Tagged: UN Security Council

Amb. Mujawamariya presents credentials to President Putin


Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Amb. Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, on Thursday presented her credentials to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.
Presenting her credentials, Ambassador Mujawamariya stated that Rwanda was ready to increase its engagement with Russia after re-opening its embassy in Moscow.

Photo: President Putin (right) receives Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s new ambassador to Russia . Source: The New Times/Courtesy

Mujawamariya described Russia as a long-term friend to Rwanda, according to an embassy statement.

She commended Russia’s collaboration on the UN Security Council and its recent support to the African Union position on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The AU last year submitted its position on the ICC to the UN Security Council (UNSC), which demanded that no serving Head of State is prosecuted before ICC or any international tribunal.

The position was passed by African leaders during an extra ordinary session of AU Heads of States and government held In Addis Ababa last October.

Rwanda looks forward to Russia’s continued support on Council matters of importance, Mujawamariya said.

She promised that Rwandan representatives in New York will collaborate with Russia diplomats closely.

The Ambassador also expressed Rwanda’s wish for increasing number of scholarships granted by the Russian Federation to Rwandan students.

About 800 Rwandan students have graduated from Russian universities over the last 50 years in various disciplines including law, medicine, international affairs and political science.

The Rwandan embassy in Russia will soon embark on consultations with Russian universities to identify ways of increasing scholarships to Rwandan students in different areas such as science and technology, engineering, mining, petroleum and medicine, the embassy said in a statement.

This year, according to the statement, Rwanda and Russia are expected to hold a business forum to exhibit investment opportunities.

A recent Cabinet meeting approved Ambassador Andrey Vradimirovich Polyakov, as the new Russian envoy to Rwanda.

contact: editorial@newtimes.co.rw

Source: The New Times


Rwanda Prime Minister Challenges UN’s Drones Use In DRC

Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, (Rwanda’s P.M)

The United Nations (UN) has been challenged over its recent proposal that it would use aerial Vehicles in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a suggestion that Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said; it would be illogical.

While commenting through a public social media Twitter, The Prime Minister said “….UN in DRC does not need drones to do what it is supposed to do. Instead of spending on surveillance drones, it is more logical to invest in supporting the region’s peacemaking efforts”

Bottom of FormDr.  Habumuremyi also stated that the use of such military technology will not help the peace process in the country nor in the region and added that more issues should be considered in solving the conflict in the Eastern Congo.

“DRC need good will from leadership, good governance, respect of human rights for all citizens, including Rwandaphones not the use of drones” he noted.

The Prime Minister’s comments come only  three days after the government  of Rwanda opposed a proposal that the United Nations had tabled on Tuesday 8th January 2013 to deploy a unit of surveillance aerial vehicles also known as Drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, arguing that “Africa must not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas”

UN suggested that it intends to modernize its peacekeeping operations, and may deploy a fleet of its own drones both in Central and West Africa peacekeeping missions for the first time, only few days after Rwanda took its two year seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

According to UN officials in the Peacekeeping Department, at least three unarmed surveillance drones may be deployed in the eastern region of Congo, and such information has been communicated to DRC, Rwanda and Uganda governments.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, a Rwandan diplomat at the United Nations cautioned over such Hi-tech military use, saying the Drones could be used to collect intelligence information from “Kigali, Kampala, Bujumbura or the entire region.”  It is even feared that the unmanned drones might be armed, despite UN Officials assurance that there is no intention to arm the drones or to spy on countries that have not consented to their use.

Various governments from developing world in which Rwanda belongs fear that, the drones will open up a new intelligence-gathering front dominated by Western powers and potentially supersede African and Asian peacekeepers who now act as the United Nations’ overseers  on peace related missions.

The action is the first step in a broader bid to integrate unmanned aerial surveillance systems, which have become a standard feature of Western military operations, into the United Nations’ far-flung peacekeeping domain.

In the 1990s, the United States and other major powers infiltrated the U.N. weapons inspection agency to surreptitiously collect intelligence on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s military; one of the reasons why Developing countries shun from any attempt of Drones hovering above their territories.

U.N. military planners say they see a need for drones in many other missions, including Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan, where the United Nations monitors tensions along the border of the two countries. But they acknowledged that they have little hope that Sudan would permit them.

The organization has ordered a feasibility study into their use in Ivory Coast along with the pending deployments in the Congo.

The said aerial vehicles equipped with infrared technology can detect troops hidden beneath forest canopy or operating at night, allowing them to track movements of armed militias, assist patrols heading into hostile territory and document atrocities. They are about 150 miles and are able to hover for up to 12 hours at a time.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs that are used by military in various ways including missile testing, air strikes, aerial refuelling, surveillance, transporting cargo, live-fire exercises and long-range bombing.


Source: News of the Rwanda , 15.1.13

Kiyonga consults UN on M23 sanctions


The facilitator of the peace talks between the DR Congo government and the M23 rebels, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, has said steps have been taken to ensure that the UN Security Council sanctions against the rebels do not affect the ongoing negotiations in Kampala.

