Rwanda Information Portal

Posts from — September 2011

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on visit in Paris answers questions of France 24

Watch the interview offered by Paul Kagame to France 24 in Paris on 12 Septembre 2011.


In his only TV interview during his historic visit to France, Rwandan President Paul Kagame sits down with France 24’s Marc Perelman to talk about the improved relations between both countries, his willingness to stop talking about the controversies of the past and answers to the critics who describe him as a dictator.
[France 24]

September 13, 2011   No Comments

Obama’s administration files motion to protect Kagame’s immunity in the US

by Ann Garrison

This Friday 9th September 2011, Obama’s Justice Dept. has filed a motion to grant Kagame immunity, as a head of state, from jurisdiction in this country, to stop Erlinder and Kerns’s civil lawsuit filed and served on him in OK City last year. Seems they can see that Erlinder and Kerns are winning the service argument, which will mean upholding the default judgement short of this executive intervention.

See: Lawsuit in Oklahoma (US) district court against Rwandan President Paul Kagame et al. – full document

September 10, 2011   No Comments

Ethnicity in Rwanda – Who Governs the Country?

by US Embassy in Rwanda.

Analysis of the ethnic make up of the leadership of Rwandan political and military institutions by the US Embassy in Kigali in May 2008 which reveals that Rwanda is tightly led by a clique of individuals, mostly English speakers, from the Tutsi minority ethnic group, who recruits a few figureheads from the ethnic Hutu majority. The US Embassy expresses its serious concerns about the long-term stability of Rwanda.
Viewing cable 08KIGALI525, ETHNICITY IN RWANDA — WHO GOVERNS THE COUNTRY?
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KIGALI525 2008-08-05 16:34 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy KigaliVZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHLGB #0525/01 2181634
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 051634Z AUG 08FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5505

S E C R E T KIGALI 000525
NOFORN
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/2028
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS RW
SUBJECT: ETHNICITY IN RWANDA — WHO GOVERNS THE COUNTRY?
REF: KIGALI 480
Classified By: CDA Cheryl Sim for Reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)

Summary

¶1. (C/NF) An analysis of the ethnic breakdown of the current Rwandan government shows Tutsis hold a preponderant percentage of senior positions. Hutus in very senior positions often hold relatively little real authority, and are commonly “twinned” with senior Tutsis who exercise real power. The military and security agencies are controlled by Tutsis, generally English speakers who grew up as refugees with President Kagame in Uganda. The 28-member cabinet is evenly split among Tutsis and Hutus, but most key ministries are in the hands of Tutsis (Hutu ministers do head Health and Agriculture, ministries which affect the lives of most Rwandans). While the Rwandan government (GOR) presents itself as a champion of national unity and equal opportunity, de-emphasizing ethnic identity and ostensibly opening positions throughout society to those of skill and merit, political authority in the country does not yet reflect this ideal. Ethnic identity is still keenly felt and lived, and ordinary Rwandans are well aware of who holds the levers of power. The long-term stability of Rwanda depends upon a government and ruling party that eventually shares real authority with the majority population.

End summary.

Tutsis Dominate Senior Positions

¶2. (C/NF) Post analyzed 118 senior positions in the government, from ministries to parastatals to independent regulatory bodies, as well as the defense and security establishments to assess the ethnic composition of the current Rwandan government (GOR). Post’s review of ethnic membership showed two thirds of the senior positions are occupied by Tutsis — including ministers, ministers of state and secretaries general in the various ministries, the heads of the armed services and security services, and the heads of dozens of government offices. This according of senior positions has held steady over time — Post has reviewed internal embassy surveys of ethnic breakdowns of senior positions from several years ago and found a similar two-thirds/one-third breakdown. These percentages are far different from the ethnic breakdown commonly accepted for the two groups, at 15 percent Tutsi and 85 percent Hutu (Twas are normally accorded one percent or less of the population). Some senior Tutsi officials privately assert that the Tutsi population, whose official size was suppressed during the Hutu-power Habyarimana era, is growing as a percentage of the population, but there is no statistical analysis to support this.

