The curious case of Victoire Ingabire.

Last week I weighed in on the controversy surrounding Rwandan opposition candidate Victoire Ingabire, who has been the target of a relentless campaign of intimidation and perfidious perfidy, no doubt engineered by the ruling junta in Kigali.

Our friends at Kigaliwire this week update us on the latest twist in an increasingly twisted saga: rumors that Ms. Ingabire sought refuge at the UK High Commission, “following” – according to a statement posted on her Facebook page – “confirmed information of an imminent arrest, detention in a solitary confinement, physical and mental harassment and psychological torture.”

Ingabire, looking un-arrested, un-confined, and un-persecuted

“I’m told Ingabire had a meeting at the UK High Commission and then went home,” says our Kigaliwire source, not speculating on how much genocide ideology she tried to spread along the way.

Today The New Times offers its own account of the asylum debacle in what was hyped as a “well researched investigative report” (to alert readers that this would not be just another press release from the Ministry of Disinformation).

Nothing demonstrates Ingabire’s double-faced character than [sic] her attempt this week to grab headlines while continuing her smear campaign against the government, when she stage-managed a supposed request for protection in the UK High Commission.

When the embassy threw her out, on the ground that they did not for one minute believe her story, she immediately hit her computer keyboard, shifting the blame on what she referred to as “my political organisation”, which put out an incorrect statement announcing that she had sought protection.

She told the BBC and the VOA radio stations that she had not attempted to seek asylum but had gone to discuss with the diplomats “the current political situation”….

When the British slammed the door in her face, the message was loud and clear, if only Ms Ingabire could discern it: You can’t have your cake and eat it.

Seems the finger-waggers at The New Times missed the irony here. If any country in Africa today presents a clear portrait of cake-having and -eating, it is Kagame’s Rwanda, which for 15 years has used the genocide to neuter dissent both in- and external; has invaded and occupied large, mineral-rich chunks of Congo under the flimsiest of pretexts, with the tacit support/complicity of the international community; and has ridden the moral high rode all the way to the bank. President Paul “Duncan Hines” Kagame knows from cake, my friends. Let’s see what diplomatic petits fours French President Nicolas Sarkozy will bring on his visit to Kigali later this week.


On a related note, anything stand out in this AP report on the Sarkozy visit?

France and Rwanda have sparred for years over an alleged French role in the genocide – the killing of 500,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, massacred in frenzied killing led by radical Hutus.

Has anyone – ever – offered such a lowball estimate for the genocide? Who the hell does the AP’s fact- (and body-) checking?

10 responses to “The curious case of Victoire Ingabire.

  1. Re: the AP article, isn’t 500,000 quite commonly cited, as the figure used by HRW / Alison Des Forges as the ‘it was at least this because I’ve done my research and I’ve got all the proof’ figure? It’s been a while though since I was reading this info, so could be wrong. (cf Leave None to Tell The Story).

  2. I’ve never seen that figure used in news reports. A quick search of popular news sites found the number 800,000 used by The New York Times, the BBC, and The Los Angeles Times in a 2009 story written by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. That’s the number I generally stick with in my own writing, too.

    As for Des Forges’ research and figures, I’ve never dug around enough into the work she’s done to comment. Anyone have any idea if the 800,000 estimate has ever been seriously/reputably challenged?

  3. Hi Christiopher,

    Stumbled on your blog by accident. What a find. Bookmarked it, now it’ll be part of the daily routine when I start up the computer. Great stories about my favourite continent. Keep it up! Cheers, Maarten.

  4. In 1994, UN,US,France,Belgium knew what was being prepared but nothing was done to save lives. Troops were provided to rescue Europeans including their Dogs and cats. US,UK,France voted against the rescue of Tutsi.16Years after,different Media and Academics from the same Countries continue to stir up division, some even go further by denying Genocide was prepared, this gives greater confidence to Rwandan extremists based in DRCongo, the same international community voted in 1884 at Berlin conference to offer Belgium protectorate over Burundi,Rwanda,Congo, Countries where Belgium did terrible things which they haven’t been brough to justice for!

  5. On the correct estimate of how many people perished in the genocide, i dont think its right to have ‘experts’ and ‘researchers’ tell us how many people died, etc. how can you discern the number by merely researching through remote control and observation? what happened here is beyond what anyone can fathom, not the experts, not the pundits. its only us the rwandans who lived it, who lost our people know the number, not exactly though, because we knew how many people we had in our families, our neighbourhoods and so forth. when we say more than a million died, why do you people want to insist on your own estimates? when will your arrogance end? you should know that the rwanda of today is different my friends. change your attitudes. thank you

  6. Desire, i am also surprised no one talks about Belgium’s massive plunder of the DRC but they keep on and on about Rwanda, which aint even true. Does Rwanda have the equipment to exploit Congo minerals to the magnitude of Belgium and other western countries. I think these people have personal problems with Rwanda, and this, not the activities of Rwanda in the Congo, should be the basis of research.

    • Gigi,as a Burundian, I have a lot of respect for your Country and People.I met different individuals who inspired me that my Country of birth Burundi could follow the same example, living as “Burundians”.From the tragedy of Patrice Lumumba (which is well documented with video interviews of Agents who took part in his assassination) to Genocide against Tutsi of Rwanda, to ethnic killings and Genocide of Burundi (slightly different from Rwanda),our People of the Great Lakes of Africa should stand firm and united, rebuild and re-define the destiny of our Children and their Children.Our tragedies gave me a passion and curiosity to research on World tragedies,World Socio-Political economic injustices,etc.I came to the conclusion that our success will be first in unity, putting Africa’s interests first.Our motivation should be based on rememberance of what our people (Africans) endured for thousands of years (first, at the hands of Arab Slave trade, then,Trans Atlantic slave trade to colonisation,covert operations to destabilise Governments of Africa not bowing down to the dictate to Former colonialists), these should be our reasons to stand together, resist division and tyranny, embrace reconciliation,take care of our own needs first.

  7. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Rwanda: Controversy surrounding opposition candidate

  8. Pingback: Strange times in Kigali. « This Is Africa

  9. Pingback: Strange Times in Kigali | Rwandinfo

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