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|Rwanda Keeps Diplomatic Ties With Germany|
| By Thomas Rippe |
12 November 2008
| |The building in Berlin housing the Rwandan embassy, 12 Nov 2008
Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali said that her country will not break ties with Germany over the arrest earlier this week of Rose Kabuye, a top aide to Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Diplomatic tensions between the two countries have been building all week, beginning with Kabuye's arrest in Germany on Sunday. Monday thousands of Rwandans began protests outside the German embassy that have continued each day.
Minister Museminali said ambassadors from both countries have returned home, but that dialogue between the countries remains open.
"We have recalled Ambassador Gasana, who is our ambassador in Germany, to come home for consultations," he said. "That is the normal process. We have also asked the German ambassador to leave until these things are cleared. That does not mean that we have broken diplomatic relations with Germany. Their embassy remains open here, our embassy remains open in Berlin, and we believe that when these issues are settled we should be able to go back to normal business," said Museminali.
The minister said that relations with Germany were very good until the arrest, and that both countries are working to repair the rift.
"We always hope to work on these things as fast as we can. But it would be difficult to give a time frame. One hopes that it does not take so long," he said.
The prison including the women's prison, in Frankfurt, where Rose Kabuye is being held, 11 Nov 2008
Rwanda broke diplomatic relations with France after indictments were issued against several people. Minister Museminali said Rwanda is especially upset with Germany over its treatment of the French indictments.
"Germany should have looked at these indictments and seen them for what they were," he said. These are politically motivated indictments that had a very flawed process in getting to them, that had very shaky information that was collected around Rose Kabuye and the other counterparts that the indictments accuse," the minister said.
Many Rwandans said they still resent the international community for not doing more to stop the genocide. They remain skeptical of the intentions of the international community and of ideas of international justice.
"We think they were really high-handed. They were very unfair. And we believe that our action really has expressed how unhappy we were," Museminali said.
Minister Museminali said there is still a lot of activity between Rwanda and Germany, and she expects the two countries to resume their friendship.
|Uganda Baati in Rwanda|
|Wednesday, 12th November, 2008|| |
By Kiganda Ssonko
|Rwanda ready to welcome Interahamwe militia|
|Wednesday, 12th November, 2008|| |
By Henry Mukasa
Alexis Sinduhije, a former radio journalist who has defied threats to his life for years, was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people this year.
"This is a purely political matter. It has nothing to do with the law," Sinduhije's lawyer Prosper Niyoyankana said yesterday, Agence France Presse reported. "Alexis Sinduhije, like other political prisoners in this country, is being punished by the government for their criticism" of the regime.
Sinduhije was arrested in Bujumbura on November 3 with 37 other founding members of the Movement for Security and Democracy, a newly-created opposition party dedicated to reaching out to both Hutu and Tutsi citizens in a country plagued by civil war and ethnic violence. The State Department called last week for their immediate release.
The others were freed last week, according to news reports. But the case against Sinduhije, a contender for Burundi's presidential election in 2010, appears to be going forward. It is based on documents allegedly criticizing Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza that were found in his home, according to press reports citing his lawyer.
The news has sparked anguish and dismay at Harvard, where several specialists on journalism and human rights have followed Sinduhije's career.
"I very much hope that wisdom and cooler heads will prevail and he will be released quickly," said Alex S. Jones cq, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center of Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School. "He is very highly regarded as a journalist. His core values are ones of telling the truth."
Sinduhije, 43, became a celebrated national figure -- and an international hero -- when he founded an independent radio station in 2001 that encouraged reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi Burundians. At his radio station, Radio Publique Africaine, he put former soldiers from both the Tutsi and Hutu ethnicities to work as journalists covering the country's attempt to heal from years of civil war.
Sinduhije has been threatened, beaten and arrested repeatedly throughout his years as a journalist. The government banned his station in 2003 for airing an interview with a spokesman for an armed rebel group. But the ban was lifted days later, when other stations boycotted government news until it was lifted. The same year, unidentified assailants fired at his home, killing his night watchman in an alleged assassination attempt, according to a 2004 State Department report on human rights practices.
In 2005, the government suspended his radio station for 48 hours for "offending public morals" by reporting the rape of an eight-year-old girl and threatening public security by "deforming" the words of Tutsi politician and former President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, according to a 2006 State Department human rights report.
Despite those experiences, Sinduhije frequently spoke of the time he spent interviewing African Americans in Boston and New York as the most challenging thing he had ever done, according to former colleagues. He was stunned by their lack of knowledge of his homeland and called the research into what African Americans know of Africa as "the most difficult task of my career," according to a research paper he wrote for the Shorenstein Center posted on the Internet.
