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Posts from — February 2011

PRI claims that Tutsis are the targets of the sterilization plan of men in Rwanda

In an article published by Population Research International and titled “Rwandan Genocide Redux?, Steven W. Mosher rightly condemns the plan devised by General Kagame’s regime to sterilize nearly 1 million men in Rwanda. He writes: “We ask the Rwandan government to end this campaign before it gets underway in earnest. The consequences of sterilizing half of all men of reproductive age will have a serious negative impact on the Rwandan family and economy, and cause additional human suffering among an already-traumatized population.”

But surprisingly, Steven W. Mosher reveals that this condemnation is a move to defend the minority Tutsis. He writes:
It may also reignite the Rwandan genocide, as the majority Hutus target the minority Tutsis for sterilization. We at PRI have documented many cases where U.S.-funded population control campaigns have been directed by an ethnic, racial, or religious majority at a despised minority.

The PRI is right to speak out against this sterilization plan of men in Rwanda. However, I have no doubt that Steven Mosher gets it wrong when he claims that the majority Hutus target the minority Tutsis for sterilization.

Yes, this is a dangerous plan and can amount to a genocidal plan. But the author is mistaken in thinking that it is aimed at reducing the number of the Tutsi minority.
In fact, this plan is devised by the minority Tutsi led by the RPF-Kagame regime and all who know the Rwandan politics fear that its intended outcome is to reduce the number of Hutus to the levels where there will no longer be a Hutu majority.
The plan might be a continuation of the genocide of Hutus by the RPF-Kagame regime as partially documented in the recent UN mapping reports.

It appears thus that the main argument of PRI opposing that genocidal plan was to defend the rights of minorities. The question now is: Now that it is clear that the plan is devised by the minoriy targeting the majority, will PRI be equally outspoken and continue to oppose it by all means?

February 12, 2011   2 Comments

Rwanda: Population Research Institute Pledges to Oppose US-backed Kagame’s Plan to Sterilize nearly 1 million Men

By Colin Mason

Rwanda to Sterilize 700,000 Men, PRI Pledges to “Work Tirelessly” Against It

Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), expressed outrage today at a clear instance of U.S. tax dollars being used to aid a coercive campaign to sterilize 700,000 Rwandan men in 3 years. The program is being carried out under the active influence of at least two USAID-funded special interest groups: Intrahealth and Family Health International. Mosher vowed that PRI would “do everything in its power” to expose and halt the use of U.S. taxpayer funds on this campaign against the Rwandan people.

According to the BBC and Rwandan news outlets, the Rwandan government is introducing this campaign on the heels of a large-scale effort to circumcise men (a procedure which allegedly “protects against” HIV/AIDS infection). However, as the New Times reports, the real reason circumcision was included was simply because “it allows us get to the men’s reproductive system and in the process we advise them on condom use and vasectomy.”

Not only this, but back in 2008, health officials informed the BBC that these “circumcision campaigns” would be practiced first on “the new born and young men in universities, the army and police.” This is because, while many Rwandans balk at the idea of being sterilized, “correspondents say many in the armed forces will regard it as an order” even though it will be “nominally voluntary.”

“This amounts to coercion,” says Steven Mosher. “First of all, saying that circumcision ‘protects against AIDS’ is an abuse of semantics, as circumcision doesn’t provide a barrier against anything. Secondly, if it will be regarded as an order, it doesn’t matter if it actually is one or not. The men will be circumcised/sterilized because they feel that they must, or risk punitive measures.”

These programs are not being rolled out by the Rwandan government alone, but represent a concerted push by the U.S. government and international health groups. Intrahealth, for one, proudly advertises that it is conducting surveys of men who have received vasectomies already, and will use “lessons learned to inform recommendations regarding the scale-up of vasectomy services in other districts as requested by the Maternal and Child Health Task Force of the Ministry of Health.”

