AU calls for the immediate release of Lt.Gen. Karenzi

The African Union has called for the immediate release of General Karenzi Karake, the executive secretary of the National Intelligence and Security services arrested in London last weekend.

A special meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council that convened in Addis Ababa Ethiopia condemned in the strongest terms the arrest of General Karenzi calling the move a violation of the principles of universal jurisdiction.

Rwanda received overwhelming support by the AU peace and Security Council on Friday, just two days after it had requested the council to convene a special meeting on the arrest of General Karenzi Karake and its larger implications on the continent.

Addressing the gathering at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs and cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo said that the arrest of General Karake is a blatant attack on Rwanda and Africans in general.

“The absurdity of this is that those who committed genocide and have been indicted according to principles of universal jurisdiction, many of them still today 22 years later live freely and roam European capitals and have the audacity to instigate judges against those who stopped the genocide. That is the absurdity.” Mushikiwabo said.

Underscoring the bizarre nature of Gen. Karenzi’s arrest, Minister Mushikiwabo noted that it is baffling that he was arrested after traveling to the United Kingdom on numerous occasions, further stressing that there is nothing judicial about the Spanish indictments.

“The question to ask is; why now? What really is the sustenance of these indictments?”

Addressing a press conference following a closed session of the AU Peace and Security Council meeting, the minister told local and international media that the AU Peace and Security Council should swiftly do everything in its power to ensure that those behind judicial harassment stop it and engage in serious political dialogue, ensures that justice serves all fairly and is not used by some powers to settle political scores.

Responding to an assertion that Western justice acted independently in the arrest of General Karake, Minister Mushikiwabo noted that Rwanda waiting 22 years for justice after the genocide against the Tutsi is a glaring example.

“There are plenty of examples of the interception of politics with justice, if that was not the case, why should we Rwanda 22 years after the genocide be begging these same so called law abiding and civilized countries to either extradite or try people who are guilty of genocide? The case of General Karenzi today is a blatant violation of anything related to justice.”

The commissioner of the AU Peace and Security council Amb. Smail Chergui warned that the arrest of Rwanda’s senior official is the right time to scale up the AU’s engagement on the matter because it risks violating the integrity and sovereignty of African states.

In demonstration of solidarity from the region, Rwanda was accompanied to the special AU peace and security meeting by the Ugandan state minister of foreign affairs Okello Oryem and Kenya’s attorney General Githu Muigai.


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