Posts tagged as: baptiste

National Commission for Human Rights Calls On ICC to Be Impartial

By Diane Uwimana

The National Commission for Human Rights [CNIDH] notes that the report of the Commission of Inquiry was inspired by some of the previous reports but somewhat different from the latter. “The CNIDH considers that the report should constitute a breach of a frank and constructive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Burundi”, says Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, the chairman of the CNIDH.

He says the commission of inquiry refused to examine and provide detailed information on violations and abuses committed by “armed opposition groups”. “It is surprising that the experts have not been able to access information that is detained by the public, in particular concerning attacks on grenades in public places which have been claimed by some politicians”, he says.

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza says the commission of Inquiry on Burundi seems to ignore the principles of complementarity and subsidiarity that govern the international criminal justice by hastily proposing radical measures so as to prematurely push the ICC to conduct investigations without overwhelming evidence.

The National Commission for Human Rights, then, recommends the ICC not be influenced by political motivations whose aim is not to fight independently and impartially against crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. He also urges the ICC to conclude the preliminary exams initiated since 25 April 2016 on the situation in Burundi. “It is high time to allow the Burundian judiciary system to deal with all complaints concerning crimes that have been committed in Burundi”, says Baribonekeza.

The chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi Fatsah Ouguergouz said crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Burundi since April 2015.

Serious human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, sexual violence, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as enforced disappearances have been reported by the UN experts. Fatsah Ouguergouz said the investigators believed that “there was reasonable evidence to believe that the majority of these serious human rights violations committed constitute crimes against humanity. The Commission of Inquiry urged the ICC to open investigations on possible crimes committed in Burundi since April 2015.

The African Union opposed the call made by the commission. Smail Chergui, the chairman of the African Union Peace and Security Council said Africa has its own Court that deals with African cases.


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Human Rights Situation in Burundi Still Deeply Worrying, Activists Say

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

Burundian Human Rights activists say that more than 1,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 have been detained in various dungeons in the country since April 2015. The President of the National Independent Human Rights Commission, CNIDH, however, says that Burundi has improved its human rights situation this year.

10 December is Human Rights Day, when the Burundi Government organized a week dedicated to Human Rights, ending16 December 2016. But the country’s leading human rights defender, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, accuses the government of hypocrisy. “Every person has the right to life. But in Burundi, human life is no longer respected; it seems that everyone has the right to take the life of the other. We have already registered more than 1000 deaths and 9885 prisoners since April 2015,” he says.

Mbonimpa says that political prisoners are detained in illegal dungeons. No one is allowed to visit them because they are being tortured. “The Government accuses us of being biased by arguing that in our reports we provide false figures but it never provides evidence. We have the identities of all those killed and tortured,” Mbonimpa told Iwacu.

Mbonimpa has called on the Burundian government to engage in an inclusive dialogue with its opponents to find a solution to the crisis triggered on 26 April 2015 when the ruling CNDD-FDD party officially announced the controversial third candidacy of Pierre Nkurunziza for the 2015 presidential elections.

Mbonimpa now lives in exile in Belgium. He chairs the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons, APRODH, one of five suspended Burundian civil society organizations. Those organizations are known for their fight against Nkurunziza’s 3rd term.

The measure The Minister of Home Affairs Pascal Barandagiye banned the human rights groups on 19 October. “These associations have deviated from their objectives set out in their statutes and are tarnishing the image of the country and sowing hatred and division among the Burundian population,” a ministerial order said.

The CNIDH Chairman Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza says that human rights in Burundi have improved significantly this year. “The country is calm; we no longer hear gun shots in the capital. If we visit places of detention, we notice that the number of arrested people has significantly decreased from more than 9,000 in 2015 to about 6,000 today. In General, there has been an improvement compared to last year,” he says.

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza calls on the Burundian justice service to do its job to bring justice to the victims of the acts of violence committed in Burundi in 2015 and at the beginning of this year.

However, this contradicts the view of a global consortium of human rights groups, FIDH, which says the situation has worsened. In November 2016, FIDH, reported more than 1,000 deaths, 8,000 people detained for political reasons, 300 to 800 missing persons, hundreds tortured, hundreds of women victims of sexual violence and thousands of arbitrary arrests.

The report says these abuses are committed mainly by the security forces, but armed rebel groups are also involved in the crimes.

Azam Off-Loads Amavubi Midfielder Mugiraneza

By Jejje Muhinde

Tanzanian Premier League side Azam FC have released Rwandan international midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, according to the player.