(http://www.intrahealth.org/page/assessment-of-vasectomy-client-satisfact…)

Family Health International, for its part, is “supporting the Rwandan MOH to increase access to quality vasectomy services in Rwanda by training physicians across the country …”

(http://www.fhi.org/en/Research/Projects/Progress/Countries/Rwanda.htm).

“The Rwandan government claims that it wants men to ‘go willingly’ for sterilization,” says Steven Mosher. “But they also have a hard quota — 700,000 — which they are looking to fill. In our experience on this issue, every single time a sterilization campaign has a hard target and a timetable attached to it, it inevitably involves coercion and abusive expansion, just as night follows day.”

“Not only that,” Mosher continues, “but these groups are funded by USAID, which receives tax dollars from the United States. Our own laws make it illegal for our tax monies to fund forced abortion or sterilization, and campaigns that involve quotas have always been considered coercive.”

“We at PRI urge the Rwandan government to end their involvement with such unethical groups and end this campaign before it begins. The unforseen consequences on the Rwandan family and economy will be far-reaching, and the suffering is too much to ask of an already-traumatized population who deserve every chance to heal,” Mosher concludes. “We will work to expose the coercion and corruption inherent in the U.S. Partner organizations of this campaign, and then we will bring the evidence before officials in Washington DC. We’ve found that the best way to end campaigns like this is to hit them at the source — by cutting off their funding.”

[
Population Research Institute
]

February 12, 2011   2 Comments

Rare mountain gorilla twins born in Rwanda

Rare mountain gorilla twins have been born in Rwanda, conservationists said.

The occurrence of twins in the population of mountain gorillas is extremely unusual and the new arrivals in the Volcanoes National Park are only the fifth set of twins recorded for Rwanda’s gorillas.

There are fewer than 800 mountain gorillas living in the wild, according to UK-based charity the Gorilla Organisation.

The organisation said the pair were born on February 3 to Kabatwa, a member of the Hirwa group of gorillas, who was reportedly proving to be an excellent mother.

Emmanuel Bugingo, the Gorilla Organisation’s programme manager in Rwanda, said: “It is very rare to hear of mountain gorilla twins, so we were all excited to hear the news from rangers.

“The twins are both boys and we feel very positive about their future.”

Ian Redmond, chairman of the Ape Alliance coalition, and a father of twin boys, said: “Gorilla mothers usually have only one baby every four years or so – which is one reason why they are so vulnerable – so twins give a rare double gain in one birth.

“But coping with two infants is a challenge for any parent – as my wife and I know from experience – so I wish Kabatwa, and the boys, the best of luck in the coming weeks and months.”

[UKPA]

February 12, 2011   1 Comment

Rwanda’s Reproductive Bill to Sterilize Disabled People

Many Rwandans and Observers express their worries about the current policy of RPF-Kagame regime to sterilize nearly one millions poor Rwandans. But sadly, people have almost forgotten that, two years ago, Rwandan Parliament has drafted a law requiring compulsory HIV testing and requiring the sterilization of mentally disabled people.
At that time, Human Rights Watch had condemned the move in these terms (July1,2009):

(New York) – The Rwandan Parliament should remove provisions in a draft law that would mandate compulsory HIV testing and require the sterilization of all individuals with intellectual disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The organization said that the provisions, in a reproductive health bill, are deeply flawed and violate the government’s obligations to uphold and protect human rights.

Compulsory HIV testing and forced sterilization are counterproductive to the Rwandan government’s goal of improved reproductive health,” said Joe Amon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Provisions in the current bill that increase stigma, rely on coercion, and deny individuals their reproductive rights should be removed.

Human Rights Watch said that the reproductive health bill, drafted by the parliamentary committee whose duties include promoting social welfare, contains three particularly troublesome provisions related to HIV/AIDS testing. First it provides that all individuals who plan to marry must undergo HIV testing and provide a certificate beforehand. Second, married individuals are required to be tested for HIV/AIDS upon the request of their spouses. Third, if a physician finds it “necessary” for a child or an incapacitated person to be tested for HIV/AIDS, he or she may conduct the test without seeking consent and may show the result to the parent, guardian, or care provider.

