Dr. Martin Bicamumpaka is a Rwandan agricultural scientist, who has spent
his life working to improve agriculture in Sub-Sahara Africa. During the
recent unrest in Rwanda, he along with his family left Rwanda for a
neighboring country. His current post is as the coordinator of PRAPACE, a
regional network composed of the potato and sweetpotato research programs of
six African countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire.
PRAPACE provides established mechanisms for the lateral transfer of improved
materials and technologies for potatoes and sweetpotatoes among the member
countries. Because of his expertise, he was asked attend an international
workshop on the "Seeds of Hope" program in Rwanda and after his arrival on
February 2nd he was arrested.
He is currently in Kigali Central Prison accused of serious crimes related to
genocide. There are currently 6,500 prisoners begin held in this prison, a
facility built for 2,500.People are sick and are dying in this prison every
day. The justice system in Rwanda is understaffed and procedures for cases
like Dr. Bicamumpaka's have not yet been worked out. The U.N. High Commission
on Human Rights will follow his case- but a very important part of this
process is to keep Dr. Bicamumpaka's name and case visible, by writing letters
and makinginguiries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
PLEASE write a letter to: Dr. Augustine Iyamuremye
Minister of Agriculture
This letter should mention that Dr. Bicamumpaka's whole career has been devoted to
improving the agricultural situation in Rwanda and that the charges against
him must be in error. It does not matter if you know Martin Bicamumpaka
personally or not; what matters is the volume of letters that the Minister
receives. Please take the time to write a letter and help Dr. Bicamumpaka
survive this dangerous situation.
Any questions about this situation should be directed to:
Laurie_Hanley at qmrelay.mail.cornell.edu
THANK YOU for your assistance.