ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia
(Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has
condemned the arrest of Lieutenant-General Emmanuel Karenzi
Karake, Chief of the National Intelligence and Security Services
of Rwanda, in London, UK.
Karenzi was arrested last
Saturday while he was on an official visit in London, UK.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of AU on Friday convened
a meeting on the situation of the arrest of the Rwandan
intelligence chief at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital
The AU-PSC has called for the immediate and unconditional
release of the official, according to a statement from AU on
At the meeting, the Council took note of the introductory
remarks made by Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and
Security, and the briefing made by Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Council also took note of statements made by Tedros
Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Okello Oryem,
Uganda’s Minister of State for International Affairs, and Githu
Muigai, Attorney-General of Kenya, as well as by the permanent
representative of Zimbabwe to AU, in its capacity as the chair
of the AU.
Recalling the decision on the abuse of the principle of
universal jurisdiction adopted by the AU assembly in Sharm El
Sheikh, Egypt, in 2008, the Council stressed the need for
international justice to be conducted in a transparent and fair
manner, in line with the principles of international law.
The Council also expressed concern that the abuse of the
principle of universal jurisdiction poses a threat to the
efforts aimed at promoting the rule of law and stability, as
well as at building strong national and regional institutions.
It further recalled the decision calling on all UN member
states, in particular the European Union (EU) member states, to
impose a moratorium on the execution of arrest warrants until
all relevant legal and political issues have been exhaustively
discussed between the AU, the EU and the UN.
The Council expressed its deep concern about the arrest of
Karenzi on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by a Spanish
Judge, and considered it as not only an attack on a Rwandan
national, but on Africa as a whole.
It strongly condemned the blatant violation of the principle
of universal jurisdiction by some non-African states against
African government officials and its implications for peace and
security on the continent.
It also stressed that the abuse threatens to reverse the
hard- won security and stability in Rwanda and in Africa as a
The Council stressed that the arrest is politically motivated
and underscores the fact that arrest warrants issued by
individual non-African judges and other non-African national
legal systems are a clear violation of the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of African states and constitute an
attempt to subordinate African legal systems to those of
The Council condemned the arrest as it violates AU’s earlier
decision and the spirit of the agreement of April 2014 between
the EU and Africa during the 4th EU-Africa Summit held in
Brussels, Belgium, on political dialogue between the EU and
Africa to address the issue of the abuse of the principle of
universal jurisdiction once and for all.
It called for the immediate and unconditional release of
Lieutenant-General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake by the UK
The Council expressed concern at the continued support by
certain quarters of the international community to groups that
perpetrated genocide and continue to vehicle its toxic ideology,
as well as attempt to absolve those who committed genocide in
Rwanda and, in this respect, it stressed that extremist groups
should in no way be sanitized.
It called upon the international community to respect the
sovereignty and dignity of the African member states, as
required by international law and conventions.
It requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to formally
convey the Council’s decision to the UK and Spanish authorities,
as well as to all the UN and EU member states, and to further
engage them towards the speedy resolution of the matter.