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article imageLawsuit alleges Rwandan President's guilt in D.R. Congo

By Ann Garrison     May 3, 2010 in Politics
On April 30, in Edmond, Oklahoma, a team of lawyers and process servers attempted to personally serve Rwandan President Paul Kagame with an eight count lawsuit, which incudes racketeering to acquire and control the resources of eastern D.R. Congo.
Kagame delivered the commencement address at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, while demonstrators held up signs outside the hall. Inside, Kagame's aides refused to accept the documents presented by lawyers and process servers. University officials then ordered the lawyers and process servers to leave, and Kagame himself left early, surrounded by bodyguards.
The lawsuit alleges that Kagame and nine of his current and former military officers and officials are guilty of the assassination of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira and subsequent acts that caused the 1994 massacres that came to be known as the Rwanda Genocide, after costing approximately 1 million Rwandan lives. It also alleges that Kagame and other defendants are guilty of racketeering, as defined by the Racketeer Inflenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, to acquire and control an interest in the resources of Rwanda's neighbor, D.R. Congo, site of what the UN has called the most lethal conflict since World War II. In January 2008, the International Rescue Committee estimated that it had cost 5.4 million Congolese lives.
Rwandan exile Claude Gatebuke spoke to the Associated Press at the protest outside the Oklahoma Chri...
Rwandan exile Claude Gatebuke spoke to the Associated Press at the protest outside the Oklahoma Christian University commencement ceremony where Rwandan President Paul Kagame was delivering the commencement address.
Kendall Brown
D.R. Congo is one of the most resource rich nations on earth and its mineral wealth, most of all its cobalt reserves, are essential to modern military industries' ability to manufacture for war.
Outlets around the world reported that Kagame had avoided process service by leaving the commencement exercise early, surrounded by bodyguards, but Digital Journal and KPFA Radio News both reported lawyer Peter Erlinder's assurances that Kagame will have failed to avoid service if lawyers are able to demonstrate that he tried to do so intentionally. To listen to the KPFA Radio News report, click KPFA Radio News: Lawsuit alleges Rwandan President guilty of Rwanda Genocide."
The lawsuit includes arguments for jurisdiction in the U.S., based on the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Federal Extraterritorial Torture Statute, and for the supplemental jurisdiction of the Oklahoma City court, based on laws of the State of Oklahoma and "ongoing, substantial contacts" with Kagame and the other defendants, meaning their engagement with various educational and non-profit organizations.
Its sixth count alleges that Kagame and the other defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in order to acquire and control the resources of neighboring D.R. Congo.
Specifically, it says:
"From not later than 1990 to the present, Kagame et. al, and his agents, and their co-conspirators formed a "RICO" enterprise within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. ยง:1961(4) engaged in foreign and interstate commerce."
. . . and
"Over a period of years and continuing to the present, through a pattern of racketeering activity, have acquired and maintained an interest in resources in the eastern Congo to their own benefit."
The 24-page complaint is available online, as a Google Doc, which can be reached by clicking on: Habyarimana vs. Kagame.
Demonstrators held up signs accusing Rwandan President Paul Kagame of war crimes and crimes against ...
Demonstrators held up signs accusing Rwandan President Paul Kagame of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed to control the mineral wealth of D.R. Congo.
Kendall Brown
Its eight counts are:
1. Wrongful Death and Murder,
2. Crimes against Humanity,
3. Violation of the Rights of Life, Liberty, and Security of Person,
4. Assault and Battery,
5. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress,
6. Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act,
7. Torture, and,
8. Conspiracy to Torture
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