today in history

April 6, 1994 Juvénal Habyarimana was killed

The president of Rwanda is killed in a plane crash, triggering a genocide that claims 800,000 lives.


international news

international

THE ARUSHA PEACE ACCORD (IN MEMORY OF THE RWANDA GENOCIDE APRIL 7, 1994 - JULY 1994)


We hear the term or word Arusha Accord, what actually is the Arusha Accord, what was the intention of the drafters,negotiators and parties to this Accord? Was it the Accord’s real intention to create equal or fair opportunities amongst parties or to empower one party to the agreement and to the detriment of the other? Did the Arusha Accord exposed the greed and selfishness of Political leaders in Rwanda? Was the Accord meant to create peace after a long lasting civil war between the Rwandan Government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Can we safely conclude that the Arusha Accord which was meant to bring lasting peace to Rwanda led to the Rwanda Genocide? We shall soon find out.WHAT IS THE ARUSHA PEACE ACCORD?The Arusha Accords is the official peace Agreement between the government of the Republic Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front.The Arusha Peace Agreement or Arusha negotiations were a set of five accords or protocol signed in Arusha, Tanzania on August 4, 1993, by the Government of Rwanda and the Rebel Force (RPF) under mediation to end a 3 year Rwanda civil war.The Arusha Accords was organised by the United States, France and Organisation of African Unity ( now African Union). The talk began July 12, 1992 and lasted until June 24 1993.WHAT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE ACCORDThe Arusha Accord envisioned the establishment of a Broad-Based Transitional Government which would include the insurgent RPF and the 5 political parties that has composed a temporary government since April 1992 in anticipation of General Elections.AGREEMENT Under the Arusha Accord, there were 21 cabinet post in the Transitional Government, National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) the former ruling party was given 5 post including Defence portfolio. The Rwanda patriotic front got the same number including the portfolio of interior and the role vice prime minister. The major opposition party was, The Republican Democratic Movement was given 4 post, including the office of the Prime Minister assigned to Faustin Twagiramungu. The Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party was given 1.The Rwanda Patriotic Front was granted participation in the National Assembly and was further agreed by both parties that the RPF troops would be incorporated and allowed to join the National Rwanda Army. the Accord made provision for the establishment of a military composed of 60 percent government troops 40 percent RPF. It was agreed that the transitional government and National Assembly would be established no more than 37 days after signing the Accords. The transitional period was limited to 2 months after which general elections would be held.The delegations signed the Protocol on August 3 1993 and President Habyarimana and RPF President Alexis Kanyerengwe signed the day after even though neither side did not trust the intention of the other. It is said that the Arusha Accord favoured the Rwandese Patriotic Front because of disagreement within the Government.The Opposition Foreign Minister, Boniface Ngulinzira led the government delegation rather than Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana. The Foreign Minister repeatedly vetoed the delegations decisions and the Arusha Accord stripped many powers from the Office of the President, transferring them to the Transitional Government. The only option left for President Habyarimana was to stall the process of the Arusha Accords. This very act of President Habyarimana led to the most horrific genocide of the 20th Century.On April 6, 1994 (24 years ago) the most unfortunate event occured, the airplane of President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down as it flew towards the kigali airport, killing President Habyarimana of Rwanda and also President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, a Hutu.This assassination led to the massacre which began the next day and over 800,000 tutsi within the period of 100 days were massacred.This tragic violence of Genocide could have been prevented if only there was foreign intervention early enough to stop the signs when it was in its warning stage.According to the National Security Archive, by January 1994, it was reported that Political Parties increased training of armed militias and were distributing weapons to civilians.The Arusha Accords, was bound to fail because it abhors major inconsistencies facing the Rwanda Nation and these were beyond the powers of the Accord.The tensions that grew during power-sharing negotiations leaked into the streets of Rwanda, clearly linking the tense political discussions to outbreaks of violence. The US Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Rwanda, Joyce Leader, wrote in August 1992: "…we can anticipate a new wave of internal insecurity, in some form or another, as peace talks proceed, especially if internal differences over power-sharing integration of [military] forces become acute."Complicating the Arusha negotiations were the various splits among the political parties within the Rwandan government delegation. This is evident in various reports from US observers and the Rwandan delegation's reports sent back to President Habyarimana in Kigali. Major disagreements were: how the militaries would be integrated, the size of the overall force, and what proportions of RPF and former government forces would make up the new Rwandan Armed Forces. The RPF and Rwandan government also disagreed about how to choose which soldiers and officers would be demobilized, how to successfully integrate them back into society, and security concerns about the demobilization process.The cause of the Rwandan Genocide was more of power sharing, leadership and interest of political groups than just a mere ethnic violence and disagreement.The Rwandan Genocide is a long gone issue but the Scars remain even after it has been healed, The World learned it lessons, Africa and specifically Rwanda learned its lessons even after the damage has been done. The solution to any peaceful Negotiation is a always a peaceful Negotiation.By Lord Reginald Sagay,Lord of the League of Justice.

