GENEVA, November 12 – Rwandan President Paul Kagame accused France on Wednesday of riding roughshod over international law by arresting a key aide suspected of involvement in the assassination of the country’s former ruler.
Kagame’s chief of protocol Rose Kabuye was arrested in Frankfurt on a French warrant over her suspected involvement in the assassination of Rwanda’s former president, Juvenal Habyarimana, in 1994.
"You cannot have France or any other country thinking it has the right to exercise its judicial powers beyond its borders to cover other sovereign entities," Kagame said on the sidelines of a telecommunications conference here.
The move has caused a diplomatic furore, with African organisations condemning the arrest, which has been greeted by street protests in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
Rwanda withdrew its ambassador to Germany, and ordered Berlin’s ambassador in Kigali to leave over the row. It broke ties with France in 2006 after French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issue the warrants against Kabuye and eight other Kagame aides.
Habyarimana’s plane was shot down in 1994 in an incident that caused Hutu militias to launch a genocide of 800,000 of the country’s minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Kagame’s government has accused France of having actively supported the genocide perpetrators.
Kigali said Rwandan courts were poised to issue arrest warrants against 23 French military and political officials over their role in the genocide.
They are among 33 officials named in the August report, who include the late president Francois Mitterrand and former premier Dominique de Villepin.
Kagame said that the decision to go ahead with the indictments or not would depend on how the international community responds to the arrest of Kabuye.
"Whether we are preparing indictments… will be determined by how the world wants to move forward," he said.