Posts from — January 2010
Here follows the letter addressed to The New Times in Kigali, about the diffamatory campaign orchestrated by its journalists after her visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi.
Chief Executive Officer
The New Times Publications SARL
Immeuble Aigle Blanc
P. O. Box 4953
Kigali – Rwanda
Right of rectification and reply to libels published in Sunday Times on 17th January 2010 and The New Times of 18th January 2010:
o The Sunday Times of 17th January 2010 – Editorial – “FDU’s Ingabire desecrates memory with Double Genocide theory”
o The Sunday Times of 17th January 2010- Front page: News – Ingabire espouses Double Genocide Theory
o The New Times of 18th January 2010 – Editorial – “Genocide deniers: the law should take its course”
o The New Times 18th January 2010 – Front page: news – “Govt won't stand violation of the laws-interior Minister”
o The New Times 18th January 2010 – Front page: news – “Political Parties, CNLG slam Ingabire 'divisionist' politics
As the chairperson of FDU Inkingi, I have been subject of a deliberate and continuous heinous and/defamatory campaign in your newspapers accusing FDU Inkingi’ public intervention at the Gisozi memorial site of Genocide denier, double Genocide Theory, desecrating memorial, divisionist’ politics, inflammatory statements, and many other shameless insults. The worst was to maliciously spread serious accusations related to the genocide, the most severe crime against humanity historically
I would strongly like to set the record straight regarding the genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. My position is still and has always been that the genocide against Tutsi took place in Rwanda and all criminals should be brought to book.
I am disappointed by the hatred propaganda, violent, offensive and injurious language towards my person and the FDU Inkingi I represent. It is unfortunate that my words were intentionally twisted. Readers of your papers are purposely made to believe in the content of those offending articles based on untrue facts.
On 16th January 2010, after my visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center at Gisozi, I made the following announcement in Kinyarwanda, which was also recorded and is here translated in English, the language of your media:
‘It is clear that achieving reconciliation has a long way to go; it is far away and this is understandable considered the number of people who were massacred in our country, because such tragedy is not something to move on from easily on the one hand. On the other, when you analyse the situation objectively, you don’t find any serious strategy intentionally developed and implemented to help Rwandans to achieve that reconciliation. For example, we are here honouring at this Memorial the Tutsi victims of the Genocide; there are also Hutu who were victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes, not remembered or honoured here. Hutus are also suffering. They are wondering when their time will come to remember their people.
In order for us to get to that desirable reconciliation, we must be fair and compassionate towards every Rwandan’s suffering. It is imperative that for Tutsi survivors, Hutu who killed their relatives understand the crimes they committed and accept the legal consequences.
It is also crucial that those who may have killed Hutus understand that they must be equally punished by the laws.
It is finally very important for all of us Rwandans with our different ethnic backgrounds to understand that we need to come together in unity and with mutual respect in order to develop our country peacefully.
The reason we came back is therefore to find ways collectively of starting off on that roadmap towards unity, working jointly to remove injustices from our country, addressing as one issues of getting Rwandans to live freely in their country.
Based on my declarations, all those false accusations and the subsequent hate propaganda are baseless and ill-intentioned. It would’ve been better that the reporters contacted me to get my side of the story prior to publishing those inflammatory allegations. I would like also to draw your attention to similar stories aired by other independent media in this respect.
It’s hard to believe that Rwandan journalists write on tragic issues with so much bias and lack of objectivity. One of the FDU INKINGI policy principles is not to entertain any discrimination or injustice among the Rwandan living and the dead.
I shall be most grateful if you could find some space in your next editorials of your newspapers' and on front pages for the relevant clarifications.
Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire
FDU Inkingi Chairperson
CC: – The Minister of Internal Affairs,
– Press house
Document attached: Press release on Gisozi Visit.