It Starts at the Top: Powerful Tutsis, Secondary Hutus

¶3. (C/NF) President Kagame is a Tutsi. So, too are the important Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Infrastructure, Local Government, and Information. Close Kagame confidant, Chief of Defense Staff General James Kabarebe, is Tutsi, as are the chiefs of the army and air force, the military district commanders and the heads of the Rwanda National Police and the National Security Service (although some Rwandans joke that short-statured Air Force Chief Muhire is Twa). Indeed, all are English speakers who grew up in Uganda. Some major positions are held by Hutus, but their actual authority often appears limited, and they are widely perceived to be “twinned” with more powerful Tutsi colleagues.

¶4. (S/NF) First Twin: Prime Minister Bernard Makuza: A Hutu, he ostensibly occupies the second-most powerful position in the Rwandan government. Affable but ineffectual, he defers in all matters great and small to President Kagame. Qhe defers in all matters great and small to President Kagame. Second Twin: Defense Minister General Marcel Gatsinzi. A Hutu, he is entirely eclipsed by Chief of Defense Staff James Kabarebe. Third Twin: Minister of Internal Security Sheik Musa Fazil Harerimana (in charge of police and prisons). A Muslim Hutu, and head of the PDI political party, he defers to his ministry’s Secretary General Joseph Mutaboba, a Tutsi and former ambassador to the U.S. Fourth Twin: Supreme Court President Aloysia Cyanzayire. Although she is reputedly a competent and hard-working judge, Supreme Court Vice President Sam Rugege, a Tutsi, is very much the public face of the court, and appears to hold administrative authority as well. Fifth Twin: Long-serving Central Bank Governor Francois Kanimba, whose Deputy was Tutsi Consolate Rusagara, influential in economic circles, recently replaced by equally important regime insider and formerly head of Tristar (a business entity controlled by the Rwandan Patriotic Front) Ephrem Twahirwa, also a Tutsi.

¶5. (C/NF) This is not to say that all Hutus are devoid of any authority within the government. Hutus hold some key ministries that impact the lives of average Rwandans: — Health Minister Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo is energetic and well-regarded (although a very energetic and internationally renowned physician, Agnes Binagwaho, a Tutsi, heads the high-profile HIV/AIDS portfolio); — New Agriculture Minister Christophe Bazivamo has held senior positions within the RPF (although he is far from the inner circles); his training as agricultural engineer may bring new life to a badly-managed ministry (he has, however, a well-connected Tutsi deputy minister, Agnes Kalibata); — Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the respected number two at Finance in the previous cabinet, has moved up to her own ministry. But Hutus often serve in second-tier positions, such as the Ministries of Gender, Sports and Culture, and the new East African Community. The very active Sports and Culture Minister Joseph Habineza appears frequently at major public events, for example, but his influence within senior circles is small.

Other Balancing Does Occur

¶6. (C/NF) Ethnicity is not the only factor in how the government apportions its positions. The government and ruling RPF vet candidates closely for every senior position, and appointments reflect the need to carefully balance gender, language group, home province/district, country of residence if raised as a refugee outside Rwanda, and political affiliation (given Rwanda’s nine political parties and the formal need under the constitution to share political authority). There are regular stories of splits between francophone and anglophone Tutsis, as well as among the “Ugandans,” those English-speakers raised in refugee camps in Uganda. For example, Finance Minister James Musoni and Director General of the National Security Services Emmanuel Ndahiro, both raised in Uganda, are reputedly engaged in a long-standing “cold war” as they struggle to place their respective loyalists in various government positions. Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali, Minister of Infrastructure Linda Bihire, all Tutsis, head important ministries (by law, 30 percent of the cabinet must go to women).

Ethnic Identity — Used as a Shield?

¶7. (C/NF) As Ambassador Arietti noted in his departing message (reftel), Rwanda remains a deeply divided society, and average Rwandans still identify closely with their ethnic origins. Some Hutus argue that the massive gacaca program, now completing the judgment of over one million (Hutu) genocide cases, like the nationwide campaign against “genocide ideology,” which by definition only Hutus could manifest, particularly now that the 1994 genocide has been renamed “the Tutsi genocide,” are secondarily intended to keep Hutus off balance, unwilling to serve in high places (for fear of being brought low) and generally out of office. For example, new Minister of State for Education Theoneste Mutsindashyaka recently addressed 750 secondary school headmasters, and, according to the pro-government New Times, angrily told them that 80 percent of them were “masterminds of genocide ideology.” Assuming that headmasters match the general ethnic breakdown in society, the Minister essentially accused every Hutu in the room being a genocide ideologist.

