Conservatives Call on Liberals to Explain James Kabarebe Meeting

OTTAWA, ON – Following a report this week in Montreal’s La Presse on the meeting between the Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, and his Rwandan counterpart, James Kabarebe, Conservatives are questioning whether or not the Liberal government was aware that Mr. Kabarebe is facing serious allegations related to both his actions during the Rwandan Civil War and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Conservatives are questioning why an individual facing such serious allegations received an audience with a member of Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet,” said James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence.

James Kabarebe has been accused of playing a role in human rights abuses committed in Rwanda before, during and after the genocide, as well as contributing to abuses in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Minister Sajjan refused to answer media questions about whether or not he knew about the accusations facing Mr. Kabarebe. It is imperative to know whether the Minister raised the issue of human rights, including the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, with Mr. Kabarebe last November,” said Bezan.

The Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, also known as the Sergei Magnitsky Law, was recently introduced and passed by Conservatives. This legislation enables the Government of Canada to sanction any foreign officials who have committed gross human rights violations. This law also gives the Government of Canada the authority to deny entry to Canada to those individuals.

“Conservatives have given the government the tools it needs to properly screen, and deny entry to, gross human rights offenders. The ongoing failure to fully use our Magnitsky Law proves once again that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are all talk and no action when it comes to standing up to human rights violators,” concluded Bezan.