In 2004, Sinjuhije received the International Press Freedom Award from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Last year, he left journalism to found a new political party, and announced his intention to run for president. The move earned him a place on Time Magazine's list of influential people, and an appearance as a guest on PBS's "Charlie Rose" show earlier this year.
Source: Farah Stockman Globe Staff
A delegation of church leaders from Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has set out to meet the presidents of the latter two countries in order to convey them a strong message in favour of peace.
The 5-strong ecumenical delegation was gathering yesterday at the Congolese capital Kinshasa, where they expect to meet with President Joseph Kabila before travelling in the coming weeks to the capital city of Kigali in order to meet the Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
"The aim is to transmit them a message of peace," says the Rev Dr André Karamaga, the World Council of Churches (WCC) programme executive for Africa and general secretary-elect of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
The initiative was taken at a meeting of church leaders from the Great Lakes region convened by the AACC in Nairobi, Kenya on 22-23 October 2008. On that occasion, some 12 church leaders from Burundi, Rwanda and D.R. Congo decided that the heads of state and the rebel leader should hear a clear message: "People are tired and want an end to the war," and "dialogue costs much less than armed confrontation".
Some 250,000 people have fled their homes in the eastern part of the D.R. Congo escaping the fight that broke out between the army and rebels in August. Rebels are led by renegade General Laurent Nkunda, who says they fight to protect the Congolese Tutsi community from being attacked by Rwandan Hutu fighters, who fled to D.R. Congo, some of them perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The Congolese government seems to have failed to deliver on its promise to stop the Hutu forces from using its territory.
The D.R. Congo, a country the size of Western Europe and located in the heart of Africa, is striving to recover from a long civil war that reportedly killed some three million people, mostly through starvation and disease. As the newly internally displaced people join about one million already displaced in the region, fears of a humanitarian disaster are on the rise.
The group of church leaders is led by the Anglican Archbishop of Burundi Bernard Ntahoturi,. Ntahoturi chairs the Council of Churches of Burundi and the Great Lakes Ecumenical Forum and is a member of the WCC Central Committee. Also a member of the group is the Anglican Bishop of Rwanda Onesphore Rwaje, who is the president of the Protestant Council of Rwanda. Mbari Kioni, AACC director of Advocacy, Research and Communication is accompanying the team.
The Congolese members of the delegation are: Bishop Dieudonné Mbaya Tshiakany, moderator of the National Synod of the Church of Christ in Congo and president of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches of Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA); Bishop Jean-Luc Kuye-Ndondo wa Mulemera, president of the Church of Christ in Congo in South Kivu and a member of the senate; and the Rev Dr Kakule Molo, president of the Baptist Community in Central Africa, based ineastern Congo, and a member of parliament.
Churches in D.R. Congo are working to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. While many aid groups work to assist those in camps for displaced people, local members of Action by Churches Together (ACT) International are striving to help the largely "invisible" displaced families – those who are not in camps but sheltered in family homes – and the increasingly vulnerable communities who are hosting them. Initial plans for assistance include support for an estimated 60,000 people, as well as access to water and sanitation for significantly more families.
Source: Action by Churches Together (ACT) International: http://act-intl.org/alerts/Alerts_2008/Al44-08_DRCViol.html
By Richard Lapper
Published: November 8 2008 02:00 | Last updated: November 8 2008 02:00
Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, urged regional leaders yesterday to "force" a resolution of the stand-off that has paralysed Zimbabwe.
Signalling an end to the "quiet diplomacy" favoured by Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's former president, Mr Zuma said: "As far as I'm concerned, [the Southern African Development Community] must make those Zimbabweans reach an agreement."
The 15-nation grouping is due to meet tomorrow in an effort to end a dispute between Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, and Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader,over the allocation of cabinet posts.
Source: Richard Lapper, Johannesburg
Schlipp Fode, who spoke on the Belgium online gaming industry news panel, also has a prominent blog online.
Schlipp Fode offered some fresh points of view from recent blog entries and website submissions.
This was a refreshing review of the Belgium online gaming market, and was very informative.
Mayor Simona Godar, who spearheaded the original Belgium online gaming committee that brought the conference to town, spoke joyfully about the boom for local business: "Restaurants, Night Clubs, and the mall have all benefited greatly. Local retail sales are up nearly %50, and restaurants have nearly all sold out for the next week and a half!" The local news media also took to the streets to get general public's view about today's events.
Most reactions about the Belgium online gaming conference were positive, but a few people were not happy with the commotion created by evening party goers.
