Amahoro Seat


Kagame Judges

I wonder if the next photo we see of Rwanda's Supreme Court Judges
will include Nkunda receiving justice in their court
during his next scheduled appearance before them
on Friday, September 24, 2010*.

To Orwell Today,


Thank you very much for your informative homepage NKUNDA DUE HIS DAY IN COURT.

Now I have read everything about Nkunda on internet, saw his comments on youtube etc and must learn more from him his reasons to fight for freedom.

Has anyone any contact to him? How or where is Nkunda? Is it possible to write him? When you are in Canada, did you contact his Lawyer from Canada who had seen him in person?

What can we do for him in future?

Best greetings,
Fairstyle, 39, Lawyer from Germany

Greetings Fairstyle,

There is no news about Nkunda anymore [as I write this September 10 , 2010] - the websites that were dedicated to supporting him have all been shut down. And there was no African or International media coverage when Rwanda once again failed to bring Nkunda to court for his scheduled appearance three months ago, on June 11th, 2010.

The excuse Rwanda gave in June was that Nkunda's Canadian lawyer, Stephane Bourgon, was not in the country and therefore the Supreme Court hearing could not be held - and they set a new date for September 24th, 2010, which is two weeks away, as I write this.

Nkunda's lawyer wasn't interviewed on June 11th, 2010 (or if he was I missed it) but it was reported that his excuse for not being in Rwanda for Nkunda's Supreme Court hearing was that he was "detained in the Hague" - which in layman's terms means he was in Holland at the United Nations International Court of Justice headquarters - Orwellianly named "Peace Palace".

But - as anyone who knows anything about the United Nations knows - there's no peace and no justice there. In "1984" Orwell described the UNITED NATIONS as "BIG BROTHER - a dedicated sect doing evil".

I doubt Nkunda is receiving honest legal representation from a lawyer who didn't even show up for his court date and who is closely associated with the UN. Afterall, the UN has 18,000 soldiers in Congo and they're complicit in ongoing massacres and rapes in Kivu Province, the area that Nkunda was protecting until his arrest. I discuss this in a recent email exchange. See RWANDA CONGO SOMETIMES

It's also a travesty of justice that Nkunda's lawyer has never personally met or spoken to Nkunda in the twenty-months (almost two years) since his arrest on January 22, 2009. This came to light after the cancellation of Nkunda's scheduled appearance before the Supreme Court of Rwanda on March 1st, 2010 (which was postponed to May 11th, which was postponed to June 11th, and which has now been postponed to September 24th). At that time Nkunda's lawyer was interviewed outside the building in Kigali, as reported by video-clip:

watch Rwanda Supreme Court delays Nkunda's release hearing listen
Reuters/ITNR video, Mar 2, 2010

Rwanda's Supreme Court postponed for the second time a hearing seeking the release of Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda -- who has been detained in the central African country for over a year -- his lawyer said on Monday (March 1, 2010). Nkunda's lawyer, Stephane Bourgon, said the court needed three weeks to decide whether it had jurisdiction to try the case involving the former leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), a rebel force that repeatedly routed Democratic Republic of Congo's forces until its integration into army last year. Rwandan army Chief of staff James Kabarebe, who is alleged to be responsible for the renegade general's detention in January 2009, did not attend the trial and instead sent a representative.

"What is unacceptable is a man detained for 400 days without ever being brought before a judge," Bourgon told reporters.

After two wars between the Great Lakes neighbours, followed by years of trading accusations of backing the other's rebels, Rwanda and Congo mended relations last year in a deal that observers say hinged on Nkunda's arrest. Rwandan and Congolese soldiers -- including Nkunda's Tutsi dominated rebels -- then jointly turned their guns on Rwandan Hutu militia, some of whose leaders are responsible for the 1994 genocide of 800,000 people....

Bourgon -- who has not been allowed access to his client [Nkunda] -- told Reuters in an interview earlier this year that Nkunda is willing to face trial for alleged war crimes or go into exile to end his incarceration in Rwanda's capital Kigali.

