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RWANDA – Félicien Kabuga before the judges for his “substantial” role in the genocide

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On 29 September 2022, the trial of the former businessman, Félicien Kabuga, began with the opening statement of the prosecutor, in The Hague, before the Mechanism in charge of the last cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). This trial is passionate on the one hand because it contributes to the settlement of the Rwandan conflict, and on the other because Félicien Kabuga is one of the last key actors of this conflict.

During the hearing on 29 September, the prosecutor, in his opening statement, detailed “the charges against the accused and assured him that he intends to present the evidence of his charges at trial in order to obtain the conviction of Félicien Kabuga.” The businessman is charged with six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda between April and July 1994. Considered one of the key actors in this conflict, the justice suspects him of having financed the genocide of the Tutsi, an ethnic minority in Rwanda. At the outset of the trial, the prosecution stated that Mr. Félicien Kabuga had a “substantial” role in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

That’s the crux of the charge. The whole case against the former businessman revolves around the word “substantial”. The court blames Kabuga for having provided «material, logistical, financial and moral support» to the Interahamwe militias. The prosecutor accused him of having created the “national defence fund” to raise money and arm the interahamwes militias. Moreover, he accused Félicien Kabuga, one of the founders of the Radio-Télévision libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), of having to distil «an anti-Tutsis speech with the aim of eliminating the Tutsi ethnic group in Rwanda».

For thirty years, Félicien Kabuga, after a short stay in Switzerland from where he was deported, went underground. Thanks to money and a network of loyal friends, he thwarts the operations of Interpol and the ICTR every time. On 16 May 2020, in the Paris suburbs, he was arrested by the French police. At 87, this tired and sick octogenarian must face justice. For health reasons, his lawyers tried every avenue possible to request a stay of proceedings. The courts dismissed them. He will be tried. Until 29 September 2022, the day before his trial, the accused sent letters to the judges. He said he was not going to appear in court for the opening of his trial. The reason: he wants to change lawyers: Me Emmanuel Altit, one of the lawyers of the former Ivorian Head of State, Laurent Gbagbo before the International Criminal Court. The Court did not grant his request. Félicien Kabuga will therefore be satisfied with Emmanuel Altit. While the latter wished to be defended by Me Peter Robinson.

Egide Nkuranga, president of the main survivor organization, Ibuka, remains “concerned.” According to him, “His lawyers and family [Félicien Kabuga] are trying to flee justice.” “He continues to flee justice as he has always done.” It is still a long legal procedure that opens with this trial.

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – Harassment, food tampering, communication ban: the Diomaye Coalition President alert on the conditions of detention of his candidate

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Bassirou Diomay Faye

The Diomaye Coalition President warns about the conditions of detention of candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. The members of the said coalition inform that his visiting days have been changed and he can only receive visits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays within the Court. He is also prohibited from telephone communications. The Diomaye Président coalition denounces this relentlessness against its candidate and holds the regime responsible for any attack on the physical or moral integrity of their candidate.

“Following the official launch of the Diomaye President Coalition and the massive adhesions of opposition leaders, it was expected that the government in power would reinstate the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye in his rights, particularly in the context of a presidential election of which he is undoubtedly the favourite,” reads a statement.

However, the Coalition announces that the Prison Administration, under the responsibility of the Minister of Justice, has decided to unilaterally and without justification tighten the conditions of detention of candidate Bassirou Diomaye FAYE by:

“A unilateral modification of his visiting days now, the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye can only receive visits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and this within the Court itself. A ban on telephone communications under the pretext that the favorite candidate in the presidential election whose campaign begins in two days has conversations whose purpose is political. A continuous harassment of the room of the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye is now searched at every turn.”

Moreover, she notes a «lack of security measures despite her status as a candidate in the presidential election of February 25, 2024 and multiple alerts on probable alterations of the food served to her. Candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye no longer has breakfast.”
The Diomaye President coalition denounces this relentlessness against its candidate. “We strongly denounce this umpteenth violation of the principle of equality between candidates in the presidential election of February 25, 2024. We call for the immediate release of Bassirou Diomaye Faye to actively participate in the election campaign.”

In any case, she stresses, «the State of Senegal has the responsibility to ensure its protection if it unjustly decides to maintain it in the bonds of detention».

In short, the Diomaye Coalition President indicates that «Macky Sall, Aissata Tall Sall and Amadou Ba will be held responsible for any attack on the physical or moral integrity of the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye».

Source : PressAfrik

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – 100.000 Housing: Ismaila Madior Fall á Bambilor for the inauguration

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This Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese from outside, Ismaila Madior Fall, accompanied by Minister Annette Ndiaye Seck, will inaugurate the “City of the Diaspora” in Bambilor. This project aims to prevent the creation of new slums and encourage the mass production of accessible housing.

According to the Observer, the aim is to boost and diversify the supply of housing for low-income and/or irregular households, while facilitating access to adapted bank financing. With a clear vision of strengthening the construction ecosystem, this initiative demonstrates the commitment of the Senegalese government to its diaspora.

The 100,000 units planned in this project were developed in partnership with the Senegalese government and its collaborators, seeking to meet the specific housing needs and concerns of Senegalese living abroad.

Source: PressAfrik

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – Thione Niang “I have no program, I have a vision”

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Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews

Social entrepreneur Thione Niang is a candidate in the February 2024 election. In this exclusive interview, he reveals his vision, his projects in particular, “Give One project”, “JeufZone” which includes an agricultural component, training but also women’s empowerment. 

It was an opportunity for the social entrepreneur to look back on his beginnings, on the process of returning to his country of origin, Senegal. He addressed the political question: his involvement in the political ring while giving his opinion on the Senegalese political landscape. 

African politics is another aspect of this interview. The urgency of the industrialization of the continent, the urgency of helping African youth so that they have the same opportunities for development as other young people in the world, is close to his heart. 

On the question of the African school, Thione Niang proposes a redesign of it, starting with a paradigm shift and especially the content of the teachings. According to him, we must return to our fundamentals, namely our own models of identity representations, notably Cheikh Anta Diop or Nkrumah. 

Thione Niang, also told us about vision, his vision and not a program, to give each Senegalese what he deserves both in terms of education, health, but also on the development of infrastructure, which, according to him, necessarily passes first and foremost through food self-sufficiency, hence his return to the land for an assertive agricultural progress.

He ended up sending a strong message to all Senegalese.

The rest of the interview on this link:

Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
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