On February 7, 2022 the UN International Residual Mechanism fo Criminal Tribunals made a DECISION ON MOTIONS REGARDING THE RELOCATION AGREEMENT WITH NIGER AND ORDER FOR TRANSFER OF THE RELOCATED PERSONS TO THE ARUSHA BRANCH. The decision is to send the 8 Rwandans, now in Niger, back to Arusha, Tanzania. With the decision, the eyes have turned to Rwandans in a similar situation in Mali.
On December 27, 2021, the Niger government led by Mohamed Bazoum announced that it was expelling 8 Rwandans that were recently acquitted or freed by the United Nations Organization International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) and sent to Niger. On January 3, 2022, President Mohamed Bazoum ordered the suspension to expel the 8 Rwandans.
On December 31, 2021 an order from the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals summoned the Niger government to stop the expulsion, pending judgment on the final adjudication of the matter.
According to AfroAmerica Network sources within the Niger presidency, President Mohamed Bazoum, on January 3, 2022, decided, though grudgingly, to abide by the order from the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals to suspend the expulsion of these 8 Rwandan for 30 working days. (see here Niger - France - Rwanda Update: Under International Pressure and Facing Media and Activists Niger President Mohamed Bazoum Orders the Suspension of the Order to Expel 8 Rwandans).
Now, the decision has been made: In the order, MICT-22-124 D156-D146 of February 7, 2022, the UN organ has decided that the 8 Rwandans will be sent back to Arusha, Tanzania until their transfer to another state, except Rwanda.
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Niamey, Niger:Toxic climate within the Niger government and the tarnished reputation of the short term President Mohamed Bazoum
According to AfroAmerica Network sources within the Niger government, the decision by UN organ is both a relief for and a blow to the administration of President Mohamed Bazoum. The case of the 8 Rwandans has created a chaos in Niger administration and exacerbated the already toxic climate, with some critics within the government, who had, so far, been keeping a lower profile, openly labelling the government of President Mohamed Bazoum as "incompetent", "lacking foresight and planning", being "a puppet of France and Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame" and leading Niger to a "shit hole" state, not even before a year in power.
However, other Niger political leaders and activists contacted by AfroAmerica Network continue to praise President Mohamed Bazoum for being realistic and pragmatic, especially given so much pressure from all sides and the promise by the Rwandan Paul Kagame to send troops to Niger. They also told AfroAmerica Network that the latest decision by the UN mechanism is a relief and a good outcome for President Mohamed Bazoum and the Niger nation.
What is next: the Mali situation.
The pending major question raised in our earlier update is now lifted: Rwandans are heading back to the place where all started - Arusha Tanzania. According to the same sources, the Tanzania government has started to get ready to receive all the Rwandans who were tried in Arusha, including those in Mali, who are facing similar challenges. According to unnamed sources, the UN mechanism has been in close discussions with Tanzania President, Mrs Samia Suluhu Hassan (See Tanzania: Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes Tanzania's First Woman President).
Regarding the 5 Rwandans in Mali facing expulsion, AfroAmerica Network has received a copy of a letter addressed to the President of the UN Mechanish of the ICT on Feb 3, 2022, protesting their treatment by the new Mali government and asking to be relocated to any country, except Rwanda.
AfroAmerica Network is still following the story of the Rwandans stuck in the middle of the squabbles between Mali's government and the UN International Residual Mechanism fo Criminal Tribunals.
© 2021 AfroAmerica Network
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