The U.N. has accused the CNDP of serious human rights abuses, including sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers during his five-year rebellion in neighbouring eastern Congo. The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) has not indicted Nkunda, but has opened investigations into the case. Nkunda could face a tribunal for war crimes, treason and desertion charges in Congo.

Nkunda's wife was also interviewed outside the Supreme Court on March 1st, 2010, and she said it had been four months since she'd last seen him:

The former rebel's wife Elizabeth said she had seen Nkunda a couple of times since his arrest, the last time in Kigali in November 2009. "Whether he is treated well, or not, my husband is in prison. I spoke to him and he does not have any human rights in his life... I ask the government of Rwanda to exercise justice and release my husband -- that is why we are here," said Elizabeth Nkunda.

In the Rwandan news a few days ago, on the occassion of Kagame's presidential election celebration at Amahoro stadium on September 6th - there was a photo of Kagame swearing the oath of office before the Supreme Court judges:

Kagame Judges

In that photo I could see the exact spot in Amahoro stadium where I'd sat four years ago watching Kagame celebrate RWANDAN LIBERATION DAY 2006:

Amahoro Seat    Amahoro Seat Pres Amahoro Kagame

What a difference four years make. Back then I hadn't yet learned about Nkunda and didn't realize that the peace Rwanda was experiencing was in large part due to Nkunda and his CNDP soldiers fighting the genocidal Hutus Kagame and his RPF soldiers had chased into Eastern Congo twelve years previously. See LUMUMBA-LIKE LAURENT NKUNDA

I wonder if the next photo we see of Rwanda's Supreme Court Justices will include Nkunda receiving justice in their court during his next scheduled appearance before them on Friday, September 24th, 2010.

Will we finally learn how and where Nkunda is? Or is NKUNDA ORWELLIAN REFS UNPERSON? - "he didn't exist, he never existed?"

All the best,
Jackie Jura

*PS - I was mistaken about which Rwandan court Nkunda is next scheduled to appear before on Friday, September 24, 2010. It is NOT the Supreme Court but a military court to which the Supreme Court ping-ponged his case on April 3, 2010 when his lawyer appeared before them without Nkunda. The Supreme Court had the power to hear Nkunda's case, but chose not to. His subsequent cancelled court appearances on May 11th and June 11th were to have been before the military court. See Gen. Laurent Nkunda case set for Rwanda military court hearing

Nkunda Extradite General Nkunda to be extradited to Congo, Rwanda News Agency, Sep 14, 2011
Kigali - Contrary to indications from Rwandan politicians that dissident Congolese Gen Laurent Nkunda may be sent to a third country, three of Rwanda's highest ranking Generals affirm that he will be handed to the Kinshasa government, according to secret conversations betwen US embasy officials and the Generals...

Rwanda says open to Congo warlord Nkunda extradition, Reuters, Sep 12, 2011
PARIS - Rwanda is open to extraditing Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda as long as he does not face the death penalty in his homeland, ministers said on Monday. The former leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), a rebel force that repeatedly routed Democratic Republic of Congo's army, has been held under house arrest in Rwanda since January 2009. "We are talking to the Congolese authorities with regard to his extradition, but it is difficult," Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters in Paris on the sidelines of a state visit by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. "It's difficult for us to extradite a person to a country that has not abolished the death penalty even with certain guarantees," she said. Nkunda's arrest heralded a new era in relations between the two African states [France/Rwanda], but what happens to Nkunda could still influence relations. A United Nations panel reported in 2008 that the Rwandan army had supported Nkunda's rebel war in eastern Congo and if Nkunda were to stand trial in Congo, and he confirmed the U.N. allegations of Rwandan support, it would be embarrassing for Kagame and could harm relations with Congo anew. "There is also the political aspect which makes his extradition difficult because we in Rwanda want lasting stability so everything that has a tendency to destabilise and to take us back to the (era of) conflict and confrontation remains delicate," she added. Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said that Nkunda's position as a soldier with supporters and his own military force meant that his case could not be treated like everybody else. "It's a delicate issue not just about extradition, but generally legal and political aspects and the stability of the region," he said. "It's difficult for Rwanda, Congo and even Ndunka. We hope that soon there will be a lasting solution." The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) has not indicted Nkunda, but has opened investigations into him and the U.N. has accused his CNDP of serious human rights abuses, including sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers during his five-year rebellion in eastern Congo. Nkunda could face a tribunal for war crimes, treason and desertion charges in Congo.

