Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rwanda: Opposition, Western Union Money Transfer and Terrorism

By Emmanuel Neretse
Musabyimana's Website
October 17, 2010

At first glance, these three terminologies have little in common. However, the Kagame’s dictatorial regime, which is busy finding new instruments of repression than improving the welfare of the Rwandan people, has established a link between these three concepts. It intends to use this new finding as a “weapon of mass repression” against anyone who dares to claim the opening of political space in Rwanda.

The premise is simple: any money transfer from Rwandan nationals living abroad to relatives or acquaintances living in Rwanda or in the African Great Lakes region via Western Union is carefully monitored. If the sender is known to be opponent or human rights activist, he/she will be accused of financing terrorist groups and transfer of money via Western Union will be used as irrefutable evidence. The amount of money transferred doesn’t matter. These are usually non significant amounts, which generally do not exceed one hundred euros or dollars. The Kagame’s secret services which fabricate such files do not care: they are the only ones to believe they know secrets on how a peasant, who is closely watched from a Rwandan hill, can recruit an army, train it and equip it with sophisticated equipments and weapons and finally launch an attack aimed at overthrowing the regime! All these activities with just a 100 dollars sent by an acquaintance living abroad in Europe or America. The objective of the RPF regime is not to demonstrate the feasibility of such a criminal enterprise all opponents are accused of but to severely and summarily condemn those who are detained in Rwanda, and to discredit forever those who are currently living in exile. It is enough to simply present them as part of the now-in-vogue objectives of the crusade of modern times known as war on terror. In the Kagame’s regime views, all of these opponents are “terrorists” at the same level as Bin Laden. These men or women who, upon earning a few euros or dollars in Europe or America by their hard work, send a couple of dollars to their relatives currently living in Africa to help them pay for tuition fees for their children or to support them in a small commercial project.

Mr. Paul Rusesabagina has just learned such a plan at his expenses. In its edition of Saturday, October 16, 2010, the daily pro-RPF newspaper, The New Times, revealed that the hero of “Hotel Rwanda” is the subject of a criminal investigation and that the Rwandan police departments have several documents showing that he is funding a terrorist group, the very one that Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is accused of setting up. The newspaper asserted that even the U.S. authorities (Paul Rusesabagina has a home residence in San Antonio, Texas) have been warned that they host a “terrorist.” The “evidences” that the police described as “compelling” are none other than small amounts of money transfer that Paul Rusesabagina might have sent via Western Union from the United States and in favor of two former FDLR fighters who were recently arrested in Burundi and are currently detained in Rwanda. These two detainees must, among other things, also accuse Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of the same facts.

However, the police spokesman did not say if these “FDLR repentants” knew Paul Rusesabagina before or have had other contacts with him outside of Western Union. In addition, the same police spokesman did not say by which process they managed to interpret the pseudonyms listed on the Western Union extracts for money transfer but concluded that the recipients were surely their precious prisoners: Noel Habiyambere and Tharcisse Nditurende. Logically, these prisoners have simply accepted that it was them who were named Lambert Mbanga Mbanza and Murinde. In Kagame’s judiciary system, confessions are indeed common and “spontaneous.”

It is well known that Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a US company that specializes in the business of money transfer worldwide, is now embedded in the business of manhunt initiated by a bloody dictatorship that does not hesitate to deprive some of its citizens of the funds they used to receive from their relatives living in exile. Indeed, with regard to the Kagame’s regime, only the “positive” diaspora, meaning the RPF party members in power or RPF intelligence agents scattered abroad, have the right to send money to their loved ones in Africa. The rest must be construed as “terrorist activities” and be punished as such. Western Union Financial Services, Inc. is ready to participate in such a repression.

Given such blackmail that Kagame intends to impose on ordinary Rwandan citizens, many of whom are relatives of opponents to his regime, by depriving them of any financial support despite the fact that these ordinary citizens are the ones who are already marginalized in Rwanda, Western Union Financial services, Inc. should also be summoned and clarify such a situation. Has the company already signed an agreement with the Kagame’s dictatorship to provide information on money transfers from Rwandan immigrants including well-known opponents that the Kagame’s regime wants to silence by falsely accusing them of terrorism?

For how long in virtue of war on terror the bloodiest dictators on the earth such as Paul Kagame will continue to oppress democrats and opponents by labeling them as terrorists without any condemnation by the international community and mainstream media. This status quo gives the impression that everything is lawfully allowed in the name of the fight against terrorism?

This article has been translated from its French version by Mamadou Kouyate. Only the French version shall prevail.

Related Materials:
What Madam Victoire Ingabire's Arrest says about Rwanda's future

Rwandan Secret Services’ Plan to Eliminate Victoire Ingabire

Smear Campaign against “Hotel Rwanda” Hero Paul Rusesabagina

UN accuses Rwandan government of genocide, Rwanda reacts by arresting innocent opposition leader

Rwanda: Paul Kagame's Desperate Days


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