The holding midfielder revealed on Monday that, “I was surprised when the club informed me that I was no longer in the club’s plans and that I was free to look for another team.”

Asked about his next move, Mugiraneza said, “There are already two teams (in Tanzania), that have shown interest but it’s a matter that I need to discuss with Azam.”

The 29-year-old spent 18 months with the Chamazi-based side having signed a two-year contract in July last year. He has been part of the starting team in most of the first round matches. His last appearance in the Tanzanian league was on October 9.

Before joining the Tanzania side, Mugiraneza won six league titles, seven Peace Cup trophies and two CECAFA Kagame Cup titles (2007 and 2010) with APR FC.

Azam FC, who won the Tanzanian league two years ago and the CECAFA Kagame Cup last year, are targeting to take the second round by storm. They returned to training on Wednesday.

Azam are currently third in the league with 25 points and will kick off their second round campaign against African Lyon on December 18. Azam FC coach Zeben Hernandez has recalled central defender Abdallah Kheri from Ndanda FC where he had been on loan.


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Simukeka Disqualified From 2016 Rio Olympic Games

By Geoffrey Asiimwe

Rwanda’s full marathon runner Jean Baptiste Simukeka has been disqualified from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, scheduled for August 5-12 in Brazil.

The development was confirmed yesterday by Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee after receiving a letter from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), through the Sport Entries Operational Supervisor, Africa Lídia Oliveira, indicating that the athlete had qualified through an event that is not recognized by the international federation.

The statement reads in part: “Dear friends, I hope you are well. Unfortunately, the International Athletics Federation has just informed us that the athlete Jean Baptiste Simukeka is not eligible to participate in the Rio2016 Games. The event in which he participated in Italy is not an event recognized by the International Federation.”

The 32-year old APR athletic club runner had earned his ticket to Rio from Reggio Emilia marathon, Italy on December 13 after clocking 2:17:14 to finish second in 42km full marathon.

Since then, Simukeka has been training hard for the quadrennial Olympic Games hoping to debut at the world’s most glamorous sports event.

Simukeka was one of the three full marathon runners that were to represent Rwanda in Rio. The others are Claudette Mukasakindi and Ambroise Uwiragiye based in the Netherlands.

Since the mid June, both Simukeka and Mukasakindi are camped in Iten, Kenya where they have been conducting their final training sessions before they could fly to Rio early next month.

Rwanda will now be represented by Mukasakindi and Uwiragiye and Salome Nyirarukundo (who will compete in the women’s 10,000m category) in Athletics.

19-year-old Nyirarukundo qualified last month after impressing at the 20th edition of Africa Athletics Senior Championships in the South African city of Durban.

Apart from athletics, other Rwandans who booked their tickets to Rio include cyclists Nathan Byukusenge (Mountain Bike) and Adrien Niyonshuti (Road racing).

Hermas Muvunyi (middle distance runner) and the national women sitting volleyball team have also qualified for the Rio Paralympics Games, scheduled for September.


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Amavubi Legends Thrash Uganda’s Cranes

By Peter Kamasa

Ex-Amavubi stars displayed excellent performance to thrash their Ugandan counterparts 5-3 in a friendly match played on Thursday at Kigali Regional Stadium.

Former APR and Rayon Sports striker Bokota Labama Kamana scored a brace, with skipper Olivier Karekezi, Said Abed Makasi and Karim Kamanzi netting the other goals in a game which was watched by many football fans.

The Amavubi team came from behind following Vincent Kayizi’s early strike in the first half after the former APR FC striker beat Amavubi defenders to shoot past Ramadhan Nkuzingoma.

Bokota, who currently plays for relegated side AS Muhanga, equalized in the 23rd minute following good exchange with Karekezi and Makasi. Makasi doubled the lead in the 40th minute off a good cross from Bokota to score a brilliant strike past Sam Kawalya.

After recess, Kamanzi, who had replaced Jean Baptiste Kayiranga, scored the third goal in the 49th minute before Bokota added his second of the afternoon and a fourth for the Rwandan side, past Ibrahim Mugisha, who had replaced Kawalya in goal for the Ugandan team.

Karekezi scored the fifth goal of the game before coach Aloys Kanamugire rested his top guns.

The Ugandan side pressed harder to salvage their pride and their efforts paid off with substitute Philip Ssozi scoring their second goal in the 71st minute before Kayizi further reduced the deficit in the 81st minute.