"Nkunda's case not easy", says Rwanda, by Kezio-Musoke David, Nation Kenya, Jan 20, 2011
Tharcisse Karugarama, Rwanda’s Minister of Justice has said the case involving the arrest and detaining of former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda has dragged because of its political, legal and diplomatic complexities. Mr Nkunda has been under house arrest since January 22, 2009 after entering Rwanda from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where his CNDP rebel force had repeatedly routed the government forces. After two wars between the Great Lakes neighbours and years trading accusations of backing the other’s rebels, Rwanda and Congo mended relations in a deal that analysts said hinged on Nkunda’s arrest and Rwandan help ending the rebellion. President Paul Kagame, during his first press conference, addressed on Tuesday, since winning the August 2010 presidential elections said that while the former warlord’s arrest was to solve the problems in neighbouring DRC, it has since created another problem for Rwanda with a number of complexities. “Holding Nkunda is a problem we (Rwanda) shouldn’t have had in the first place. It is an issue which is complex itself. Nkunda was arrested in order to solve one problem. After solving that problem another problem has been created. However I would wish for a speedy trial in order to solve this problem,” Mr Kagame said. “One thing that should be clear is that even though it is complex, the case itself can’t cause a diplomatic nightmare between us and the DRC. The fact that our ministry of justice and the one of Congo are working together on this issue it means it can’t cause any problem, he added.

Mr Nkunda [not in person] has appeared in a number of Rwandan civil courts and his case has since then been referred to the military court. However he is yet to be charged. Rwanda has also in the past acknowledged receipt of the extradition request by the DRC Nkunda’s “war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in DRC. Karugarama, Rwanda’s Minister of Justice said on Wednesday in a separate interview that the fact that Nkunda is a Congolese general arrested on Rwanda soil with a big rebel force, operating from another nation is enough to create legal, diplomatic and political complications. "We risk finding ourselves in a situation where legally there is a ‘conflict of laws’ if we don’t handle this situation well. Nkunda is not ordinary man. He is a general of an outfit operating in Congo while he is being held in another country. That alone has legal implications,” Karugarama said. “Rwanda and DRC which are two separate states, have separate laws. At the same time we are bound by international laws that regulate fugitives and people like Nkunda. We are currently engaged with DRC and others and in reasonable time this issue will be sorted out,” he added said.

Both Rwanda and DRC have in the past adopted one important position on Nkunda’s case. The first is that Nkunda is Congolese and has to be dealt with by the DRC judiciary for the crimes allegedly committed in the DRC but since he is on Rwandan territory then it was necessary to also apply Rwandan law. Karugarama and his DRC counterpart have also in the past recommended an instituted team of experts from both countries that should convene to work on legalities that would consider the legal obstacles with regard to the transfer of Nkunda. The legal obstacles include the possible impact of the amnesty law on DRC’s extradition request, the legal impediments embedded in the Rwandan law regarding extradition and the death penalty, as well as implications of the national, regional and international law on the extradition request.