Comment

¶8. (C/NF) For all the government’s exhortations to Rwandans to abandon ethnic identities and work in common on national goals, a policy that in fact has much to recommend it, the Qgoals, a policy that in fact has much to recommend it, the political reality is self-evidently otherwise. People remain keenly committed to their ethnic identities, and everyone is aware of which person holds which position and to which group he belongs. While the practical end-point for such a project may be years away. if this government is ever to surmount the challenges and divides of Rwandan society, it must begin to share real authority with Hutus to a much greater degree than it does now.

End comment.

Cabinet positions and ethnic identity

¶9. (S/NF) Below is a listing of cabinet positions and ethnic identity:

Prime Minister Bernard Makuza: Hutu

Minister of Local Government Protais Musoni: Tutsi

Minister of Agriculture Christophe Bazivamo: Huti

Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali: Tutsi

Minister of Internal Security Sheikh Mussa Fazil Harerimana: Hutu

Minister of Finance James Musoni: Tutsi

Minister of Defense Marcel Gatsinzi: Hutu

Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama: Tutsi

Minister in the Office of the President Solina Nyirahabimana: Hutu

Minister for Cabinet Affairs Charles Murigande: Tutsi

Minister of Trade and Industry: Monique Nsanzabaganwa: Hutu

Minister of Health Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo: Hutu

Minister of Education: Daphrose Gahakwa: Tutsi

Minister in the Presidency for Science and Technology Romain Murenzi: Hutu

Minister of Infrastructure Linda Bihire: Tutsi

Minister of Natural Resources Stanislas Kamanzi: Hutu

Minister of Sports and Culture: Joseph Habineza: Hutu

Minister of Youth Protais Mitali: Tutsi

Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo: Tutsi

Minister of Gender and Family Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya: Hutu

Minister of State for Community Development and Social

Affairs Christine Nyatanyi: Hutu

Minister of State for Energy Albert Butare: Tutsi

Minister of State for Environment, Water and Mines

Munyanganizi Bikoro: Tutsi

Minister of State for Industry and Investment Vincent Karega: Tutsi

Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Theoneste Mutsindashyaka: Tutsi

Minister of State for Agriculture Agnes Kalibata: Tutsi

SIM

[Source: Wikileaks]

September 10, 2011   2 Comments

Time for United Nations Institutions to cease being stubbornly complicit in the oppression of the Rwandan People

by Nkiko Nsengimana,

In the name of the Platform FDU-Inkingi – Rwandan National Congress, Nkiko Nsengimana reacts to the recent approval of Rwanda’s request to become member of the UNHCR Executive Committee. He presents a summary of various reasons, all well known and documented from various sources, why the current Rwandan Governement should no longer be trusted by the international community and particularly, by the U.N. institutions.
Here is what he wrote on September 7 to Mr Lazarous Kapambwe, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

His Excellency Mr. President,

The organizations that form the political platform FDU-Inkingi/Rwandan National Congress (RNC) were shocked to learn that the United Nations Economic and Social Council has unanimously approved the request by the Rwandan government to become member of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. To accept such a nomination would be like putting the wolf into the sheepfold.

“In the lead-up to the August 2010 presidential election, the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) tightened its control over civic and political life. The government seriously increased restrictions on press freedom and party activity, while extralegal violence had a chilling effect on dissent. Journalists were threatened and assassinated, and some 30 newspapers, journals, and radio stations were suspended. All serious challengers for the presidency were prevented from running leading to incumbent Paul Kagame’s re-election.”[1]

This is the image of the country, Rwanda, at the time when its leaders are vying for a seat on the Executive Committee of an organization that has in its attributions the daily management of issues pertinent to the protection of refugees.

For more than 17 years after the installation of a regime that was imposed on Rwanda by force since 1994, the political, economic, legal, social and cultural life has become unbearable in Rwanda. This is why the flow of refugees from Rwanda has never stopped.