The UN Security Council committee tasked with monitoring DR Congo recently imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on M23 rebel officials, Jean-Marie Runiga and Lt. Col. Eric Badege.

Dr Kiyonga said he has been consulting with the UN and US government with a view to ensuring that the recent sanctions slammed on M23 do not create negative implications for the talks.

“The sanctions took us by surprise, but both the UN and US have assured me that they support the dialogue and that the sanctions won’t affect it,” the Ugandan Defence minister said during the eighth plenary session of the peace talks. “If there is anybody who is sanctioned but we want him to participate in the dialogue, we will seek exemption.”

UN embargo

The UN Security Council also announced an arms embargo against the Congolese M23 rebels as well as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, who are blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Dr Kiyonga said there is still need for agreement between the region and the international community on imposing sanctions.

“As a region, we support what can bring peace and reconciliation, but there are some people in the international community who emphasise justice first even when parties are willing to undergo dialogue,” Dr Kiyonga said.

“We have agreed to disagree on that point,” he added.

On reports that there has been a violation of cessation of hostilities in Goma, the peace talks facilitator said he had asked the commander of the Joint Verification Mechanism to investigate the allegations.

Four clusters that compose the agenda of the talks include; review of the March 23, 2009 agreement (that ended an earlier rebellion); security issues; social, economic and political matters; as well as the mechanism for implementation – monitoring and evaluation of the Kampala agreement.



Source: GASHEGU MURAMIRA, 14 JANUARY 2013, The New Times , for information about the photo source, please contact: gashegu.muramira[at]newtimes.co.rw

We Can and Should Do Better – Kagame Tells UN

President Paul Kagame has called upon world leaders to up the ante in finding lasting solutions to the various conflict spots around the world.

The Rwandan President made the appeal while addressing a gathering of heads of states and governments at the 67th United Nations General Assembly currently underway in New York.

In an articulate and moving speech, the President made it clear that the continual loss of life and destruction perpetrated by conflict is simply unacceptable, and more need to be done to first and foremost prevent conflict from ever taking root, and also managing those that are already in existence.

“While it may seem that conflict is perennial and its forms increasingly destructive, we have the urgent task of seeking more effective ways to prevent, manage and solve it. The loss we witness or experience on a daily basis – in terms of human life and devastation – is unacceptable” emphasized Kagame.

According to him, “The history of how conflicts have been handled in Rwanda, and indeed in our region shows that improvement is needed. It is our obligation to point this out – not to be critical – but because we subscribe to the ideals and principles on which the United Nations was founded. We can and should do better.”

“Additionally, at a time when wide scale poverty robs too many people of realizing their full potential in life, conflict also detracts us from development”, President Kagame stated.

He had some hard facts to back up his sentiments, pointing out that conflict can have devastating consequences not only for the host country but also her neighbours.

“The stakes are high – a civil conflict costs the average developing country about 30 years of GDP growth and violence can easily spill over borders threatening hard-won progress.”

With Rwanda having come under intense international scrutiny over the last few months after being accused of festering unrest in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, President Kagame also seized the opportunity to drive home his belief that deep analysis of specific political and cultural contexts of any given conflict is the key to finding lasting solutions, as opposed to broad measures that at times do not apply to the specific issue at hand.

“Too often, the inclination is to parachute into a situation with ready-made answers based on superficial examination of the conflict’s dynamics, doing considerably more harm than good, despite the intentions.”

“There is no one-size-fits-all remedy; these issues are complex and should be approached as such for the best possible outcome.”

Rwanda is currently vying for one of the ten rotating seats at the UN Security Council, which it last held in 1994.

President Paul Kagame also in his keynote speech stressed that regional bodies should be allowed to take the forefront in conflict resolution, since they are the ones best placed to understand the root cause of the conflict and correspondingly the best solution.

“It is increasingly obvious that local or regional initiatives aimed at resolving conflicts yield more positive results because those involved have a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. Their proximity to the conflict makes them more invested in a comprehensive resolution, and enables the necessary support for whatever process is agreed upon. We need to see these initiatives strengthened. We should be highlighting root causes as we address conflicts.” He stressed.

President Paul Kagame co-chairs broadband commission meeting- New York, 23 September 2012 (Youtube)

Most world leaders speaking at the event, most noteworthy being US President Barack Obama; have so far come out in condemnation of the outbreak of violence in various Middle-Eastern countries as Muslims protest an anti-Islam film released on social media site YouTube, which resulted in US Embassies in predominantly Muslim countries such as Syria and Egypt being attacked, culminating in the killing of a top US envoy in Libya.

More than 120 world leaders and envoys are gathered in New York, where the UN is headquartered, for the 67th regular session of its General Assembly.


Source: Gahiji Innocent, For “News of Rwanda”,  26 September 2012