Rwanda exhuming mass grave of 5,000 genocide victims

Local authorities, residents and Ibuka, an umbrella organization of genocide survivors associations, are jointly exhuming a mass grave believed to contain remains of about 5,000 victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in Gatsibo District, eastern Rwanda, a local official said Wednesday. The exhumation of the mass grave recently discovered in Kiziguro sector according to testimonies of genocide survivors started on Tuesday and could take about three weeks, Mayor of Gatsibo District Richard Gasana said in a telephone interview. The pit, which was reportedly dug in the 1970s for water supply, is estimated to be 30 meters deep, said Gasana, adding…

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Ugandan website restores trashed story alleging Rutabana is dead

The managers of a Ugandan-based website SoftPower News happen to be facing total confusion and backlash after publishing on their website a story claiming that Benjamin Rutabana, a French citizen is dead. Rutabana, a French citizen of Rwandan origin disappeared on Ugandan soil in September 2019, a few days after he had landed in the country for a business trip. In the story dated August 30, 2020, they claimed to have interviewed a Rwandese army deserter who allegedly told them he had witnessed the killing of French citizen Benjamin Rutabana in cold blood. “I received Rutabana and saw everything. I…

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Ugandan website pulls down story alleging Rutabana was murdered

SoftPower News, a website based in Uganda has pulled down a story in which they alleged to have interviewed a Rwandese army deserter who allegedly told them he had witnessed the killing of French citizen Benjamin Rutabana. The website managers found themselves in a situation where they could not keep the story online after International Relief and Human Rights Initiative (IRHRI), a US-based human rights firm contacted by Rutabana’s family to help trace his whereabouts, trashed the story as fake, baseless and diversionary. Rutabana, a French citizen of Rwandan origin disappeared on Ugandan soil in September 2019, a few days…

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‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Paul Rusesabagina charged in Kigali, to answer 12 charges

Paul Rusesabagina, the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda hero, appeared in a court in Kigali on Monday for a pretrial hearing. He was brought to the Kagarama Primary Court in a detention van at about 9am, wearing a mask, a checkered jacket, a cream shirt, and khaki trousers amid tight security. Mr Rusesabagina only spoke to his lawyers as journalists flanked him inside the court to take pictures and videos. Presiding Judge Dorothy Yankurije read out a list of 12 charges against him including terrorism, murder, financing terrorism, forming terror groups, and arson. His lawyers requested the court to release him…

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New exclusive findings on Benjamin Rutabana’s disappearance on Ugandan soil

An American human rights organization, International Relief and Human Rights Initiative (IRHRI), hasn’t called it quits in the search for the whereabouts of French citizen Benjamin Rutabana. Rutabana, a French citizen of Rwandan origin, disappeared on Ugandan soil in September 2019, a few days after landing at Entebbe International Airport. His disappearance still baffles his family, about a year on, and that’s the reason they approached IRHRI to help by applying their expertise and resources to locate Rutabana’s whereabouts. After launching its investigations and involving into other rigorous processes including among others, a court hearing, IRHRI has since established that…

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Man abducted as child in China reunited with parents after 32 years

A Chinese man kidnapped as a toddler 32 years ago has been reunited with his biological parents, after police used facial recognition technology to help track him down. Mao Yin was just two when he was snatched outside a hotel in Xi’an in central Shaanxi province in 1988 and sold to a childless couple in neighbouring Sichuan province who raised him as their own son, Xi’an’s public security bureau said in a statement. Police “aged” one of Mao’s childhood photos, according to state broadcaster CCTV, and used the model to scan the national database and find close matches. They were…

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Coronavirus cases confirmed inside UN civilian protection site in South Sudan

The South Sudanese government has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 have been registered inside a civilians protection site in the capital, Juba. The site has about 30,000 people who sought protection there at the height of a civil war in the world’s youngest nation. According to the UN Peace Keeping Mission in South Sudan, although it’s devastating, the appearance of cases within one of the camps in the capital was not unexpected, given the rising number of cases confirmed within communities across the city. The country has so far confirmed 74 cases of COVID-19. Aid workers in South Sudan have…

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First COVID-19 death in US immigration detention facility

First COVID-19 death in US immigration detention facility A 57-year-old Salvadoran man has become the first migrant held at a US immigration detention facility to die of coronavirus, officials said Thursday. Carlos Escobar-Mejia, who had been held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, died on Wednesday at an area hospital where he had been undergoing treatment since April 24, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement. The center, which is run by a private contractor, has registered 132 COVID-19 cases, by far the largest number of infections of the 41 ICE detention centers where…

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UN experts killed in the DRC: conduct of the fact-finding mission.

The UN Security Council is calling on the DRC government to conduct a full investigation into the murder of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, the two members of the group of experts murdered in Kasai last March. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Canadian prosecutor Robert Petit and other experts to help the Congolese military justice track this issue. The Security Council calls on Kinshasa to work with this team to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. Who are these experts and in what framework is their mission? Robert Petit is a Canadian prosecutor who worked for the…

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