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Rwanda Opposes Inclusion Of Genocide Denier To Investigate Belgium’s Colonial Past

Inside view of the courtroom after the initial extradition hearing for Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, at the Paris courthouse, France, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Rwandan parliament on Monday objected to the inclusion of a denier of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi in a Belgian parliamentary special commission to examine Belgium’s colonial past in its former African colonies including Rwanda.

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Rwandan parliament welcomed the founding of the special commission but said it is “concerned by the inclusion in the Group of Experts that will assist the special commission, of a known genocide denier whose known ‘expertise’ is the distortion of the recent history of Rwanda.”

The denier belongs to an organization that refused to recognize the Rwandan genocide that claimed over 1 million lives, mainly ethnic Tutsis, according to the parliament.

While the statement didn’t mention the name of the genocide denier or the organization, local media reported it was Laure Uwase, a member of Belgium-based Jambo Asbl.

The umbrella organization of the survivors of the genocide, Ibuka, and the Rwandan diaspora in Belgium were “outraged” by the appointment, local English daily The New Times reported.

The parliament also said it has reservations about the outcome of the work of the commission in view of the appointment.

In a letter to President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi in June, King Philippe of Belgium expressed “deepest regret” for the colonial wounds inflicted on what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the first time a Belgian sovereign recognized facts of the colonial past in the country.

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Written by PH

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