Professor Filip Reyntjens illustrates this situation in part: “In the midst of the state performance and bad governance policy there is the totalitarian nature of the regime, which wants to control everything and everyone. It is in this context that we must see the law no. 48/2008 of September 9th, 2008 relating to interception of communications[2]

This text merely confirms an existing situation given the fact that the intercepts are allowed to go unchecked: “Relevant services [3]are allowed to intercept communications for reasons of national security” (Article 3). In this text a highly dubious legal quality, it is stated that the interception warrant“is issued by a competent prosecutor” (art. 4), while “the request for lawful interception” [4] is made by the head of National Security Service (art. 5).”[5]

Despite several recommendations from independent organizations of human rights and the National Commission for Human Rights in Rwanda [6], Rwanda continues to violate human rights[7]: “With a few exceptions, the civil society organizations operating in Rwanda today are those that submit to the government’s wishes, actively promote its programs, or stick to uncontroversial areas. Independent human rights organizations, like independent newspapers, have been dismantled one by one or been infiltrated by individuals close to the RPF. Many leading human rights activists have been forced to leave the country. Others, worn down by constant threats to their safety, have simply opted out of the struggle.” [8]

Moreover and more importantly, the current regime in Rwanda is among the very few regimes that:

– Have massacred the internally displaced people inside Rwanda (Kibeho i): “How was it possible that two thousand persons, mostly women and children, could be massacred while living in an internationally designated camp for displaced persons in a small country with an overwhelming presence of international agencies? This happened in post-genocide Rwanda during the army’s operation to close Kibeho camp, despite a presence that included more than a dozen UN agencies, 120 non-governmental organizations and 5,500 UN peacekeeper” [9];

– Have pursued [10] and massacred refugees outside Rwanda (Mapping Report [11]): “Women and children – desperately sick and weak after months on the run – were finally caught by Rwandan army commander Papy Kamanzi. He told them he would give them food and then send them home. But he now admits he was lying and says: „We took them instead into the forest and killed them with a small hatchet. Kamanzi dispatched scores with a blow to the back of the skull”[12]… “The Rwandan military and an allied rebel group massacred ethnic Hutus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, says a leaked draft report commissioned by the United Nations. The report states that it is not making a definitive conclusion on whether the slayings in Congo amounted to genocide, and that a competent judiciary would have to try the cases.” [13]

– Have hunted and killed (Minister Sendashonga, Colonel Lizinde) or attempted to assassinate refugees (Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and colleague [14]) who were already under the UNHCR protection in other countries.

-Have labeled the people who flee persecution as human wastes.[15]

Therefore, granting to Rwanda a seat within the UNCHR Executive Council while it is among the world’s largest producers of refugees would be like putting a poacher in a committee aimed at fighting against poaching.

It is important to mention that Rwandan refugees are afraid to return voluntarily to their country because the following reasons that led them into exile still remain:

– Political assassinations, disappearances, tortures, arbitrary arrests and detentions: “Police officers within Rwanda National Police have shot dead at least 20 detainees in 10 separate incidents in a six-month period between November 2006 and May 2007. Many of these deaths appear to be extrajudicial executions, crimes that violate both the international law on human rights and the Rwandan law”[16];

– The widespread state terror orchestrated by overt and covert security services of the RPF regime;

– The iniquitous judgments rendered without legal assistance by political tribunals called Gacaca[17] and other legal bodies controlled and manipulated by the current regime;

– The so-called “works of general interests” which are another form of bondage;

– The complete closing of political space [18];

– The draconian laws, especially the laws on genocide ideology, divisionism, genocide denial and interception of communications;

– The violation of freedoms of association, expression and press [19];

– The confiscation of people’s properties [20].

The ongoing operation of charm that the Rwandan government has recently launched towards the countries that host large numbers of Rwandan refugees, an operation that is meant to make the world believe that every Rwandan citizen enjoys the highest security
in the broadest sense of this term is just pure propaganda. Indeed, Rwandan refugees who dare to return to their country are imprisoned when they demand participation in the democratic debate and the management of public affairs [21].

If the Rwandan government really wants to end the existence of Rwandan refugees, it must first put in place the conditions that favor the return of refugees starting with the release of all political prisoners and the real opening of the democratic space.

When the reasons that led the people into exile will have disappeared and all indicators of stability are met, Rwandan refugees will be able to return voluntarily to Rwanda. It is during that time that one may duly let the Rwandan government to serve on the UNHCR Executive Committee.

Hoping that the international community will not continue to be complicit in the oppression of the Rwandan people by accepting to be fooled [22] by a regime that acts like an occupying force, please accept, Your Excellency Mr. President, the expression of our highest consideration.

