U.N. Support For Congo Campaign Against Rwanda Rebels Is In Doubt

UNUnited Nations support for a planned military operation against Rwandan rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo could be in doubt because Congo named a general accused of rights abuses to head the offensive, diplomats and officials said on Friday.

General Bruno Mandevu was appointed on Sunday to head a Congolese army (FARDC) operation against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which had been jointly planned with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO).

Western diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mandevu had been placed by MONUSCO on a so-called red list over accusations of 121 rights violations, including summary executions and rapes.

“If, because of the past record of units or their commanders, there are substantial grounds to believe there is a real risk that they commit grave human rights violations, support to those units will be withheld unless adequate mitigating measures can be put in place,” a senior MONUSCO official told Reuters.

“In this particular case, this process has brought to light some concerns that have been brought to the attention of the DRC government. Discussions are underway at the highest level to address them,” the official said.

During a U.N.-backed offensive against the FDLR in 2009, Congolese soldiers were accused by rights groups of massacring hundreds of civilians and committing wide-ranging abuses. The Congolese army denied the scale of the alleged abuses.

The FARDC and the Congolese government were not immediately available for comment.

A U.N. peacekeeping official in New York said that under the United Nations human rights due diligence policy, the world body has to “ensure that its support to non-U.N. security forces will not contribute to grave human rights violations.”

Ebola: Rwanda Writes CAF Over Fear In Nigeria

CAFThe Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA ) has written to African football’s ruling body,the Confederation of African Football (CAF)  over worries about the threat of Ebola in Nigeria.

Rwanda is due to play the Super Eagles in Calabar on September 6, for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The FERWAFA boss, Vincent Nzamwita said the letter was written to CAF to seek a change of venue for the match billed to take place in Calabar.

“We wrote a letter to CAF for their advice on the situation in Nigeria,” Ferwafa boss Vincent Nzamwita said.

“We’re waiting to see if they can change the game, it’s a big worry.”

He added that the federation is also getting direction from the government of Rwanda and explained that the decision of the government will determine everything.

“If the government decides that the Amavubi does not travel, then we shall respect that,” he added.

So far there have been three confirmed deaths from Ebola in Nigeria, with all of the cases linked to the death of a Liberian visitor to Lagos on 25 July.

The other two teams in Group A alongside Nigeria and Rwanda are South Africa and Sudan.

The outbreak has claimed the lives of more than a thousand people, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

CAF has ordered Sierra Leone and Guinea to move their opening home Nations Cup qualifiers to neutral venues due to the outbreak.

Sierra Leone have approached Ghana to host their tie against DR Congo on 10 September. The Ghana Football Association has said while it is keen to help out, it is “uncertain about the health implications for our country.”

As a result, the GFA has recommended that the Sierra Leone FA asks its government to make a formal request to the government of Ghana for consideration by the Ministry of Health.

FG Deploys 50 Lecturers To Ugandan University

Director General of Technical Aid Corps (TAC), Prof. Pius Osunyikanmi

Nigeria has deployed 50 volunteers of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) to the Islamic University of Uganda where they will lecture until 2016.

Addressing the volunteers at the pre-departure ceremony in Abuja, the Director General of TAC, Prof. Pius Osunyikanmi said the delegation is part of about 1,500 volunteers to be deployed to 15 countries this year.

“One major aspects of Nigeria’s foreign policy is the Technical Aid Corps with the objective of providing technical know-how and manpower assistance to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. TAC was given birth to with the view to leveraging on the abundant human and material resources in the country using it as a platform to providing technical know-how to needy ACP countries.

“We have a total of 50 of you that will be departing for a single University in Uganda. You will be going there to render services as University lecturers. You are the second batch that will be posted in the last one month. Other batches going to Namibia, Rwanda, Burundi, and others will follow in due course. In all, we would be deploying about 1,500 within the next three months”, Osunyikanmi said.

He explained that President Goodluck Jonathan gave a charge that the recruitment process should be 100 per cent merit-driven and the Directorate’s frontiers should be expanded to cover more countries.

Osunyikanmi assured the Volunteers that Nigeria would stand by them adding, “Uganda is desirous of your services and you cannot afford to give less than what they desire of you. Discipline should be your watchword; you are carrying the Nigerian flag and you must be able to do Nigeria proud.

Ensure that you market and project Nigeria in its proper perspective. Let them know that indeed Nigeria is a country that is peaceful, progressive and developing. Let everybody who cares know that Nigeria is stable, progressive and that we are on an irreversible course in our journey to development”, he said.

The Corps is a federal department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was established in 1987 to leverage on the abundant human and material resources in the country using it as a platform to providing technical know-how to needy countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific States.

Prof. Osunyikanmi urged the volunteers to be disciplined and be good ambassadors of Nigeria.

Charles Taylor Asks To Serve Term In Rwanda

Charle taylorFormer Liberian President, Charles Taylor, has asked to serve his war crimes sentence in Rwanda, noting that serving the jail term in the UK will deprive him of his human rights.

An Act of Parliament was passed to allow Taylor to serve his sentence in the UK following Taylor’s sentencing in 2012.