January 19, 2010 No Comments
After sharp attacks from Rwandan officials and RPF-led journalists for her declaration yesterday at the Kisozi Genocide Memorial, Mrs Victoire Ingabire, Chair of the FDU-Inkingi (UDF-Inkingi), has issued a statement to clarify the official FDU Inkingi’s position on all crimes (Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes) committed in Rwanda.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IN 1994 THERE HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY A GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
I would like to thank you again for your warm welcome on my arrival in my country after 16 years in exile. First thing on the Rwandan soil, I went straight to honour our people who died during the genocide; I also explained that rememberance was an important ritual for Rwandans. Because of the many lives we lost in our country, let’s all of us together advocate for NEVER AGAIN. Politicians, those aiming for political leadership, and any other person should stress NEVER AGAIN as their main motto for action.
We agree totally and are conscious that there has been a genocide against Tutsis and we seriously and continuously advocate that all those who were responsible be brought before the courts of justice. We also agree that there have been other serious crimes against humanity and war crimes; those who committed them have to bear the legal consequences. We must all the time remember those tragedies, make sure they don’t get ever repeated. We need also to ensure that people’s lives are effectively and strongly protected by laws.
It is shameful to find people using Rwandans’ suffering and tragedies to silence and oppress others. It is also disgraceful to see some referring to that painful period in our history to lend others ideologies aimed at reducing the seriousness of crimes committed. The main and honorable role of the media is to inform objectively without any bias and raise awareness on possible controversies that could emerge from the tragedy our country has experienced.
Let’s work for a true reconciliation not characterised by intimidation, so that we politicians could put forward effective policies and manifestos, instead of distracting the populations by looking for our interests in exploiting the tragedy that has traumatised every Rwandan.
All of us together, let’s build our country in a total peaceful environment.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi
January 18, 2010 No Comments
The Sunday Times – Rwanda – Claims That FDU’s Ingabire Desecrates Memory With Double Genocide Theory
Less than 12 hours after Victoire Ingabire’s arrival in Kigali, a campaign of attacks, interpretations and intimidation tactics has already been launched by those who are not used at seeing the other side of the recent Rwandan tragic history. In its editorial yesterday, The Sunday Times has accused Mrs Victoire Ingabire, FDU Inkingi chairperson, of desecrating the memory of genocide victims.
The editorial reads:
FDU’s Ingabire desecrates memory with Double Genocide theory
Opposition politician, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, could not have started her homecoming on a more vicious note.
There are some who had thought that her arrival to compete for the highest office, in a country where women have assumed a leading role in governance, would be a welcome addition to national politics. Instead, she revealed a very disturbing side of her.
As soon as she left the airport, she made it straight to the Gisozi Genocide memorial site to pay homage to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, or so it seemed.
It must have been a shock to her to come to Kigali, after an absence of close to two decades, to see the huge changes.
Any well-intentioned person would easily notice that this country has not been sleeping in the last 15 years. The post-Genocide Rwanda amazes everyone; the reconstruction efforts, and especially the reconciliatory approach by the government has been acclaimed the world over.
But this is not what Ingabire sees. She sees desolation where there is none and slams Gacaca as unjust as if the thousands who took part in the Genocide are angels.
To add insult to injury, she stuns the Rwandan people by echoing every revisionist and Genocide deniers’ favourite line: espousing the Double Genocide Theory.
This is the first time, since 1994, that a Genocide denier has chosen to articulate this level of revisionism on the Rwandan soil.
She utters all this right where hundreds of thousands of innocent souls are laid to rest, victims of similar inflammatory statements. She could not have chosen a better moment and place to desecrate the memory of the victims.
January 18, 2010 No Comments
Less than 12 hours after Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza arrived in Rwanda from her 16-years exile, Journalist Edmund Kagire of The New Times (Kigali-Rwanda) launches attacks against her by publishing an incendiary front page article titled:
“Ingabire espouses Double Genocide Theory”.
Here is what he writes:
KIGALI – After 16 years of self exile in Europe, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the president of the United Democratic Forces (FDU-Inkingi), arrived in the country yesterday to register her party ahead of this year’s Presidential elections, according to her declarations.
Ingabire arrived aboard a Kenya Airways flight at around 15:00 from Amsterdam via Nairobi where she spent a night. She was accompanied by three other persons.
