Tag Archives: Belgium

8 April 2014

Kagame accuses France of involvement in Rwandan genocide and bars ambassador from commemoration ceremony

Following accusations by the Rwandan President Paul Kagame of French involvement in the Rwandan genocide, France did not attend the ceremony on 7 April 2014, marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. According to the French Foreign Ministry, Rwanda barred the ambassador from the commemoration.

Kagame told the magazine Jeune Afrique in an interview last month that both France and Belgium had a ‘direct role in the political preparation of genocide and participation in its execution.’ Kagame accused France of training and arming the Hutu armed groups who were the main perpetrators of the genocide and of involvement in the slaughter of Rwandans who attempted to escape through a French-controlled territory. (more…)

Source: Reuters | France to shun Rwanda genocide ceremony after Kagame accusations
Source: The New York Times | 20 Years After, Rwanda Pauses to Recall Carnage
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Rwanda, France Spar on Anniversary of Genocide

27 October 2013

Joint surveillance of Benelux airspace by Netherlands and Belgian air forces

Dutch Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has signed a letter of intent with her Belgian colleague Pieter De Crem for joint surveillance of the airspace of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) on 23 October 2013.

Currently, both Belgium and the Netherlands have separately jet-fighters and pilots on standby to intercept hostile aircrafts in their own airspace, as agreed to in the context of NATO. They both monitor the airspace of Luxembourg, who does not have its own air force. The cooperation is scheduled to begin in 2016, and will save manpower of both countries. Additionally, the Dutch Minister is of the opinion that extensive cooperation with the Belgian air force will guarantee worldwide operational capability of the Dutch air force.


Source: NOS | België en NL bewaken luchtruim (in Dutch)
Source: Rijksoverheid | Samenwerking België bij luchtruimbewaking (in Dutch - Supplement in English)

3 July 2012

Europe’s torture watchdog on shared responsibility of Belgium and the Netherlands for Tilburg prison

Belgium has for many years been struggling with significant prison overcrowding. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has in recent years seen its prisons gradually emptying due to a decline in crime, forcing the Dutch government to close eight of its prisons. The two countries came up with the obvious solution, although one never adopted before in Europe: Belgium would rent an already staffed and equipped prison in the Netherlands. The location chosen was Tilburg prison, which is quite close to the border with Belgium. (more…)

10 April 2012

Belgium arms in Arab uprising

In a special report entitled ‘Profit and Proliferation’ (Part I and II) in the New York Times’ At War blog, Belgium journalist Damien Spleeters reports how Belgium arms entered and were used during the conflict in Libya, and discusses the question ‘how much responsibility Belgium and other European countries may share in weapons proliferation in the region’.

Source: New York Times | Profit and Proliferation: A Special Report on Belgian Arms in the Arab Uprising, Part I
Source: New York Times | Profit and Proliferation, Part 2: Will Belgian Arms End Up in Syria?

4 April 2011

The MSS Case: Shifting Burdens and Evading Responsibilities?

The European Court of Human Rights issued a landmark ruling in the case of M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece on 21 January 2011. The case concerned the expulsion of an asylum seeker to Greece by the Belgian authorities in application of European asylum law. Not only is this judgment extraordinarily rich, it also exposes serious flaws in the current European asylum regime.