Advocating his case, Taylor’s lawyer, John Jones noted that Taylor’s wife and his children have been unable to visit him in the country, since his arrest.

He stated that “what we are saying is the UK has a duty to ensure family life, not just for him but for his family.

“It is a clear duty under international law and English domestic law”, he said, pointing out that, the UK would save money if Taylor was transferred to his home country.

“He is not suing the British Government, he is not seeking damages from the UK and, on the contrary, for the UK taxpayer it would be much, much cheaper if he were to serve his sentence in Rwanda with all the other prisoners from the special court,” he said.

Mr Jones said visas have not been granted to members of Taylor’s family as immigration officials were “not satisfied that they are going to return to Liberia after their visit to see him, which was ridiculous”. He emphasised.

Charles Taylor is to serve 50 years in prison, after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in April 2012.





Jonathan To Confer With Other African Leaders On Joint Action Against Terrorism

GEJ2The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, will fly to Pretoria, South Africa on Friday for high-level discussions with other African Heads of State and Government on combating terrorism in Africa.

This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

The continent’s five regions would each be represented by two heads of state and government at the talks which would focus on collective action to effectively roll-back the scourge of terrorism in Africa.

Others expected at the talks which would take place ahead of South African President, Jacob Zuma’s inauguration for a new term in office, include the leaders of Ghana, Republic of Congo, Chad, Angola, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritania, Algeria and Ethiopia.

President Jonathan, who would be accompanied by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and some key aides, would return to Abuja after attending President Zuma inauguration on Saturday.


Rwanda Genocide: From Losses To Gains, Twenty Years After

RwandaFrom April 7, to about July 15, 20 years ago, between 500,000 to one million people were killed in Rwanda. 

That period of time, was known as the genocide mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu, planned by members of the core political elite, known as the Akazu, many of whom were already in top government positions.

According to sources, the war took place in the context of the Rwandan civil war, which was an ongoing conflict that had begun in 1990, between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front, composed mainly of Tutsi refugees, whose families had fled to Uganda after their earlier encounter with Hutu violence against the Tutsi.

For many Rwandans, the experience of the genocide brought a lot of suspicion, fear and tension, in the years that followed after the genocide. 

Today, many have only one phrase on their lips; that is, ‘Rwanda genocide, never again!’

The younger generation is doing what it can to cope with the country’s horrific past, as many lost parents and loved ones in the killing.

To help them move on, orphans from the period, have been coming together to form groups, that support one another while others are using social media such as facebook, to preach peace and reconciliation.

A Lot Has Changed

Believe it or not, a lot has changed in Rwanda, since then. Rwanda-farms

The country is said to have low corruption, compared with neighbouring African countries. It also has the highest proportion of females in government positions, in proportion to the population.

Although seriously affected by the genocide, its economy has grown since then. A country of few natural resources, the economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture by local farmers, using simple tools.

However, tourism is a fast-growing sector in Rwanda, and is now the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.

Rwanda’s high commissioner to Nigeria, told Channels Television that Rwandans had moved on and are looking ahead to make the country work.

“There are many initiatives to make the people come together. People have gone beyond ethnic divisions. Things have changed,” he said.

Just like many at the time, he also had his losses.

Centenary Celebration: Jonathan Advises African Leaders On Conflict Management

Over 20 Heads of State have converged on the International Conference Center Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, to commemorate Nigeria’s 100 years of existence, beginning with an international conference on human security, peace and development.

President Goodluck Jonathan presented the lead paper at the security conference which focuses on how to secure the continent against terrorists.

Some of the leaders present were President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia and Prosper Bazombaza of Burundi.

Liberian President, Helen Sirleaf and the former Secretary-General of OAU, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim who led the Tanzanian delegation were also in for the celebration.

Also in Abuja was the President of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, Ethiopian President, Mr Hailemarian Desalegh, and the European Union President, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso.

Presenting the lead paper, President Goodluck Jonathan, while highlighting the economic growth in the continent, told the world leaders present, that there was a need for collaboration in the fight against terrorism which is a global threat to development.

The President told his guests that world leaders must strengthen existing mechanism for national and international conflict management.

Citing the recent attack on students in Yobe State, President Jonathan said that the Federal Government would spare no funds in its resolve to bring the perpetuators to justice.

The theme of Nigeria’s centenary celebrations is designed around the key concepts of unity, indivisibility, virility, progress, and promise of the Nigerian Federation.

Jonathan Backs Strong And Viable LG Administration

President Goodluck Jonathan has thrown his weight behind strong local government administration saying the third tier of government provides an opportunity for effective service delivery.

Speaking in Kampala, Uganda at the 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference, President Jonathan who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Winifred Oyo-Ita, advocated a strong autonomy for local governments to enable them serve the people at the grassroots.

President Jonathan applauded the objectives of the conference which includes poverty eradication, promoting good governance at the local level and improving the living condition of citizens through the provision of basic services and infrastructure.

The Presidents of Uganda, Sri-Lanka and Rwanda who also attended the conference stressed the need for the strengthening of local government administration as a means of achieving sustainable development.

