Arnold Schwarzenegger has now decided that he cannot make the Conservative Party Conference. Perhaps he is worried about being associated with a potential Turkey.

So we are left, it seems, with the appalling Paul Kagame as Star Turn at the party conference.

What a bad decision it was to invite this man. Doubtless it was motivated by the desire to repay all the fulsome hospitality given to the Conservative party’s trip to Rwanda which culminated in Mr. David Cameron ill-judged absenting of himself from the UK when large areas of the Midlands and the South West (containing many Conservative consitutencies) were prostrated by some of the worst floods in living memory.

I have already posted here on this individual who, because of the potential oil and mineral resources Rwanda might control, is being courted by the US and UK Governments. The disquiet about him may again be put shortly: there is a strong body of opinion that believes that, but for the intractable, dishonest and corrupt politics of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, he ought to be indicted for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity under Article 3 of the ICTR Statute and grave breaches of the laws and customs of war under Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The Rwandan genocide was terrible, but the crimes and the extremes violence was by no means confined to the Hutus and the Interhamwe. The Rwandan Patriotic Front was no slouch when it came to effacing Hutus from the scene, torturing captives and raping and murdering their way across Rwanda as they marched to power in 1994 under Kagame’s Generalship. It is his failure to prevent such crimes and his failure to punish them which renders him liable to Indictment by the ICTR, if that body, which ever bends its knee at the crack of the Kagame whip, should ever decide to practice even-handed justice, which, to its ever-lasting shame and disgrace, it daily demonstrates it is utterly unwilling to do.

In addition an investigation that was carried out by Jean-Louis Bruguière, a French judge, into the 1994 shooting down of an aircraft bearing the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi by a surface-to-air missile as it approached Kigali airport concluded that this terrorist act was ordered by Paul Kagame. In November 2006 Bruguière signed international indictments against nine of President Kagame’s senior aides and accused Kagame of ordering the assassination of the two African presidents. Kagame could not be indicted under French law, given that as Head of State he has immunity from prosecution but he could be indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in respect of these crimes. Thus he would, but for the technicalities of the law relating to Heads of State, be wanted by a friendly foreign power with a view to prosecution for murder.

I hope his invitation will be withdrawn or some other way be found of not having him at the Conference. If not, one profoundly hopes that people will have the good taste to spend Kagame’s hour upon the stage in the bar.

And if he is the only overseas speaker of ‘note’, does The Conservative Party actually need to be reminded about Rwanda at this time?

Advertisements