May 4, 2018, 7:36 am
international

China named 'world’s top executioner' as global rate falls


Amnesty says more people executed in China than rest of world combined but sub-Saharan Africa is a ‘beacon of hope’China remains the “world’s top executioner” amid a decline in executions worldwide, Amnesty International has said in its annual report on capital punishment.According to the report, released on Thursday, China implemented “more death sentences than the rest of the world combined”. Amnesty believes thousands of executions and death sentences occurred in 2017 in China, where they are considered a state secret.China aside, executions worldwide dropped again in 2017, with at least 993 recorded in 23 countries – down 4% from 2016 and 39% from 2015.At least 2,591 death sentences were recorded in 53 countries in 2017 – down from a record high of 3,117 in 2016 – and at least 21,919 people are known to be under a death sentence, Amnesty said. The human rights group said the “positive trend” towards ending capital punishment was exemplified by sub-Saharan Africa, where 20 countries have now abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Just two countries in the region, Somalia and South Sudan, carried out executions last year.“The progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition,” the Amnesty International secretary general, Salil Shetty, said.Excluding China, 84% of the reported executions last year were carried out in just four countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates resumed executions in 2017.Iran has the highest known figure despite an 11% drop on 2016, executing at least 507 people, with at least 31 death sentences carried out in public.The US remained the only country in the Americas to carry out executions, with 23 last year, up slightly from the year before.Shetty said with the progress in Africa, “the isolation of the world’s remaining executing countries could not be starker”.But Amnesty said the continued use of the death penalty for drug-related offences was “distressing”, with 15 countries last year imposing death sentences or carrying out executions.Drug-related executions were recorded in China, Iran, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, where “drug-related beheadings rocketed from 16% of total executions in 2016 to 40” in 2017.The US was noted for putting people on death row who have mental or intellectual disabilities, a criticism also levelled against Japan, the Maldives, Pakistan and Singapore.Source: The GuardianLEAGUE OF JUSTICE

April 12, 2018, 6:43 pm

african news

africa

26 killed in rural Burundi attack amid tensions over president's bid to keep power


Twenty-six people were killed and seven wounded in an attack in a rural area of Burundi, the country's security minister said Saturday, calling it the work of a "terrorist group" he did not identify.Speaking at the scene, Alain Guillaume Bunyoni told reporters that 24 people were killed in their homes Friday night and two others died of their wounds at a local hospital.He gave no further details about the attack in the Ruhagarika community of the rural northwestern province of Cibitoke.The attack came shortly before a May 17 referendum that could extend the president's term. It was not immediately clear if the attack was related.One survivor told the Associated Press the attackers came around 10 p.m. local time and "attacked households and set fire on houses." Some victims were hacked with machetes and others were shot or burned alive, she said.Her husband and two children were killed, she said. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns.This East African country has seen deadly political violence since early 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza successfully pursued a disputed third term. An estimated 1,200 people died.Now Burundians are being asked to vote on a proposed constitutional change to extend the president's term from five years to seven, which would allow Nkurunziza to rule for another 14 years.Campaigns ahead of the referendum have been marred by hate speech, with one ruling party official sent to prison after he called for those who oppose the referendum to be drowned.The United States earlier this month denounced "violence, intimidation and harassment" against those thought to oppose the referendum and expressed concern about the "nontransparent process" of changing the constitution.Human Rights Watch has noted "widespread impunity" for authorities and their allies, including the ruling party's youth wing, as they try to swing the vote in the president's favor.Many in Burundi, a poor country that still relies heavily on foreign aid, worry that a new round of bloodshed will follow the referendum, no matter its results.Already more than 400,000 people have fled the country since the political unrest began in April 2015, according to the United Nations.Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, rose to power in 2005 after Burundi's civil war, which killed about 300,000 people. He was reelected unopposed in 2010 after the opposition boycotted. He said he was eligible for a third term in 2015 because lawmakers, not the general population, chose him for his first termSource: LOS ANGELES TIMESLEAGUE OF JUSTICE

May 16, 2018, 4:51 am
africa

More than 31 killed in Libya tribal clashes this month


Fighting between rival tribes that has rocked a southern Libya town for weeks has killed more than 31 people since the beginning of May, a medical source said on Sunday.Eight of them were killed on the weekend when the violence flared in Sebha, some 600km  south of Tripoli, the source said, adding that 18 others were wounded in the clashes.Sebha, where tribal rivalries have frequently spilt over into bloodshed, has been rocked by violence since February.On Saturday, the rival tribes fought for the control of an ancient hilltop citadel that overlooks Sebha, a region known for its smuggling routes.The fighting is pitting the Arab Alwad Suleiman tribe against the Tubus, who are repeatedly accused by their detractors of including foreign fighters, namely from Chad, in their ranks.Since the beginning of May more than 31 people have been killed and 121 wounded in the tribal clashes, the medical source said speaking on condition of anonymity.The UN mission in Libya UNSMIL has repeatedly expressed concern for the escalation in fighting.A statement posted on its Twitter account late Saturday said UNSMIL is "deeply disturbed at the most recent escalation in Sebha".It said it deplored the death of "some civilians" in the clashes and called on both sides to observe restraints.Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has also called for a ceasefire in Sebha.Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with rival administrations and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.A UN-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli and headed by Sarraj has struggled to assert its authority outside the west, and military strongman Khalifa Haftar controls much of the east.Source: News24LEAGUE OF JUSTICE

May 16, 2018, 4:46 am

today in history

April 6, 1994 Juvénal Habyarimana was killed

The president of Rwanda is killed in a plane crash, triggering a genocide that claims 800,000 lives.