Rwanda hearing of Tutsi ex-rebel Nkunda case postponed, AFP, Jan 10, 2011
KIGALI — A Rwandan military court on Monday postponed the hearing of a plea to free a Congolese Tutsi ex-rebel chief, detained in Rwanda for the past two years, his lawyer said. "The clerk's office decided to postpone the hearing sine die because the judge (General Steven Karyango) has been suspended," Aime Bokanga, a lawyer for Laurent Nkunda, told AFP. "We're waiting for a new judge to be appointed. Under Rwandan law he needs to be a general because the person we have brought proceedings against is a general," the lawyer said. This latest postponement is the fourth since the case was sent to the military courts. Nkunda's lawyers say General James Kabarebe, former Rwandan army chief of staff who was appointed defence minister in April, is responsible for the "arrest and illegal detention" of their client. In March Rwanda's supreme court ruled that given Kabarebe's military status, it was not competent to hear the plea. Nkunda was arrested in Gisenyi on Rwanda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on January 22, 2009, when he was head of the rebel National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) movement, according to people close to him. In October 2008, Nkunda's men routed the DR Congolese army in Nord-Kivu province and threatened to take the strategic provincial capital, Goma, near the border with Rwanda. But after a shift in alliances, the Congolese and Rwandan armies in January 2009 launched an unprecedented joint operation targeting Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern DR Congo, which also resulted in Nkunda's arrest.

Reader Hiram asks my thoughts on the Rwandan situation and Kagame

Political arrests will hurt Rwanda, Independent, Oct 5, 2010 (...There is also a pending case of a Congolese national, Gen. Laurent Nkunda, who was arrested in Rwanda on January 22, 2009. He has never appeared in court, his family has expressed serious concerns.... The Constitution of Rwanda, which Kagame vowed to protect a few weeks ago, guarantees all these detainees and every Rwandan citizen a right to appear in court and to a fair hearing....)



Congo Blood Flows Faster than Oil Spilled Into Gulf of Mexico
by Georgianne Nienebar, Huffington Post, Sep 8, 2010
...The United Sates and the British government stood by in January 2009 when "The Terminator" Ntaganda staged a coup d etat with the help of Paul Kagame to capture Nkunda, the only person with a shot of defeating Kabila. We were in-country interviewing Nkunda at the time, and while we were talking with him, the BBC was broadcasting that he was captured. It was clearly not the case, the BBC should have egg on its face, as well as censure, for that one, but no one has looked into how or why those premature reports were being broadcast in Goma, DRC. In a sense, the BBC aided and abetted the coup.... Listen to Laurent Nkunda condemning the brutality and corruption of the Kabila government. Days later he was abducted by Rwanda and is still being held under house arrest.... Go to KABILA KILLS, RAPES & BLAMES NKUNDA and NKUNDA SAY UN CRIMINALS IN CONGO

Pomp as President Kagame takes Oath
New Times, Sep 7, 2010
All roads led to Amahoro National Stadium, yesterday morning, as President Paul Kagame took the Oath of Office, a ceremony that on top of the tens of thousands of Rwandans, attracted over a dozen Heads of State. Kagame, who arrived at the fully packed stadium a few minutes past 10 a.m., attracted a thunderous applause as he made an entrance, shortly after the arrival of foreign dignitaries. The applause went on for minutes, partly drowning the National Anthem that was sung immediately after the President joined the panel of Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice, Aloysia Cyanzayire, who administered the oath. The stadium that was made more colourful by people clad in various colours, and from their sitting patterns, spelled out ‘PAUL KAGAME OYEE’ in the three colours of the National Flag, against a white background....

After the oath, the President was handed the instruments of power by the Chief Justice, which included the National Constitution, the Flag and the Court of Arms, as the final signal that he had started the seven year term as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. More than 70,000 people attended the event from the stadium, with gigantic screens mounted to cater for the extra tens of thousands who could not find space in stadium. The proceedings were broadcast live on state television and radio and live streaming via the internet was available to cater mainly for the Diaspora.

New wave of violence brings death and trauma for people living in North Kivu province, eastern DRC
Doctors Without Borders (Medicins sans Frontiers), Sep 6, 2010
MSF does not know who the perpetrators of these horrific attacks were, but is shocked by the brutality of the incidents and the ongoing level of violence suffered by the people caught up in the conflict in eastern DRC. A violent attack by men armed with hammers, and the burning of a village of internally displaced people, are two in a series of violent events suffered by people living in the Kivu Provinces of eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently. The number of gunshot and rape victims being treated by medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in its hospital in Mweso, North Kivu, also rose in August, leading to heightened concern about the levels of violence suffered by people living in the conflict affected area.... The villagers are too shattered to speak. One man is totally confused and is constantly terrified, he calls and cries and kicks and beats until we calm him down and he returns to his coma. Then he wakes and relives the entire story again."... They report being scared, scared all the time. They spend their time wondering when they will be tortured and killed”....

