Victoire Ingabire and DR Congo

KPFA Evening News, 08.04.2013

Prosecution and defense rested their cases in the Rwandan Supreme Court appeals hearing of imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire on the last day of July, and the court has said it will rule on November 1st. Congolese Swiss historian and activist BK Kumbi spoke to KPFA about what Victoire Ingabire means to her as a Congolese person.


KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: This past Wednesday, the prosecution and defense both rested their cases before the Rwandan Supreme Court, which is hearing the appeal BK Kumbi of imprisoned opposition leader Victoire Ingabire. Ingabire has been in prison since October of 2010. That was the year she attempted to run for president against incumbent Paul Kagame. In October of last year she was sentenced to eight years for disagreeing with the official, Constitutionally codified history of the Rwandan Genocide. The prosecution also accused her of conspiring with members of the FDLR militia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to destabilize Rwanda. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Swiss Congolese historian BK Kumbi about Victoire Ingabire.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: BK Kumbi, Congolese people have marched alongside Rwandans carrying Victoire banners, most often when Rwandan President Kagame is visiting a European or American capital. Can you explain what Victoire means to you as a Congolese person?  
BK Kumbi: Well, for me, Ingabire is hope for Africa, because this woman understood that we needed to live at peace in that region, and she understood very well that there was that influence from Paul Kagame in the region, and that we couldn't just analyze the situation of the Great Lakes Region, just taking into account Rwanda as a country in itself. She understood that we needed to talk Victoire Ingabire about Rwanda in order to understand what was going on in the Congo. So I appreciated very much her intervention, saying that Congo needed peace, and I think that this is a figure that we should respect because she had really a lot of courage.
And I'm very touched because she's a woman also and a woman who didn't fear to say what was wrong there, and that she needed her country to be at peace, and she needed a reconciliation between the Tutsis and the Hutus, and she needed reconciliation among all the people living in that Great Lakes region, so she's a very important figure for me, and I think that all Congolese should be supportive of her because she's hope for Africa, and for Congo in particular.
KPFA: And that was Congolese Swiss historian and activist BK Kumbi on Victoire Ingabire. The Rwandan Supreme Court has said they will rule on Ingabire's appeal on November 1st.  
For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison. 
BK Kumbi's website on Congo is: Don't Be Blind This Time

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