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Rwanda raises concern over Belgium’s probe commission

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The Rwandan Parliament has expressed “reservations” about the likely outcome of a Belgian special parliamentary commission set up to examine Belgian’s colonial past due to the inclusion of a “known denier” of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group.

Belgium has established a special parliamentary commission to examine its colonial past and its consequences in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

However, in a statement Monday, the Rwandan parliament questioned the appointment last week of Rwandan Laura Uwase on the 10-member team of experts to assist the commission.

Uwase is reportedly a member of the Jambo Asbl, a Europe-based association which Rwanda labels as a genocide-denying association.

“The Parliament of Rwanda is concerned by the inclusion in the group of experts of a known genocide denier whose known ‘expertise’ is the distortion of the recent history of Rwanda, and who belongs to an organization whose mission is the denial and revision of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,” the Rwandan lawmakers said in the statement.

“The Parliament of Rwanda wishes to inform the Belgian House of Representatives that it has reservations about the outcome of the work of the special commission.”

According to Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Jambo Asbl was founded by Rwandan youth who do not recognize the role of their parents and grandparents in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Despite the reservations, the statement said, Rwandan lawmakers welcomed the initiative of the Belgian Parliament.

Last year, the UN told Belgium to apologize for its colonial past.

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