The match was staged to pay tribute to departed former Rwanda internationals; Jean Marie Ntagwabira and Patrick Mutesa Mafisango.

After the match, the ex-internationals gave donations to Ntagwabira and Mafisango’s families as a sign of solidarity and recognition for their contribution to the development of football in Rwanda.

The Rwandan side was composed of mainly players who helped the country qualify for the 2004 Africa Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

The game was also aimed to inspire upcoming footballers, who have never met the ex-internationals but only watched them on TV competing in several AFCON qualifiers and the eventual 2004 AFCON finals in Tunis, which was Rwanda’s maiden appearance.

Starting line-ups:

Rwanda: Ramadan Nkunzingoma, Bonaventure Hategekimana, Hamadi ‘Katauti’ Ndikumana, Elias Ntaganda, Ashraf Munyaneza, Eric Nshimiyimana, Olivier Karekezi, Baptiste Kayiranga, Jimmy Mulisa, Bokota Labama, Saidi Abedi Makasi.

Uganda: Sam Kawalya, Simeon Masaba, Daniel Ntare, Andy Lule, George Semwogerere, Abdallah Mubiru, Vincent Kayizi, Hakim Magumba, Philip Obwiny, James Odoch, Kefa Kisala.


Rwanda legends 5-3 Uganda legends

Migi Ready for Next Summer Spell At Azam Football Club

Photo: The Citizen

Azam FC international midfielder, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (left) (file photo).

By Suleiman Jongo

Dar es Salaam — Azam FC international midfielder, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza has promised for a stunning show when he returns to Tanzania for the next summer.

Mugiraneza is current in his home country, Rwanda and reports say that he temporarily trains with his form APR team to maintain his physical fitness. Mugiraneza told the club website that Azam FC fans should expect more from him during the 2016/2017 league season.

A towering midfielder, also known as Migi joined the Kagame Cup champion in July last year from APR as a free agent. He has proved to be among reliable players, spearheading for the former Mainland champions’ Kagame Cup title.

Migi said that he started training last week with APR in readiness for his excellence at Azam.

” I thank God that I’m doing better in my training,” said Migi.

“I have already familiarised with the Tanzanian football environment, ready for the challenges,” he said.

Migi said that Tanzanian league is very tough and competitive, compared to other leagues in the region.

He is expected to return tomorrow to join the team’s training schedule.

Migi, apart from being an inspirational midfielder, he is among good scorers. He has recently led his Rwandan national team (Amavubi) to a stunning 5-0 over Mauritius in front of a fully packed Amahoro Stadium in Kigali in the 2017 AFCON qualifying match. “I know Azam at Azam i need to score goals like what i did with APR and national team,” he was quoted as saying.

“I have not yet scored for Azam, this is because i was still learning the Tanzanian football environments,”

“I will this time around be able to show my scoring prowess and take my club to higher heights,” he said.

Migi, alongside other key Azam FC players are now returning from their summer holiday to start training on July 1 for the next league season.However, the club club’s experienced players, former Frances’ AS Cannes defender, Shomari Kapombe and Ivorian Pascal Wawa are likely not to join the squad early next month as they are in South Africa for medical check-ups.

Azam finished second in the Mainland Vodacom Premier league as Young Africans won the title.


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Police Record Significant Decrease in Fire Outbreaks

Figures from Rwanda National Police (RNP) indicate that cases of fire outbreaks have significantly reduced in the last six months compared to 2015.

While speaking on a radio talkshow on the status of fires in the country, yesterday, the Commanding Officer of the RNP Fire and Rescue Brigade, Jean Baptiste Seminega, said, last year, police recorded a total of 122 fire outbreaks countrywide.

“This was a big number but all the times we intervened we took time to also sensitise the people on the means to prevent fire outbreaks and, as a result there, has been a significant decrease,” he said.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have registered 30 cases of fire outbreaks. We believe that the more we sensitise and train people, the less such cases will take place.”

Seminega said the department has since trained over 20,000 people on mechanisms to avoid fires and how to use firefighting gadgets but noted that the number is still small.

“We want people to do away with recklessness and in case it happens, people to respond collectively in the best and safer way possible. But our focus is to be on a preventive side rather than dealing with the consequence,” he said.

Wild fires in dry spell

Investigations conducted in the 2015 fire outbreaks revealed that most infernos in homes were caused by short circuits due to substandard electric cables and recklessness of some people who could leave candles lit in the house, leading to loss of lives as well.