"I like the idea of having a Belgium online gaming conference in our town, but can't sleep at night with all them creating a ruckus," said Czapski Miyasato, who lives adjacent to the main facilities. "It wasn't so bad last year, but last night I didn't get to bed until 3 AM with all the shenanigans going on!"
Belgium online gaming conference goers, fans, and a few dignitaries from other countries all enjoyed the keynote speech by Cenci Haberkorn, director of the Rawls Beckum INC company.
The speech brought the crowd to its feet, with an ovation that lasted for nearly 6 minutes.
The following speaker, Donella Navratil, a long time conference support, echoed much of what was said during the key-note, along with a few other important ideas.
Some new Belgium online gaming product lines were also announced today, including the much anticipated release from Boike Kraus.com, a new leader in the industry. Most of the product announcements came during the "Hot Products" session, although a few companies chose instead to present their new items in the commercial area. Corporate attendees were advised to bring at least 1000 Belgium online gaming products with them to resell, and despite this quota, many companies sold out on the very first day!
"Wow!!!", said Erminia Huxley, a first time conference goer, "I'm so thankful that many Belgium online gaming industry heavyweights took time out to come and talk to us. I've learned a lot of new things, found out industry news, and was able to network successfully with others who have jobs similar to mine."
Some area Belgium online gaming commercial advertising firms also benefited from conference attendance.
One business owner stated that "I've got double the usual number of orders since the conference started… This means our company will probably have a surplus at the end of the year, and will allow us to continue strong into the next quarter!"
Dugas Zuckerwar, a well known Belgium online gaming marketer and former CEO of the Holahan Hockman INC firm, had a great panel discussion on the legalities of Belgium online gaming trade abroad. Holahan Hockman spoke briefly on current events, and then opened up the floor for Q & A from the audience.
The anniversary of one of the most shameful chapters of Germany's turbulent history and one of its most euphoric both fall on Sunday, prompting commemorations and celebrations throughout the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish leaders will gather at Germany's biggest synagogue to pay tribute to the victims of the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9-10, 1938 and to the miraculous rebirth of Jewish life in recent years.
Because it shares the same date, the fall of the Berlin Wall will also be marked and the victims of communist East Germany remembered at low-key events ahead of the 20th anniversary next year.
The leader of the Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch, said she hoped a reminder of the atrocities 70 years ago would rekindle Germans' commitment to tolerance.
"This important day heavy in symbolism is an opportunity to show that Germany is a diverse and vibrant democracy," said Knobloch, who was six on Kristallnacht.
The pogrom, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, saw Nazi thugs plunder Jewish businesses throughout Germany, torch more than 200 synagogues and round up some 30,000 Jewish men for deportation to concentration camps.
Some 90 Jews were murdered in the orgy of violence, whose pretext was the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris by a student, Herschel Grynspan, who sought revenge for the expulsion of his family from Germany with about 15,000 other Polish Jews.
"From that moment on, Jews knew that those who could must save themselves," said survivor Betty Alsberg, an 88-year-old who now lives in Israel.
The pogrom was a prelude to the Nazis' extermination campaign launched three years later in which they murdered six million Jews.
After national unification in 1990, Germany began accepting Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet states and the country now has one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the world with some 120,000 members.
The main ceremony will take place at Berlin's Rykestrasse synagogue, which reopened in August 2007 after a major restoration as a defiant symbol of a Jewish revival in the city where the Holocaust was planned.
The 1,200-capacity house of worship was one of the few Jewish institutions in Berlin to survive Kristallnacht.
It was only spared because it was between "Aryan" blocks of flats that might have caught fire had the synagogue been firebombed.
But its precious Torah rolls were damaged and rabbis as well as congregation members were seized and deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
British violinist Daniel Hope will give a memorial concert on Sunday headlined "Do Something!" at Tempelhof Airport, the hub of the Berlin Airlift that closed last month after 85 years.
"'Reichskristallnacht' took place 70 years ago and yet its consequences are still reflected in today's society," said Hope, whose family was forced to flee Berlin and the Nazis.
"Situations that require civil courage, individual or collective, continue to arise, whether it's an individual attack on a defenceless fellow human being or the brutality of groups such as right wing radical skinheads."
In the evening, a German doctors' association will honour Jewish colleagues who were first stripped of their right to practice medicine and later killed at the camps.
At Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin, a guided tour will recount the story of 6,000 Jews interned there after Kristallnacht.
In Munich, where Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels issued the call for the pogrom, the names of 4,587 Holocaust victims who lived in the city will be read out in public.
And two new synagogues will open, in Goettingen, northern Germany, and in the southern city of Loerrach.
CPI : Une manifestation des partisans de JP Bemba dégénère en pugilat