For the platform FDU-Inkingi/Rwandan National Congress

Nkiko Nsengimana

Coordinator
Copy for information:

– The Secretary-General of the United Nations

– Member States of the Economic and social Council (All)

– The countries hosting Rwandan refugees (All)

References:

[1] http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4e3fa949c.html

[2] Journal officiel, no 23 du 1er décembre 2008, pp. 64-69.

[3] Not otherwise identified.

[4]The distinction between an “intercept” and a “lawful intercept” is not specified.

[5] Filip Reyntjens. CHRONIQUE POLITIQUE DU RWANDA, 2008-2009, page 1

[6] http://www.umuvugizi.com/index.php?evt=PAGE05&page=1&ArtID=0000000413)

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/06/07/rwanda-serious-concerns-regarding-freedom-expression

http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session10/RW/Rwanda-A_HRC_WG.6_10_L.2-eng.pdf

http://www.amnestyinternational.be/doc/s-informer/les-rapports-annuels/le-rapport-annuel-2011/afrique-2091/article/nouvel-article-17893

[7] http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR47/004/2011/en/0182aa06-dedf-48e1-8518-92e3f4a3b54d/afr470042011en.html

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR47/002/2011/en/ef7cd1a3-d1db-46da-b569-818b7555b83b/afr470022011en.pdf

http://amnesty.org/en/region/rwanda/report-2011

[8] http://thinkafricapress.com/rwanda/murder-or-imprisonment-high-price-“stability”-rwanda

[9] http://www.pbase.com/kleine/cuthbertbrown_kibeho&page=all 6

[10] http://www.google.nl/search?source=ig&hl=nl&rlz=1G1GGLQ_NLNL358&q=discours+kagame+murambi+gikongoro&oq=discours+kagame+murambi+gikongoro&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=3795l24913l0l25699l35l35l1l22l22l0l219l1909l2.6.4l12

[11] http://www.ohchr.org/en/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/RDCProjetMapping.aspx

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/10/148549.htm

[12] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2019187/Monster-genocide-rape-squads.html#ixzz1THlUrdOD

[13] Josh Kron, CNN. UN Report accuses Rwanda of massacre in Congo, August 27, 2010

[14] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/world/africa/20rwanda.html?_r=1

[15] http://rwandinfo.com/kinya/ijambo-rya-paul-kagame-ryababaje-abanyarwanda-benshi/

[16] Human Rights Watch, Volume 19, n°20(A), Juillet 2007, page 1

[17] http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2011/05/31/justice-compromised

[18] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6W_zgdsOgk

http://africandictator.wordpress.com/tag/victoire-ingabire-umuhoza/

[19] http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/06/26/rwanda-stop-attacks-journalists-opponents

[20] http://nos.nl/artikel/236251-rwanda-een-tikkende-tijdbom.html,%20http:/nos.nl/video/236252-landverdeling-rwanda-leidt-tot-spanningen.html

[21] Report of the exploratory visit to Rwanda by the delegation of the combatants and their dependents from RUD/RPR from January 23 to 28, 2009. http://www.google.nl/search?source=ig&hl=nl&rlz=1G1GGLQ_NLNL358&q=RUD+visite+exploratoire&oq=RUD+visite+exploratoire&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1516l13996l0l15952l25l25l1l17l17l0l209l1027l2.3.2l7

[22] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoxLZrodVfY

 

[Platform FDU-Inkingi and RNC]

September 9, 2011   3 Comments

Rwanda High Court orders trial of Victoire Ingabire to proceed

A Rwandan judge has ordered the trial of opposition leader Victoire Ingabire to proceed.

Victoire Ingabire in court

The trial of Rwandan opposition figure Victoire Ingabire opened Monday 05 September.
Ingabire, an outspoken critic of the country’s leadership charged with fomenting insecurity and promoting ethnic divisions, appeared in court in handcuffs, wearing the standard pink Rwandan prison uniform and with her head shaved. Around 20 armed security officials surrounded the courthouse, with several also inside the crowded courtroom.

Charges were read out against Ingabire, dressed in a pink dress but wearing handcuffs and with a shaved head, but after opening prosecutors then called for the trial to be delayed.