Ensuring that all HIV testing is confidential, conducted with informed consent, and accompanied by counseling is widely recognized as integral to effective HIV prevention and treatment strategies. Mandatory HIV testing and disclosure have been condemned by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the World Health Organization, and the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights as violations of the right to privacy and counterproductive to effective HIV/AIDS control.

These organizations have also stated that mandatory testing and compulsory disclosure can put women at increased risk of abuse and undermine public trust in the health care system. Research by Human Rights Watch on HIV testing has documented significant abuses associated with coercive testing programs.

The proposed bill also obligates the Rwandan Government “to suspend fertility for mentally handicapped people.” Systematic, forced sterilization has been recognized as a crime against humanity by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In May 2008, Rwanda ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention upholds the rights of persons with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, to equal rights. Human Rights Watch said that laws on sterilization, including for persons with disabilities, must respect both a person’s right to bodily integrity and informed consent to medical procedures. Decision-making about sterilization must take into account each individual’s capacity to give informed consent, and where such capacity is lacking an individualized consideration must be made of the best interests of the person concerned.

“While Rwanda has made notable progress in fighting stigma and responding to the AIDS epidemic, and has pledged to advance the rights of persons with disability, forced sterilization and mandatory HIV testing do not contribute to those goals,” Amon said. “These elements of the bill undermine reproductive health goals and undo decades of work to ensure respect for reproductive rights.”

One extra worry for all of us is that the architects of these eugenic sterilization laws in Rwanda may have been inspired by the Nazis. Does General Kagame’s regime which, according to experts, has already claimed the death of more than six millions in Rwanda and RDC, want at all costs to beat the world record of cruelty?

February 12, 2011   1 Comment

FDU-Inkingi condemns the mass emasculation policy promoted by Kagame regime

The Interim Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi has strongly expressed the worries of Rwandans about the current Rwandan governement’s policy to practice male sterilisation of nearly one million people. He writes:

RPF regime in mass vasectomy bid targeting the poor

Many Rwandans were plunged in chock and awe when the information about the governmental mass vasectomy bid targeting 700,000 people unfolded.

Millions of lives perished during the Tutsi genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and in the Congolese bushes; in the country more than 500,000 people are enslaved in Community services known as “TIG” far away from their families; over 100,000 Rwandans are detained in notorious overcrowded prisons; thousands of victims yield to death from Aids related deficiency and Malaria; and Hon. Richard Sezibera, Health Minister revealed to the Senate (31.01) that his department expected 700,000 men to undergo vasectomy in a bid to curb the rapid growth of the population.

This is a shame indeed. About 50% of married men will “voluntarily” enrol for this non reversal process. This mass emasculation policy should stop with no further debates. The idea that those who can’t afford to pay for their family needs must enrol in a draconian birth control system is nothing but pure discrimination against the poor.

Birth control is an individual decision. In many countries economic development plays a major function in population reduction. We first need competitive economic policies and sound resource-management practices instead of mass vasectomy. Rwanda is now part of a wider economic market. In order to shift paradigms, we have to think wider enough.

FDU-INKINGI condemns this arrogant campaign of the ruling RPF. We call upon Rwandans, Human rights groups, non-governmental organisations and the free civil society to stand up and say NO to this discrimination against the poor segments of the population.

Sylvain Sibomana
FDU-INKINGI – Interim Secretary General

February 8, 2011   1 Comment

Ballad of Rwanda by T. Clean (video)

February 8, 2011   No Comments

Kagame regime plans to sterilise men to curb population growth in Rwanda

Rwanda in vasectomy drive to stem population growth

Rwanda’s government has said it wants to encourage men to have vasectomies in a bid to stem the small landlocked country’s growing population.
It would be done along with its HIV prevention campaign to encourage all men to be circumcised.

Health officials would take the opportunity to talk to men about the birth-control method at the same time.

A BBC reporter in Rwanda says vasectomies are uncommon in the country and the move may meet resistance.

