Rwanda Information Portal

Kagame’s message to EU Development Days Conference – read by Louise Mushikiwabo (video)

From 4th to 07th December 2010, General Paul Kagame was in Brussels to attend the 5th edition of European Development Days. It was a controversial visit for a President accused by the United Nations of very grave human rights abuses and crimes internationally recognized as genocide.

General Kagame failed to show up at his Keynote Address on first day of the Development Days. He was replaced by his minister of foreign affairs. Watch and listen to his message as delivered by Louise Mushikiwabo.

December 8, 2010   No Comments

Dutch Government decides to stop budget support to Rwanda

Today marks Victoire Ingabire’s first major result in influencing public policy and decision making! The Dutch government today December 7 reached it’s final decision concerning budgetsupport to Rwanda:

“Rwanda will get no budgetsupport because freedom of expression and political space in the central African country are insufficiently guaranteed”

Thus sending a strong signal to other donors!

Michael Cashman, member of  the EU Parliament for (Tony Blair’s) Labour Party, said today that the Netherlands are wrong concerning human rights violations and  lack of democracy in Rwanda:

“Where is the evidence? We’ll have to be careful with accusing Rwanda”, he says.“The word ‘genocide’ is being used far to easily in Eastern Congo. Rwanda has known a genocide and wants to prevent that it will happen ever again.”

However Michael Cashman carries a lot of luggage with him! As head of the EU Electoral Observation Mission to Rwanda’s parliamentary election in 2008, Michael Cashman said:

“The process of democratisation in Rwanda since the end of the genocide is remarkable”

Filip Reyntjens, Professor at the University of Antwerpen explained in 2009 why this statement is contrary even to the content of the report of the EU observation mission itself.

Since 1994 several European and American politicians have kept very close relations with the regime in Kigali. Some even called Paul Kagame their personal friend. Obviously the findings in the Mapping Report won’t do much good to the reputation of the likes of Michael Cashman. The mapping report confirms previous findings by a Spanish judge. We can now safely say that French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière was right when he warned the US against closer ties to Rwanda.

Paul Kagame summarized the reasons for his liberation war in 1990 saying:

“the available options were either you had to choose to remain perpetualy a refugee and stateless, or you had to keep hoping that some day somebody in the international community would resolve the problem, or thirdly you had realy to face reality, since oppression is carried out by force, you had to deal with the matter using force.”

Exactedly the same arguments that movements like the FDLR and CNDP and some Burundian rebels would use today to combine forces which according to Filip Reyntjens is happening right now. In the words of Senator and former US ambassador to Burundi and Botswana Robert Krueger:

“as long as this man  (Paul Kagame) is the chief executive of the country, there will never be real democracy.”

According to Wikipedia a politician or political leader:

“is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making. “

Victoire Ingabire might not be a female Mandela or former IMF director , she certainly is no would be politican!

[Colored Opinions]

December 8, 2010   No Comments

Europe stays true to “murderer” Kagame

“Kagame! Murderer! Kagame! Murderer!” Hundreds of Rwandans and Congolese demonstrated in Brussels the last few of days. They were angry that President Paul Kagame was invited to the European capital. But the demonstration was in vain – Brussels and Kigali remain close friends.

Demonstrators against Kagame in Brussels – Dec. 2010

“The president of Rwanda is a criminal”, said Paul Rusesabagina, the famous manager of Hôtel des Mille Collines who was among the demonstrators gathered on Albertina square in Brussels.

“It is a disgrace that the European Union welcomes Kagame. The UN charge him with war crimes in Eastern Congo. We want to wake up the international community.”

Brussels is proud of the progress Rwanda has made since the 1994 genocide. During the European Development Days in a heavily secured congress centre, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, spoke of the equality of men and women in her country.

Buying influence

“In Brussels the idea exists that we wield influence if we support Rwanda”, said Dutch MP of the European Parliament, Hans van Baalen. “Even now, after the recent accusations stated in a UN report.”

Mr Van Baalen thinks this conviction will be proven false. And the Dutch government feels the same: The Netherlands will not send direct financial aid to Rwanda in 2011. “The government doesn’t want to donate money to a country in which human rights are being violated and where there is a lack of democracy.” Another cause of concern is the trial against Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.

But according to British member of the European parliament, Michal Cashman the Netherlands is wrong. “Where is the evidence? We’ll have to be careful with accusing Rwanda,” he said.

Netherlands stands alone

“The word ‘genocide’ is being used far to easily in Eastern Congo. Rwanda has known a genocide and wants to prevent that it will happen ever again.” Therefore Brussels should keep on supporting Rwanda, is the opinion of most politicians in the European capital.

Mr Van Baalen admits that the Netherlands stands alone in its opinion: “The Netherlands has taken a clear stance. But it is hard to find support in Brussels. I’m going to talk about the issue with the commission of Foreign Affairs and European parliament.”

Meanwhile the demonstrators in the centre of Brussels leave the square full of disappointment as they are sent away by police. They take their boards and banners and go back home.

President Kagame did not hold his announced speech during the European conference. He left early to Rwanda for more pressing issues. His minister of Foreign Affairs replaced him and thanked Europe for all its support.

The minister told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Rwanda “respects the decision of the Netherlands to stop direct aid for Rwanda. But our relationship with the European Union remains very friendly.”

[Radio Netherlands Worldwide]

December 8, 2010   No Comments