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Rwanda’s Director General of National Intelligence and National Security , who also, previously served as the deputy Commander of the African Union Peace Keeping force in Darfur, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London on Saturday under a European Arrest Warrant.
The 54-year-old General Karenzi Karake, is an official, wanted on war crimes charges, who is also a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), appeared before London’s West Minster Magistrates Court where he was remanded in custody until Thursday 25 June 2015.
When General Karenzi Karake was the head of Rwanda’s military intelligence Service, he allegedly ordered the massacres soon after the horrendous 1994 Rwanda genocide, which claimed the lives of 800,000 lives.
He is accused of organising a series of retaliatory massacres against the majority Hutu and sanctioning the murder of three Spanish nationals who were employed by Medicos del Mundo and allegedly knew too much about the retaliatory massacres and those behind them. Andreu Merelles, a Spanish investigative judge, named General Karenzi Karake and 39 other Rwandan commanders, totalling 40 commanders in an indictment issued in 2008 .
Whilst Rwanda’s ambassador in London William Nkurunziza, claimed that the charges in place against General Karenzi Karake are “politically motivated”, the British High Commission in Rwanda argued that General Karenzi Karake’s arrest is a “legal obligation” executed at the request of the Spanish authorities, adding that the United Kingdom, holds a most valued close working relation with the Rwandan government on a wide range of regional and international issues.
It is still not clear why the General Karenzi Karake, was picked up by authorities on this particular trip, even though he successfully, previously travelled to the United Kingdom on numerous occasions, without any hindrance since the Spanish issued the indictment, and his highly politicised arrest has been touted by others as the symbolic equivalent of the head of the United Kingdom’s MI6 or the United State’s CIA being arrested by another nation.
Rwandan authorities are not impressed by London’s enforcement of the warrant against General Karenzi Karake. Sibusiso Ngwenya.
photo-Emmanuel Karenzi Karake. © Monuc/AFP