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African intelligence organizations meet in Kigali

01 August 2016, 08:17

Kigali - African spymasters are expected in the Rwandan capital Kigali Sunday for the 13th Conference for the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA).

Under the auspices of Rwanda's National Intelligence and Security Service, the meeting will run from August 1 to August 6 at the Kigali Convention Center.

The conference will be held under the theme: "Countering the growing threat of Abuse of Universal Jurisdiction against Africa."

According to a release ahead of the meeting, the theme will offer an opportunity to "underscore how Rwanda has fallen victim of this abuse by some Western powers that instead of bringing to justice genocide perpetrators and deniers living in their countries, target those who stopped the genocide against the Tutsis."

France in 2007 and Spain in the following year, indicted a number of Rwandans, alleging that they committed crimes against humanity which was viewed as government allowing their judges to abuse the Universal Jurisdiction provision in their national laws.

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Rwanda then argued that the indictments were politically motivated for the various legal international standards they flouted.

For example, it was argued, the indicted were not served with any notices, and no known prior investigations were carried out in Rwanda where the crimes were allegedly committed.

Besides, cooperation from Rwandan judicial authorities was not sought, while the affected people's side of the story was never heard, legal experts argued.

Spain's Supreme Court last year dismissed the high profile case against 40 Rwandan military officials who had been indicted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other offenses committed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1990s.

Meanwhile the spymasters meeting would equally come up with strategies on how to reverse the trend of targeting only Africans, the release said.

In addition, hosting the Conference will be an occasion to brand Rwanda's achievements and development policies, 22 years after the genocide against the Tutsi, as well as branding Rwanda as a destination country for conferences and events, according to organizers.

CISSA regroups 51 African intelligence organizations that have so far assented to the CISSA MoU.

It was established in 2004 in Abuja, Nigeria, to assist the African Union and all its institutions to effectively address the seemingly intractable security challenges confronting Africa.

It was also conceived as mechanism of dialogue, study, analysis, consulting, concerting, and adopting common strategies towards common security challenges among Intelligence and Security organizations of Africa.

The Conference is the supreme organ of the organization that convenes once a year in a member state, normally on rotational basis according to regions as mapped out by the AU.

- Xinhua


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