The heads of two controversial political parties; Bernard Ntaganda of PS Imberakuri and Frank Habineza of the yet-be-registered Green Party of Rwanda, were on hand to receive her.
Speaking to the press shortly before heading straight to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site at Gisozi, Ingabire said that she is here to relieve Rwandans ‘from fear, poverty and inefficient Gacaca’.
She claimed that “Rwandans live in fear” and that “there is need for all Rwandans to work together in their different parties and religious affiliations to fight the fear”.
In words that clearly suggested the “Double Genocide” theory, Ingabire who has expressed her intentions to contest for the Presidency, said that ‘the reconciliation road has a long way to go unless those who killed Hutus during the Genocide are brought to book.
“If you look at this memorial centre, it only shows one side of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi. There is another side of the Genocide committed against the Hutu because they are also hurting and asking themselves when their grievances will be settled.”
Despite stating that she was paying tribute to the over 250,000 people buried at Gisozi, her visit to the memorial site was seen by many as a mockery to those who died in the Genocide, an observation supported by her past utterances which reveal a deep sense of revisionism.
“These ‘double Genocide’ claims are the same that revisionists in Europe use to deny that Genocide was committed against the Tutsi. To utter those words, standing on the victims’ graves, is the worst insult against Genocide survivors,” Simon-Pierre Rwakana, who had come to visit the memorial site said.
January 18, 2010 No Comments
Mrs Victoire Ingabire, Chair Of FDU-Inkingi, Addresses The Rwandan People At Her Arrival in Kigali-Rwanda
At her arrival at the International Airport of Kanombe- Kigali this Saturday 16 January, 2010, Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, addressed a very powerful message to the Rwandan People in Kinyarwanda. Here is the official translation of her speech as posted on FDU-Inkingi’s website:
I am back home.
Rwandans, my beloved people,
16 years in exile was an eternity. Today, I am back home.
A lot has happened. The summum was the genocide, the massacres and war crimes. Millions of Rwandans have been killed. Each family is still mourning the victims. The current regime has been unable to deliver any sound solution. A genuine national reconciliation process is still a dream. Rwandans are still terrorised.
My message is clear: I object to violence.We must put an end to any form of violence, if not, the violence will finish us. Peace is my motto, my guiding principle.
In exile, 3 years ago we launched the United Democratic Forces, UDF-INKINGI, with clear objectives:
– To set up a genuine multi-party democratic system;
– To create the right conditions conducive for an all-inclusive national dialogue;
– To put an end to impunity and to create the right social and political atmosphere for the healing of all the surviving victims without any segregation;
– To put an end to discrimination and to guarantee equal opportunity to all the Rwandan citizens;
– To repatriate refugees and to ensure their resettlement and re-integration;
– To reorganize the national economy to suit national aspirations and;
– To put to rest all pretences of expansionism and to contribute towards the restoration of peace and security in the region.
The time is now to come back home. Because it is time to uproot for good the “INGOYI” or all forms of dictatorship, violence, intimidations, victor’s justice, impunity, all sorts of discrimination.
We have the conviction that the building of a State must be based on the respect of the dignity of the human person, his freedom and rights, and on accountability. It is time to quietly spread the word and break the pervasive apathy. The time is now and the right people are you, Rwandans. Foreigners and the international community, have distantly witnessed on their televisions the genocide and the massacres. Do they see the oppression, the misery, the despair, the militarisation, the dictatorship? If yes, what are they doing? Business.
I am empowered by warm greetings and blessings of your exiled sisters and brothers. They are on your side. They know the immensity of your sacrifices.
I am a daughter and a mother, moved by the misery and humiliations of my people. I don’t need an army to defeat the dictatorship. All we need is determination, commitment and patience. The sacrifices of all committed people will overcome our misery and these endless crisis in our motherland. The upcoming presidential elections are not an end to this process.
To you all courageous Rwandans, who directly and silently endured those humiliations, your tears of sorrow and pain are a permanent call. Your “silence for survival” has inspired this non-violent revolution.We don’t need another war in our country. Too much blood has been poured. Enough is enough. The color of blood is red. So is the mark on the faces and the eyes of criminals.
