France accused in Rwanda genocide

Link:  Rwanda has accused France of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994

The Rwandan government set up an independent commission of inquiry into the Rwandan genocide.  In November last year they submitted a 500-page report in which the government of France was accused of arming and training Hutu militia as well as stalling in the investigations that followed.  This document has now been released to the public and France are yet to issue a formal reply.

In turn, in 2006 a French judge implicated President Paul Kagame in the shooting down of then-President Juvenal Habyarimana's planeon 6 April 1994.  This event is widely considered to have sparked off the genocide.

In fact, nobody knows for sure who downed the plane and President Paul Kagame himself subscribes to the view that it may have been Hutu extremists who then blamed the event on Tutsi rebels (the Rwandan Patriotic Front).  This view is used by proponents of the theory that the genocide was actually planned in advance by Hutu extremists (including Habyarimana's own family) to regain political power lost during the Aruba peace accord and other concessions granted in the three years leading up to the genocide.  (Sources for this include MI6 and books I have read on the genocide have alluded to this fact, including Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey).


Link:  Father dies after supermarket 'queue rage' attack

To quote one of my favourite sites, this is indeed a reason to blow up the world.  Perhaps it is the fact that my own father is of a similar age (62) but the fact that an older man can go to the local shops and be beaten to death for allegedly skipping the queue is just appalling.  I specifically find the fact that this man was summonsed from outside of the shop (from his car or even his home, perhaps?) and used lethal force to punish a man who may or may not have queue-jumped, cruel and excessive behaviour.

Right now I hope his lady friend is contemplating a life without her male counterpart and I hope she is embarking on the long process of grieving and mourning that inevitably accompanies the realisation that someone you love is not dying or terminally ill, but that they are going to prison for the rest of their days.  I hope those feelings have a strong guilt component because were she not such a fine, upstanding pillar of the thug community, he may not have committed the crime.

For his part, the alleged perpetrator Tony Virasami can rot in jail until death is a welcome escape in 25 or so years time.

And for the family of Kevin Tripp... my Dad is lovely and vibrant and an inspiration to me.  To think that some scum of the earth could take him from me... well, you have all my thoughts and sympathy.

Antigua Honeymoon Murder

Link:  Antigua Honeymoon Murder: Couple to be Buried Together

This story really breaks my heart.  It is probably because I am married and I have been one half of a honeymoon couple on holiday in a foreign and exotic country.  From a deeply personal point of view, I am almost glad that Ben did not wake up from his coma.  The last thing this couple knew was love and happiness and the promise of a long and beautiful life together.

Of course, the reality is that nothing is more precious than life.  My own instructions (to my family's chagrin) are to keep me alive if I ever fall into a coma.  Life is that precious and people often wake up after years in a coma.  Of course, in my romantic mind I don't think I imagined being shot in the head by an intruder.

Link:  Antigua murder: British government faces row over death penalty for shooting

It's interesting that the British government is involved in a row now over the death penalty.  The death penalty is not legal in the UK and as this was a crime committed against British nationals, they feel justified in asking that the death penalty not be imposed in this case.

I believe in the authority of the state (my radical cousin would be very disappointed in me).  I also believe that you need to respect the laws of the country in which you reside.  There are of course channels for changing laws, such as voting and lobbying, but I accept the right of the British government to outlaw capital punishment.  I do not, however, respect their right to approach a sovereign state and request that they act outside of the charter of their own set of laws and guidelines.  If you commit murder in Antigua, you stand the risk of being sentenced to death for the crime you commit.  It really shouldn't even be considered whether the victim of your crime is Antiguan or a foreign national.