US lawyer in Rwanda custody released on bail
Jurist, Jun 17, 2010
...The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday called for Erlinder's release in a letter to Rwanda authorities. Acting on the advice of the UN Office of Legal Affairs, the ICTR asserted in the letter that Erlinder has immunity from prosecution under the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, a treaty to which Rwanda is a party, that prevents legal action of any kind against UN employees working in an official capacity. On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the Obama administration had expressed concern to the Rwandan government over Erlinder's detention and the prosecution of opposition candidates but emphasized the US government's continued support for the Rwandan government. Last week, US Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced a resolution calling on the Rwandan government to release Erlinder in order to "prevent ... an impasse in relations" between the US and Rwanda. Rwandan police arrested Erlinder last month on charges that he denied the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Erlinder was in Rwanda to prepare his defense of opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who was arrested in April on similar charges. Erlinder has pleaded not guilty.... Go to GENOCIDE LAWYER TRIALS & TRIBS & GENOCIDAIRE LAWYER WRITES CANADA

International Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (Stéphane Bourgon Ad.E., is a former Canadian military legal advisor who has been practising before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on a full time basis since 1998. He initially worked as legal advisor within the Office of the Prosecutor before becoming Chef de Cabinet within the Office of the President, working for H.E. Judge Claude Jorda from France, for more than two years. Since 2002, Stéphane Bourgon has been representing numerous accused in high profile cases before the ICTY. He has also been regularly lecturing, mainly on international criminal justice, the rights of persons accused and command responsibility, before various forums in many countries. In 2003, he was elected President of the Association of Defence Counsel Practising before the International Tribunal (ADC-ICTY) for two consecutive terms. His direct involvement in international criminal proceedings, in different positions, has enabled him to closely follow and contribute to the evolution of international criminal justice....)

Gen. Laurent Nkunda case set for Rwanda military court hearing, New Vision, Apr 3, 2010
Rwanda's Supreme Court has ruled that only the country's military court can hear a plea seeking the release of former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda, his lawyer said on Saturday. Aime Bokanga, counsel for the former leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), told Reuters he was relieved that his client had finally secured a court hearing but disappointed the court had not ruled his detention illegal. Nkunda has been under house arrest since Jan. 22, 2009 after entering Rwanda from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where his CNDP rebel force had repeatedly routed the army. After two wars between the Great Lakes neighbours and years trading accusations of backing the other's rebels, Rwanda and Congo mended relations in a deal that analysts say hinged on Nkunda's arrest and Rwandan help ending the rebellion. But Nkunda has not been charged in Rwandan courts, nor has the central African nation yielded to Congolese calls to transfer him to Kinshasa, which accuses him of war crimes. Bokanga said the court argued that General James Kabarebe, Rwanda's Chief of Defence staff, was responsible for Nkunda's detention and so only a military court would determine his fate. "The most important thing for us now is to prove to court that Laurent Nkunda is illegally being detained," he said. "Now the Supreme Court has made a decision for the military court to hear this case. We have been told that the file will be transferred to the military court next week. At least there is some satisfaction that finally the case will be heard." Despite the ruling, Bokanga expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court did not rule on the legality of Nkunda's detention. "It is also quite disappointing because the case is dragging. Rwandan law gives the Supreme Court judge the ability to make a ruling without referring this case to another court. The Supreme Court could have taken cognisance of this case." Bokanga said he would advise his client to seek legal redress in an international court if they run out of options. Rwandan Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama said the case had taken a long time because international law and the laws of two countries had to be taken into account. "The Supreme Court has now identified a court that is competent," he told Reuters. "He is a general accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. You don't just take that person and hand over to authorities on the Congo border ... let's give the judiciary a chance to finish it."

34.Ministry of Love (Torture)


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~