It’s still premature to call you for public meetings, demonstrations and sit-ins. We need first to raise our awareness. But if your lives are in danger, peacefully attend the political meetings of your oppressors and their tools. This will allow you to better know them and their methods.
All we need is a free and fair election with total transparency of vote counting by the public and in public.
The debate about eventual current or past positive performances of the regime is mere propaganda. They have tools, public or private media and a well experienced brain-washing publicity.
Yes many will be seduced by those luxurious buildings and residences and totally miss the misery, the pain, the despair, the discrimination, the hunger, poor health, or other dictatorial practices imposed to our people.
Together we shall overcome.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
January 17, 2010 No Comments
As promised to all Rwandans in exile, Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, accompanied by three un-named UDF-Inkingi’s grassroots members, has left Amsterdam on Friday, January 15, 2010, thus ending her sixteen years of exile. At her departure in Amsterdam, Mrs. Ingabire received a warm farewell from her family members and from members of UDF-Inkingi.
She did it.
After a short stop in Nairobi, Kenya, Mrs. Ingabire proceeded to Kigali where she arrived this Saturday, January 16, 2010 early in the afternoon.
As announced by the UDF-Inkingi / FDU-Inkingi,
The main purpose of Mrs. Ingabire’s trip to Rwanda is to reconnect with her country at the grassroots level, to go and meet with the real countryside, beyond the Potemkin village that is Kigali. Mrs. Ingabire will also initiate discussions with all concerned parties, especially the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), in order to remove the obstacles that my impede the registration and establishment of UDF-Inkingi structures in Rwanda like facilitating granting passports to all UDF-Inkingi’s leaders and staff that have yet to be deployed to Rwanda. Finally, Mrs. Ingabire is expected to give some impetus to development of legal, institutional and financial frameworks so that the forthcoming presidential elections can be fair, free and transparent.
In doing so, despite the obstacles set forth in their path by the RPF ruling party in Kigali, UDF-Inkingi intend to give a chance for peace, by choosing such a peaceful and legal option for Rwandans to really have a choice on August 9, 2010.
The United Democratic Forces (UDF-Inkingi) call upon all Rwandans to welcome Mrs. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA and her delegation with warm and fraternal greetings without any fear. They also call upon the Rwandan official bodies, particularly security agencies, to demonstrate their readiness to serve all citizens, including when these citizens express views that are contrary to those of the ruling party in the interest of the Rwandan people as a whole.
January 16, 2010 No Comments
In a statement released in Brussels on January 11, 2010, the Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi, Mr Benedict Ndagijimana, announced that the departure of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and her delegation to Rwanda is set to January 15, 2010.
The full text of this release in French can be read here.
January 14, 2010 No Comments
Year 2009 is over. The second decade of the 21st century has now started. Memories of what happened in Rwanda during the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of this century are still fresh. People still talk about Rwanda with passion and compassion, often with partisanship and naivety.
Emotions and surprises are always high, not only among those who lived the tragic events of these last two decades, but also among those who, suddenly shaken by the recent rwandese history still full of numerous controversies, have tried to understand, repair and help.
Kigali is thriving now. But life is hard for many Rwandans and one can predict that it is even going to be harder this year. The prosperity of this country is still threatened by the dangerous mixture of truths and lies, abundance and misery, denial, hatred, trauma, persecution, humiliation, frustrations, false incrimination, passion, anger, fear etc…
As usual, many people have made their new year’s resolutions, usually oriented towards satisfaction of individual or family needs. This is a good thing. But we think people should also make resolutions about how to contribute to the re-establishment of harmony and trust within the rwandan society, this year and this decade. It is essential to bring active contribution to the dialogue among Rwandans in order to prevent that the most beautiful country in Africa becomes again the theatre of the most horrible man-made disaster on earth.
We hope that all Rwandans will come together to define a ‘Vision 2020’ strategy which will bring this country back to harmony.
It is in this context that we’ve set up this new information tribune, Rwandinfo, in the hope that it will be another instrument to bring Rwandans together and build a better future.
January 9, 2010 No Comments