Rwandan prosecutors said they have evidence of her alleged “terrorist” activities, including proof of financial transfers to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel movement based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, the prosecution called for more time to collect evidence from the Netherlands, where Ingabire lived in exile before returning to Rwanda in January 2010.
Ingabire’s trial has already been postponed twice. The trial was initially supposed to start May 16 but was pushed back owing to the absence of Ingabire’s lawyers. It was postponed for a second time June 20 after her lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

Arguing against the prosecutor’s request, Ingabire’s British defence lawyer Iain Edwards said the trial should go ahead as planned.

“Delaying the trial would not be in the interest of justice,” Edwards told the court.
“It is clear that the prosecution would not be prejudiced if the trial were to proceed today,” Edwards added.
“But it is clear that Ms. Ingabire would be prejudiced to delay the trial, as she would be subject to continued and lengthy pre-trial detention.”

Judge Alice Rulisa agreed with British lawyer Iain Edwards and dismissed the prosecution’s appeal, ruling it had “failed to give the court an adequate reason to further delay this case.”

“The prosecutor has said from the beginning that they were ready to proceed, and that they had all the evidence they needed to prosecute this case. “Now they are saying they need more time?”, she said.

Ingabire, who has been in detention since her arrest in October last year, is charged alongside several co-accused with “giving financial support to a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity and divisionism”. If she is found guilty of all the charges, she is likely to get a life sentence.
Her case file runs to 2,500 pages and only one of her three defence counsels is proficient in the language in which it is written.
One of the stumbling blocks to the trial going ahead has been the issue of translating thousands of pages of documents from the local Kinyarwanda language into one mastered by the foreign lawyers on Ingabire’s defence team. However, defence lawyer Gatera Gashabana said that “All translations that were requested have been made” and they were ready for the trial.

Ingabire arrived in Rwanda in January 2010 after 17 years in exile in the Netherlands.
Her party, Unified Democratic Forces (UDF), known as FDU-Inkingi and refused accreditation as a political party, accuses Rwandan authorities of fabricating evidence against its leader with the aim of blocking her from political life.

September 7, 2011   2 Comments

Ingabire Trial: Kigali High Court Rejects Prosecutor’s Adjournment Request

by Boniface Twagirimana,
Interim Vice President of FDU-Inkingi

The trial of the opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, FDU-INKINGI Chair, started on 05 September with a new prosecutor’s request to postpone the trial to an unknown date due to the fact that the Dutch government has not sent withheld “pieces of evidence”. The defence counsel reminded “that from the start, justifying the preventive detention of the opposition leader, President Paul Kagame, his government and the Prosecutor stated they had overwhelming evidence. It this evidence did not exist, or is not available, the client should be immediately either bailed out, discharged and released “. After deliberations, the High Court presiding Judge Ms. Alice Rulisa rejected the prosecutor’s objection.

The prosecutor’s evasive delaying tactics and the surprising last minute move to postpone sine die the hearing and to keep the opposition leader in maximum security reveal once again the weakness of the legal basis of this politically motivated case. The arrest was done before investigation.

All key opposition leaders are in prison, dead or in exile. Ms. Ingabire is detained in isolation and denied adequate medical care.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Nobody is expecting any fairness in this circus where the RPF regime is both judge and party.

September 7, 2011   1 Comment

“Rwanda is a ticking bomb”, FDU-Inkingi

by Immaculee Uwayezu.

Through an open letter to the Africa Program Director at the Center For Strategic And International Studies (CSIS), the Coordinator of FDU-INKINGI (The American Chapter) reminds everyone that “Rwanda is a ticking time bomb artificially maintained quiescent by a shaky economic lid made of international aid and the looting of mineral resources from neighboring DR Congo that give a false sense of stability.”

September 2nd, 2011

Re: Your recent report on Rwanda

Madam Cooke,

The American chapter of the United Democratic Forces (FDU-INKINGI) would like to thank you and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for your thoughtful and well documented study entitled “Rwanda: Assessing Risks to Stability” that you published on June 30, 2011.
Although there certainly is room for improvement as for any worthwhile human endeavor, this report shows that Rwanda is neither the “Beacon of Africa” as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it a few years ago, nor the “Economic Miracle” as the World Bank portrays it. Rather, Rwanda is a ticking time bomb artificially maintained quiescent by a shaky economic lid made of international aid and the looting of mineral resources from neighboring DR Congo that give a false sense of stability. History has always shown that there can never be lasting economic and political stability when there is no freedom and democracy.

