Mel B: Scary Spice's 'amazing' Christmas with Rwandan leader
Singer will spend Christmas in palace with president who 'could face a war crimes trial' for aiding rebels
MEL B is looking forward to Christmas thanks to the "amazing trip" the former Spice Girl is planning to Rwanda.
The singer, whose real name is Melanie Brown, is friends with Ivan and Ange, the adult children of Rwanda's 56-year-old president Paul Kagame. He has invited her and her three children to spend Christmas at his palace in East Africa.
But the Daily Mirror 'playing the role of the Grinch in Mel B's African Christmas fairytale' says there's a problem. Kagame "could face a war crimes trial" for allegedly arming Congo rebel group M23 which is said to have forced 140,000 people from their homes.
A "damning" report released by the UN last year suggested Kagame had supported the insurgents to the hilt. The document, which was leaked last October, said the Congolese rebels were receiving "direct military orders" from Rwanda's army chief and Kagame's defence minister.
Stephen Rapp, the head of the US war crimes office, has warned that Kagame "could be prosecuted for helping the insurgents carry out atrocities".
The Daily Telegraph says that Kagame has many friends in the West, but he divides opinion. He is widely considered to be "the most dynamic and effective leader in Africa today, and also ruthless, repressive and intolerant of criticism".
Kagame has strongly denied the allegation he aided M23 saying: "We are not supplying even one bullet. We have not and we will not".
It's unlikely that Mel B and her three children will be discussing any of these allegations over the Christmas turkey. She took to Twitter to express her excitement at her African adventure.
"Christmas is different every year," she wrote. "Last year we were in Australia and it was lovely but this year we've decided to go to Rwanda. We've got this amazing trip planned and we're staying with the president, Paul Kagame."
She added: "I know his son and daughter because they live in New York and they're adorable people. They invited us out there. "We will probably have our own Christmas in LA with stockings, presents and a big roast dinner, then we shall go off to spend time with the president."
Blogger FleetStreetFox said Mel B's Christmas plans were the latest example of unwitting celebrities getting mixed up in politics.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell caused a storm when she revealed that Liberian dictator Charles Taylor had given her diamonds and Mariah Carey was widely criticised for singing for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the late Libyan dictator. ·