“People should also consider acquiring firefighting gadgets like fire extinguishers to safeguard their homes; these gadgets are now a necessity,” Seminega said.

He cautioned people who start wild fires, especially during dry spells, and warned of severe consequences.

Cases of wild fires tend to go up in the months of July and August, and, according to Seminega, littered lit cigarettes, honey harvesting and burning waste in gardens are the major causes.

“Between July and August, when the country experiences dry spell, we encounter many cases of bush fires in the countryside. We call upon Rwandans to beware of activities that involve use of fire like farming, honey harvesting and charcoal burning,” Seminega said.

Previously, in Eastern Province, there have been cases of pastoralists burning bushes in the dry spell to get fresh pasture when the rains return.

But Seminega said sometimes such fires would be fuelled by heavy winds and end up burning a vast area.

He warned against such tendencies, saying it’s “environmentally dangerous, illegal and punishable by laws.”

“Rwanda National Police has acquired hi-tech firefighting engines and a considerable number of personnel trained to fight and prevent fires. In partnership with the local government, firefighting trucks have now been acquired and stationed at the regional level for quick response and our long-term plan is to acquire and station these engines at the district level,” Seminega explained.

He added that Police are now involved in countrywide awareness campaigns on how to put out a fire using fire extinguishers and local materials like sand.

“We are ready to teach everyone how to use these tools. Once they acquire them, let them just call us because we believe this is another way of building the capacity and effective response to fires,” he said.

Chess Olympiad 2016 – National Team Takes Shape

By James Karuhanga

At end of the final round nine on Sunday, Candidate Masters (CMs) Godfrey Kabera and Alexis Ruzigura dominated qualifiers for the open section of the national team for the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

Kabera was first with 8.5 points while Ruzigura, who was outwitted by the former in round nine, garnered 6.5 points.

Only five players will make the open section of the national team.

Others are Eugene Mugema Kagabo (5.5), winner of the tough 2016 Rwanda Open contest Valentin Rukimbira (5.5), a dark horse who battled hard, and Alain Patience Niyibizi (5.0), the reigning male national chess champion who struggled to qualify.

“It was a very strong field a proud moment for me to have emerged victorious. However, the hardest work now lies ahead in getting our team in the best shape possible to represent Rwanda well in the Olympiad,” Kabera told Times Sport on Monday.

Is gamesmanship a concern?

In the end, CM Maxence Murara (4.5) and Fidele Mutabazi (3.5), favorites at the beginning, bowed out in a 10-man contest that appeared to take another turn as it slipped into the seventh round.

At this stage, controversies emerged especially on the fourth and fifth positions – not the entire competition – and rife were allegations of gamesmanship plots. Some thought that those who were getting out of the qualifying picture conspired to give out points to those vying for the last two positions.

Even without concrete evidence for ill intent, suspicion partly started when some players turned up late – beyond the allowed default time of 30 minutes – and thus awarded free points to opponents.

Cases in point include Ben Tom Zimurinda and Jean-Baptiste Hakizimana (nicknamed Fischer) whose lateness benefited Murara and Rukimbira, respectively, at some point. The latter would eventually make it to fourth position and the former (who missed out on qualification) claimed that the lateness or absence of Zimurinda contributed to reducing his tie-break advantage.

Among others, a vexed Murara has claimed that the contest was fraudulently organized to help some players qualify.

He particularly is not happy about the round robin system used. A round-robin tournament is a competition in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn. This, Murara claims, allowed players to know their opponents in advance and then scheme how they would “give each other points.” Murara alleged that the Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) executive committee “is corrupted.”

“Yesterday [Sunday], I said Patience would beat Kagabo even before the game begun. I noted that Jean-Baptiste was going to give Rukimbira a point.”

Asked if he was not only making these accusations because he was eliminated, Murara, countered: “I was not defeated. I garnered 4.5/9 points. Psychologically it [tournament organization) affected my games. You must understand that everything becomes clear in the final rounds even though everything started when they decided on the round robin.”

Niyibizi scoffs at Murara’s claims, saying that the latter had to say what he is saying after failing to qualify.

Niyibizi said: “That is hot air and whoever said that may be forgetting that I am national champion. I have been working harder. Chess is an individual game and if you don’t prove your tactics on board, no one else will do it for you.”

Asked about his poor performance, a performance not befitting a national champion especially since he faced elimination had he not won the final round against Kagabo, Niyibizi said he did not have a clear answer. He added: “Sometimes one can lose energy while playing after three hours of a game. Blunders always happen.”