A vasectomy is often irreversible. The operation for a male sterilisation takes about 15 minutes and can be carried out in a clinic under local anaesthetic.
The Rwandan government has been encouraging male circumcision since 2008 as the UN World Health Organization says it reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV infection.
Health Minister Richard Sezibera said the government aimed to have 700,000 men circumcised in the next three years.

“Those who will be willing to join the programme of family planning will be allowed to have a vasectomy,” Dr Sezibera said.

But men interviewed on the streets of the capital, Kigali, were cautious about such a permanent method of contraception.

“I think I can’t go for it. You may plan to have two children and then unfortunately one dies,” one man told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

“When this happens when you already have had vasectomy, you can’t have another child. Instead of going for vasectomy, you would rather practice other methods.”

“I can never go for it,” another added.

One man was a little more positive: “I personally wouldn’t prefer to. But perhaps if I had three children, I would go.”

The BBC’s Geoffrey Mutagoma in Kigali says apart from condom use, birth control is usually left to women to organise.

“Sometimes men are really in need of having birth control but they will not use condoms every day, every time,” Sam Kyaggambiddwa of Urunana, a local non-governmental organisation that promotes reproductive health through radio dramas, told the BBC.

He said that given the option and right advice, men might be more willing to consider having a vasectomy.

Experts say a slowdown in Rwanda’s fast-growing population, which the UN estimates was 10.2 million in 2010, would help improve living standards.

[BBC News]

February 8, 2011   4 Comments

Rwanda: Sentences of 17 and 7 years in jail respectively for Umurabyo’s female journalists Uwimana Nkusi and Mukakibibi

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the pigheadedness and cruelty of the Rwandan judicial system, which has just passed extremely long jail sentences on two women journalists, Agnes Uwimana Nkusi, the editor of the privately-owned bimonthly Umurabyo, and Saidath Mukakibibi, one of her reporters.

A Kigali high court today imposed a 17-year sentence on Nkusi and a seven-year one on Mukakibibi on charges of inciting civil disobedience, causing divisions and denying the 1994 genocide.

Nkusi’s lawyer told Reporters Without Borders he was very disappointed by the verdict and intended to appeal to the supreme court.

“The high court went too far,” he said. “It took no account of our requests. Our view is that the court has no tangible evidence of their criminal guilt. This case should be tried as a disciplinary matter by the Media High Council. These two journalists should be released. Furthermore, the sentences they have been given are very severe.”

The two women have been detained since 8 July 2010. Last month, prosecutors requested a 33-year sentence for Nkusi and a 12-year one for Mukakibibi.

[Reporters Without Borders]

February 8, 2011   No Comments

Second Year University Student Kills Self in Kigali on Losing Government Scholarship

Kigali –  A Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) student committed suicide Monday on learning that he was no longer eligible for the monthly government stipend meant for poor students, local media reports said.

20-year-old Eugene Uwambajimana hanged himself after finding he was not among the few KIE students who remained on the government payroll, local radios reported Tuesday.  He was in second year.

With effect from 2011, about 30 percent of all university students were declared poor and therefore qualified for government tuition along with a Rwf 25,000 monthly allowance. The government policy also gave some students only tuition, as others got nothing – meaning they are to take care of their education.

Government has defended the decision as aimed at freeing resources which would be invested in primary education.

[ARI-RNA]

February 3, 2011   No Comments

Compact of collaboration between Rwandan opposition parties Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and CNR-Intwari

by Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa,
RNC Interim Co-ordinator

Rwanda National Congress has again signed a compact for collaboration with another Rwandan opposition group (CNR-INTWARI). This follows another compact with FDU-Inkingi earlier this week. Our vision is to be a bridge among and within all Rwandans, and to be a bridge to a future of a free, united, democratic, and prosperous Rwanda. In this we are certain that Rwandans will win, and that Kagame and his regime will ultimately lose.

The freedom train has left the station, and all Rwandans are welcome on board.

Even Kagame is welcome, if he can abandon his futile, self-destructive, and bloody reign of terror.

February 2, 2011   7 Comments