AYC U-20 Prep: Flying Eagles beaten 1-0 by Rwanda

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles suffered a 1-0 defeat against Rwanda in a friendly today at the State Regional in Kigali.

It was an 85th decider after France-based striker Bon-Fils Kabanda’s goal made the difference between the two African sides.

The Flying Eagles had so many scoring chances from the blow of the whistle in the first half could make it count for them before Kabanda had the opportunity to notch up Rwanda.

At the beginning of the match, Rwanda showed some flashes when Charles Tibingana coming close to getting the opening goal for the home team with a header from inside the box which narrowly missed its mark.

And immediately Nigeria retaliated with Chidi Osuchukwu’s shot which screamed wide and minutes later striker Alhaji Gero’s effort was deflected for a corner kick.

Osuchukwu then carved out one of the best chances of the day in the 42nd minute.

His left-footed shot from inside the box was scrambled by Rwanda goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera for a corner kick.

Both Gero and right-back Shehu Abdullahi also saw their efforts failing to hit target in the dying moments of the first half.

With the Second beginning, Aminu Umar’s shot from an acute angle crashed against the side netting as Nigeria dictated the pace.

They had introduced several of their top players like Aliyu Mohammed, Uche Agbo, Jonah Usman, Harrison Egbune, Hassan Abubakar and Yahaya Adamu.

In the 63rd minute of the match, Emmanuel Sebanani ought to have put Rwanda ahead but he wasted the chance from a very big opening.

Agbo also threatened the Rwanda goal at least twice and, in between, substitute goalkeeper Usman saved a goal-bound header by Rwanda.

The match was played at the same stadium the Super Eagles held the Rwandan senior national team to a goalless draw late in February in a 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier.

The Rwandan junior side, which recently defeated Tanzania twice away from home, are billed to host Mali in a 2013 AYC qualifier the same weekend Nigeria face the Ngorogoro Stars of Tanzania.

In a post-match interview, Coach John Obuh said he will not be bothered with the score line of the game although he admitted that it was a good game even though a draw would have made more sense.

He said the real purpose of the prep game is not to lose focus ahead of the real game which is the qualifiers against Tanzania come Sunday in Tanzania and good enough he has taken on some corrections ahead of the game in Dar Es Salam.

AYC 2013 Qualifiers: Flying Eagles jet out to Tanzania

The delegation of Flying Eagles flew out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja aboard a RwandAir airline flight and the delegation was led by Chris Green who is the Chairman of the NFF Technical Sub-Committee and this was deemed necessary in order to keep the players and the crews of the National Team in check in terms of discipline and keep performance of their duties at the optimum.

Meanwhile, the itinerary of the squad was made known as they leave Nigeria to touch down at Tanzania and by tomorrow (Tuesday July 24, 2012) the Flying Eagles shall lock horns with the Young Amavubi of Rwanda in Kigali in an international friendly before heading to the game proper in Dar Es Salam on Thursday for Sunday’s 2013 African Youth Championship qualifier against the Junior Taifa Stars.

The NFF is determined to inculcate into the teams the important virtues of the development and re-building processes, which is why the ejection of Assistant Coach Abimbola Samuel and Goalkeeper Trainer Suleiman Shuaibu from the squad was something the local football body had to do as they were seen as a cog in the wheel of progress.

18 players were handpicked by the head Coach John Sam Obuh plus his assistants and backroom staff and he also included new Goalkeeper Trainer Aloysius Agu.

Agu, a former Captain of the Super Eagles, replaces Suleiman Shuaibu.

The U-20 Women’s Team, Falconets departed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja today for Accra, Ghana where the team will play two friendly matches on Tuesday and Thursday this week, against the U-20 Women’s Team of that country, known as Black Princesses. The team traveled aboard an Arik Air flight.

UN to release divisive report on Rwanda support for Congo rebels

The U.N. Security Council agreed on Tuesday to publish a controversial document implicating Rwanda’s defense minister and several top military officials in backing an army mutiny in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, council diplomats said.

The evidence contained in an addendum to a recent report by U.N. experts is the strongest yet to indicate high-level support within Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s government for the so-called M23 rebellion against Congolese forces that has caused thousands to flee their homes in the east of the DRC.

M23 is the name of a group of several hundred soldiers from the Congolese army that have rallied behind Bosco Ntaganda, a mutinous army general with past links to Rwanda who is sought for arrest by the DRC and wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Rwanda rejects the allegations.

Reuters had previously seen and reported on the minutes of a verbal briefing by the so-called Group of Experts on the allegations for the Security Council’s Congo sanctions committee. .

On Tuesday, Reuters obtained a copy of a more extensive 43-page document, the one the 15-nation council has agreed to release. Diplomats said it might take a few days for it to appear on the council’s Congo sanctions committee website.

“Over the course of its investigation since late 2011, the Group has found substantial evidence attesting to support from Rwandan officials to armed groups operation in the eastern DRC,” the document said.

“The RDF (Rwandan army) has been providing military equipment, weapons, ammunition and general supplies to M23 rebels,” the addendum said, adding that senior Rwandan officials have been “directly involved” in generating political and financial support for M23.