In the absence of fundamental civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, press, and association, security and stability can only be temporary and will always rely on a robust and pervasive security and intelligence apparatus as the one the CSIS described in the report. Additionally, this so-called stability often results from the brutal and arbitrary nature of the police and state secret services, a perverted justice system and an army that no longer protects the citizens against potential enemies but protects the ruling elites against their own people as a means of holding on to power. Hence only a strong and organized opposition inside and outside Rwanda can lay the ground work for true stability by demanding dreaded political, economic, and civil society reforms. People who are genuinely interested in a Rwanda that is stable and prosperous for all Rwandan citizens should therefore begin by supporting the democratic opposition.
The American chapter of FDU-INKINGI salutes the CSIS recognition of the existence of such an opposition abroad amid its brutal suppression inside Rwanda. However, we regrettably reject the CSIS characterization of the Rwandan opposition as being nascent and divided. FDU-INKINGI has been in existence since 2006, operating as a coalition of many political parties of Rwandan opposition scattered around the world. Our coalition cuts across the entire Rwandan political spectrum above and beyond the often oversimplified Hutu-Tutsi divide. As we all know, our international partners often use this divide to get a semblance of grasp on the otherwise complex political landscape in Rwanda.
Under the charismatic leadership of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza who, on politically motivated charges, is languishing in solitary confinement at the Kigali maximum security prison since October 2010, the party FDU-INKINGI signed a memorandum of collaboration with Rwanda National Congress (RNC-IHURIRO), which is a political party founded by disgruntled Tutsi exiles all former President Kagame’s confidents and RPF’s insiders with Hutus exiles joining in from a few other existing political parties abroad. The party FDU-INKINGI is committed to work within this broad coalition and to keep such a unifying momentum going in order to reassure our brothers of Tutsi or Hutu descent that FDU-INKINGI is not about ethnicity, but about Rwanda’s democracy, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness for all Rwandans. With the coalition FDU-RNC, FDU-INKINGI has become the central piece of Rwandan opposition abroad while also running a strong coalition with PS-IMBERAKURI against the arbitrary and oppressive machine of the RPF regime in Rwanda.
We therefore urge the CSIS, AFRICOM and the US Government to help FDU-INKINGI and its coalition members, to work hand in hand to reshape the political landscape of Rwanda for the US and Rwandan mutual interests by doing the following:

Demand an immediate release of all political prisoners including FDU-INKINGI Chair Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Bernard Ntaganda, Chair PS-IMBERAKURI, Deo Mushayidi, Chair PDP-IMANZI, Charles Ntakirutinka, co-founder PDR-UBUYANJA, Theoneste Niyitegeka, former presidential candidate in 2003 and others, as well as all journalists arbitrary detained for their opinions.

Subject US foreign aid to Rwanda to the respect of human rights and the opening up of the political space.

Implement existing legislation barring illegal exploitation and commercialization of Congo minerals through the Rwandan military elite and help the Democratic Republic of Congo take control of the exploitation and commercialization of its mineral resources.

Support reforms of the Rwandan justice system to make it an instrument of justice for all citizens and not a tool of oppression by the ruling elite.

Extend the military leadership and police recruitments to all Rwandan citizens without distinction of ethnic background. Indeed, the security and intelligence services are run, operated and organized around the Tutsi elite. Almost all the military officers are from the minority Tutsi elite. Almost all the commanders of military branches, schools and training centers are Tutsi. All the commanders of military intelligence and security services are Tutsis.

Foster a climate of peace and freedom among all Rwandan citizens for the return of numerous Rwandan refugees still languishing in refugee camps across the globe.

Establish an ad hoc tribunal to prosecute the people who are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the Congolese territory by the Rwandan army and other armies from countries implicated by the UN Mapping Report in the conflict minerals of the Congo.

Extend the mandate of the ICTR to try war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by RPF soldiers before, during and after the Rwandan genocide.

Support an inter-Rwandan dialogue highly inclusive for Rwandans to settle their differences through peaceful means and to redefine their way forward for a lasting peace modeled to the South African truth and reconciliation commission.

We would like once again to reiterate our gratitude for your thoughtful study. At your convenient time we wish to have an opportunity to meet with you to expand on these recommendations and more.

Respectfully,

Immaculee Uwayezu
Coordinator,
FDU-INKINGI
The American Chapter.

 

September 3, 2011   5 Comments