rwandan reported that its peacekeeping contingent in Sudan had completed its first tour. Rwanda has 254 soldiers serving with UNMIS - UN Mission in Sudan, (ie, south Sudan). Rwanda will replace the first contingent with another 254 soldiers.

December 17, 2006: The Burundian government gave "temporary immunity" to former members of FNL splinter faction, the Palipehutu-FNL. The faction was one of the last to join the peace process. The government statement said that the "immunity" (amnesty) was given in order to facilitate reconciliation and political development.

November 25, 2006: France and Rwanda have severed diplomatic relations. The French have supported the theory that the leaders of the current Rwandan government were the instigators of the genocide 12 years ago (by shooting down the aircraft carrying Rwandan and Burundian Hutu politicians.) A French court recently called for the prosecution of senior Rwandan officials. The current Tutsi government denies all this, and points out that France was supporting the Hutu dominated Rwandan government twelve years ago, and thus shares responsibility for that government's genocide against Rwandan Tutsis. The French are poor losers, especially in Africa, where they still maintain considerable economic and political influence. Twelve years ago, the Tutsi rebels were close to overthrowing the pro-French Hutu government. France cannot forget that, not only did their guys lose, but their Hutu protégés killed half a million innocents in the process. You've got to blame someone, and the French have decided to blame the people who stopped the killing.


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