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  The Hague (Netherlands) April 19, 2007 (FH) - Rwanda submitted a request Wednesday to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against France following arrest warrants delievered against nine Rwandan officials at the order of antiterrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere in November 2006.   Kigali asked the Court to take immediate steps and to suspend - during the time the matter can be heard on the merits - the arrest warrants to permit the named persons to travel freely.   In November 2006, the French judge gave his conclusions on the investigation relating to the bombing perpetrated against the airplane of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994.  In a document considered highly controversial due to its positions on contextual events, the judge asked the United Naitons Secretary-General to begin an investigation against the current President Paul Kagame for his alleged participation in the bombing.   He also asked for the issuance of arrest warrants against nine senior officials, including the Chief of General Staff James Kabarebe, the Chief of Protocol, Rose Kabuye, and the Rwandan Ambassador to India, Charles Kayomba.   Wednesday at The Hague, the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama explained that these three men were particularly hindered by Judge Brugiere’s order.  « These arrest warrants were delivered against high-level officials in the Rwandan government and makes it difficult for Rwanda to function as a sovereign state, because these officers cannot travel freely to undertake their duties, » he stated.  For Kigali, the warrants « pose serious problems in international law. »   According to a commission transmitted by the Rwandan Ambassador in The Hague, Rwanda believes that « if judges, wherever they are in the world, sitting in a foreign capital (...) can in an indiscriminate and irresponsible manner issue indictiments and arrest warrants against high-level officials of other sovereign states, this would be the prelude to disaster and chaos in the field of international law and could open a breach in international peace, order, and security of nations. »   Substantively, Kigali believes in making the request that « the attempt of the French judge who,acting under the authority of the French judicial system, exercises a police power in Rwanda, violates its sovereignty and restricts its capacity to function freely and normally as a sovereign state, » this could create, if validated, « a dangerous precedent in which irresponsible decisions could set nations up against each other. »   The judicial action undertaken Wednesday could also be viewed as a test for Kigali.  The International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations in charge of settling disputes between states, cannot hear the matter unless Paris recognizes its jurisdiction.  « France has always maintained that the question is purely judicial.  The Rwandan government, in that case, gives France the benefit of the doubt. »  If the question is purely judicial, then the question can be examined « by an international court, impartial and competent. »   Wednesday, Paris refused to comment.  Following the issuance of the arrest warrants in November, Rwanda broke off diplomatic relations with France and closed its embassy in Paris before opening, in February, a new mission in The Hague, in the Nerlands near the seat of the International Court.   SM/PB/KD   © Hirondelle News Agency