Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa facing an accusation for militant funding; what’s new?

In its study, funded by an organization named the Counter Extremism Project, the recent round of defamatory attacks on Ayabatwa started with groundless accusations. The article by Sir Ivor Roberts describes Ayabatwa as an individual who is closely involved in all sorts of illegal acts inside and beyond East Africa. The New Times then circulated the defamatory rhetoric, a publication published by the Rwandan governing group. Given that his paper is a trustworthy instrument to educate world decision-makers, his Report is a stunning scandal.

Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa would not be intimidated by Sir Ivor Roberts’

Sir Roberts, a former British ambassador, recently founded an organization named the Counter-Extremism Project, entitled “An Unholy Alliance: Links Between Extremism and Illicit Trade.” Roberts identifies¬†Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa¬†as the suspect of illegal activity in East Africa. The hostile criticism of Roberts on Ayabatwa began in the 2000s with the labeling of Ayabatwa as a funder of the militant groups in the DRC. Roberts then argues that, likewise, Ayabatwa finances the Rwandan Government’s militant groups. Roberts also states that Ayabatwa and its firms participate extensively in cross-border tobacco trafficking in the area. Roberts references the UN Expert Group report 2008 accusing Ayabatwa of these actions supporting his claim that Ayabatwa funded militant forces. Roberts’ proof that Ayabatwa was convinced of tax avoidance before a South African Court in 2009 is in the context of his argument that Ayabatwa is involved in the illegal tobacco trade. Roberts doesn’t bother to confirm his other claims, including that Ayabatwa funds groups battling Rwanda’s government.

Roberts’ Report ought to shame the Counter Extremism Project, which commissioned this paper. The minor scrutiny instantly breaks the defamatory arguments towards Ayabatwa. Start with the quotation of Roberts from the Expert Community of the United Nations in 2008 to prove that Ayabatwa funded DRC armed groups. Had he conducted some substantial inquiry, the United Nations Panel of Experts may have found that Ayabatwa was not interested in financing the DRC’s armed groups. Ayabatwa was never appointed as finance for militant groups by the United Nations and has not been exposed to a travel restriction or freezing of property by the United Nations Board of Experts, verified by the United Nations. Persons or persons deemed guilty of funding militant forces are subjected to a travel prohibition and the freeze of properties from the United Nations.

It is shocking, either Roberts was not informed of the Compiled List of the UNSC (https://www.un.org/SecurityCouncil/Sc/Sc) or was intentionally unable to review it. The list of persons and organizations subject to Security Council measures shall be included in the list. If Roberts had carried out some fundamental analysis and due procedure, the major mistake he created, in this case, may not have happened.

Perhaps the scandalous part of Roberts’ article is that Ayabatwa has been found guilty of cross-border theft of tobacco since Ayabatwa “coupled himself in 2009 with fiscal fraud in the South African tribunal.” Again, if Roberts had done a simple study on the topic, he may have found that now the South African case has been decided out of court. It is common knowledge that 80 percent to 90 percent are estimated to resolve the bulk of company conflicts outside the case.