Rukimbira, Murara’s Knight Chess Club teammate, also laughed at the latter’s claims but did not entirely rule out gamesmanship.

He said: “I did not plan anything with Fischer. He arrived late and I refused to play. As regards others, I don’t care. Ben arrived late and he did not play with Maxence too.

“I think all that happened was normal but arbitration should have answers on the game between Patience and Fischer. This is when the arbiter asked all players to leave the room and Fischer eventually lost when he had a winning position.”

Blunders happen in chess, Rukimbira noted, but the coincidence of an arbiter asking people to leave the room and a game taking a sudden turn was unusual.

The federation has refuted claims of intentional wrongdoing. FERWADE President Kevin Ganza said the round robin is a system – used during qualifiers since 2014 without complaints – that “helps in selecting the best deserving players and at the same time helps our players to keep training.”

Ganza added: “In addition, the draws were made in the presence of most of the players. Only two were not present but were aware and had delegated someone to pick their numbers.

“In the first six rounds, no one complained. It is only when people started realizing they had no chances to qualify that they start crafting accusations.”

Meanwhile, qualifiers for the women section kicked off Sunday. Seven ladies: Marie-Faustine Shimwa, Christella G. Rugabira, Aline Niyonsaba, Odile Kalisa, Monique Uwinkesha, Joselyne Uwase and Sandrine Uwase, are challenging for places on the women section of the national team. The ladies’ contest will conclude on June 12.

Follow @semajkaruh

Midmar Completing Study On Lightning Rods

By Michel Nkurunziza

The ministry of disasters and refugee affairs (MIDIMAR) has revealed that research on high capacity lightning rods will be completed by the end of June.

Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva, the director of risk reduction and preparedness at MIDIMAR said: “Thunderstorms have been claiming lives of many and the threat is still there. An average of one person every day, especially during heavy rains or above normal rains, is killed by thunderstorm. That is why we started research on high capacity lightening rods.”

He said the study kicked off in Rutsiro district, the area most prone area to thunderstorms, as a sample.

“We conduct research by setting up lightening rods and then assess their capacity… we realized that not every house can have such rods and even many people cannot afford buying or installing them,” he told The Rwanda Focus.

Nsengiyumva added that it is an ongoing study and the approach will be applied elsewhere in the country after seeing the feasibility.

The move is one of the initiatives to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to disasters that affect the country.

“Disasters have been around for billions of years and we cannot stop them from happening and every part of the country seems to have particular recurrent calamities. What can be done is to minimize their effect on people when they happen,” he said.

He gave an example of Kayonza district in eastern province which has been hit by drought while some western, northern and southern districts were hit by floods, thunderstorms and landslides.

“The climate has been changing and increasing the dangers of disasters, including thunderstorms,” he noted.

Last year, MIDIMAR unveiled the National Risk Atlas to provide a comprehensive disaster risk profile of the country. It showed five major hazards that prevail in Rwanda i.e. drought, landslides, floods, earthquakes and windstorms.


Civil Society Calls for Tough Measures on Public Funds Management

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Miners Told to Ensure Security of Their Sites

Owners of mining firms have been called upon to take preventive measures to secure their concessions to prevent acts of illegal mining, which result into disasters and loss of lives.

The call follows separate incidents in mining sites, where some people have died while mining illegal, in most cases at night.

On May Saturday, a 26-year old man identified as Jean Baptiste Hakizimana was killed by a cliff as he was mining illegally in Rucekeri Company Limited, a tin concession in Akamatamu of Jabana Sector in Gasabo District.

Recently, a similar incident happened in Rulindo and Muhanga where two people died.

Illegal mining is perceived as one of the major causes of environmental degradation and disasters.

Explaining on the Gasabo incident, Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali said that Hakizimana, who was also an employee of Rucekeri Company Limited, on Saturday, together with other people went to mine tin illegally late in the evening.

“Unfortunately, Hakizimana was buried by a cliff, which was weak and unsupported and he died instantly, while others escaped unhurt,” Supt. Hitayezu said.

“We urged owners of managers of these concessions to take stringent measures to ensure that their sites a protected from illegal activities, which result into such unfortunate by avoidable incidents,” he added.

He went on to remind the public that no one is allowed to practice mining without a license or enter a concession without the required protective gears.

“Mining is arguably one of the government’s source of revenue and definitely a source of employment but is has to be done to the maximum standard.”


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