It is not safe for Rwandan refugees to return home
by Rwanda People’s Party – Imvura.
The Rwanda People’s Party – IMVURA (RPP – IMVURA) is concerned about the state of Rwandan refugees in Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, UK etc. We are also concerned about the intentions of the Rwanda and Uganda governments, together with UNHCR, aimed at forcing refugees to return to Rwanda where they are at a threat of being persecuted.
While the Rwandan refugees have been wanting to go home peacefully since 1959, Rwanda is now a besieged country where bombs have been going off almost every day with the intention of scaring Rwandan refugees who want to return home to participate in the coming general elections.
Likewise these bombs have also been used to scare members of the opposition to leave the country as well as a pretext to persecute those who dare express their concern about seeing Rwanda heading into a sinking titanic boat.
Kigali is now full of plain-clothed Presidential Guard Unit (PGU) terrorising the community whom they are supposed to protect.
Every day on average, 90 Rwandans are being forced to flee their country for fear of persecution.
The regime has failed to protect the Rwandan people and their properties.
Prisons are full of political prisoners; vulnerable children are physically and mentally abused and then rounded up and taken into prison on AN ISLAND OF THE UNWANTED CHILDREN as stated by New York Times of April 30, 2010.
The situation in Rwanda is quite worse today than it was during the terror regimes of IDI Amin and Obote II of Uganda.
The genocide survivors (IBUKA) are currently living very unspeakable lives under Kagame’s regime than before the 1990 invasion.
We have chilling reports on how Rwandan are being deliberately subjected to horrendous daily attacks. There are evidences of assassinations, kidnappings, mysterious disappearance and harassments by the Rwandan government.
The detailed account cannot be exhausted; but they include:
– 1995: Journalist Manasseh Bugaboo disappeared in Kigali has not been seen since;
– 1996: First post-genocide Interior Minister Seth Sendashonga and businessman Augustin Bugirimfura; shot dead in Nairobi;
– 1998: Journalist Emmanuel Munyemanzi disappeared in Kigali; body spotted in city but not returned to family;
– 1998: Theoneste Lizinde, RPF MP and government intelligence chief before the genocide; was assassinated in Nairobi;
– 2000: First post-genocide President Pasteur Bizimungu’s adviser, Asiel Kabera, shot dead in Kigali;
– 2003: EX-RPF officer and top judge Augustin Cyiza and magistrate Eliezar Runyaruka and opposition MP Leonard Hitimana disappeared from Kigali and have not been seen again;
– 2010: Ex-RPF officer Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa shot and wounded in Johannesburg;
– 2010: Journalist Jean-Leonard Rugambage gunned down in Kigali
– 2010: Denis Semadwinga gunned down in Gisenyi;
– 2010: Sheik Idi Abas, Gen Robert Urayineza alias Zuru Uraye, and Imena Banana, all disappeared in Kigali;
– 2010: Deo Mushayidi kidnapped from Burundi currently in prison in Rwanda;
– 2010: Reporter Dominique Makeli survived abduction in Kampala-Uganda;
– 2010: Dozens of Journalists including Jean Bosco Gasasira – live in fear of abduction in Kampala;
– 2010: Members of the RPP – IMVURA are living under constant threats in the UK, Rwanda and in other countries
– 2010: Journalists – John Edie Mugabi, Ismail Mbonigaba, Charles Kabonera, Robert Sebufirira and many others have fled the country
The Kagame terror regime has no boundaries. It has even extended it’s unashamed attacks and degrading treatments to friends of Rwanda such as foreign journalists, lawyers, NGO agencies; human rights groups, to mention but a few.
All of these atrocities and degradation of the Rwandan people are carried out before the eyes of the international community in particular the UK and US governments and the UNHCR, an umbrella organisation that is supposed to protect these refugees.
It seems as if the international community is aiding the terror regime in Rwanda to continue committing these indescribable atrocities and force Rwandan refugees to return to a country where their lives are at risk.
The RPP – IMVURA believes that the lack of action from UK and US governments has been interpreted by Kagame as his license to kill fellow Rwandans with impunity.
The RPP – IMVURA strongly condemns the barbaric acts, uncultured and cowardly atrocities and inhuman or degrading treatments of the people of Rwanda, both at home and in their countries of asylum by Kagame’s regime.
The RPP – IMVURA calls up the Kigali regime to desist any further temptations on its policy of assassinating, summary execution, kidnapping and the harassment of the Rwandan people.
These barbaric activities by Kigali are very provocative, dangerous and must stop immediately. It is unacceptable.
The RPP – IMVURA calls upon the UN and its agencies to re-enforce the protection of safety and wellbeing of the Rwandan refugees from persistence persecutions by the Kagame terror groups.
We appeal to the international community to bring to account whoever is responsible for inflicting these horrific and disgraceful memories to the people of Rwanda.
The RPP – IMVURA is calling for an intervention from the UK and US governments to force Kagame to step down and to bring to justices those responsible for these horrific crimes.
The political turmoil in Rwanda has been explained by the two independent human rights agencies who affirmed in Uganda’s Daily Monitor 29/06/2010 that it’s unsafe for Rwandan refugees in Uganda or elsewhere to return home.
The reports were commissioned by Refugee Law Project and International Refugees Rights Initiatives. The report is in clear confirmation of the RPP – IMVURA claims about the degrading treatments of Rwandan refugees who return home only to face discrimination, disappearances, imprisonment, xenophobia and political persecution.
This has also been articulated by the King of Rwanda, The King Kigeli Ndahindwa (V) in his interviews in the UMUVUGIZI Newspaper of 5/7/10 and on the BBC Great Lakes news 6/7/10.
In summary the King stated that he abandoned his hopes of return to Rwanda because of Rwanda’s political turmoil and went on to clarify in UMUVUGIZI that it is not advisable to go into a house which is on fire. The question is, if the King of Rwanda cannot return to his own country, what chances are there for the ordinary men and women who have been called ‘flies’ by President Kagame? President Kagame promised to crush these ‘Flies’ with his hammer.
The RPP – IMVURA is still not sure whether the UNHCR and other supporting agencies are there to safeguard the wellbeing of the vulnerable ones or whether they are trying to re-write the 1951 UN Convention on refugees and /or whether the Convention is no longer applicable to vulnerable Rwandan refugees?
The current political turmoil is not so much to do with Rwandan refugees being followed in exile by Kigali terror groups but the circumstances and the manner in which the Rwandan people are being forced to flee their country to become refugees.
The RPP – IMVURA, would like to remind the Uganda government that according to Article 33, para 1 of the Convention of 1951 relating to the status of refugees where Uganda acceded in 1976 as well as the protocol of 1967 that:
“No contracting state shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”
We are sure that there is rule of law and order in Uganda. We are sure that the Uganda government will honour its engagement on this matter and we are kindly requesting the Uganda government not force Rwandan refugees to return Rwanda where they lives are at threat.
The RPP-IMVURA is particularly concerned about the fate of Rwandan refugees currently living in Zambia.
Zambia has around 88000 refugees of which 5010 are Rwandans. Zambia has given Rwandan refugees until December 31st, 2011 to go back to Rwanda otherwise their rights to be refugees and reside in the safety of Zambia will be confiscated.
The ultimatum was made to them by the boss of the UNHCR, Joyce Cole in conjunction with Zambian government officials.
The RPP – IMVURA believes that the Zambian government is not exceptional when it comes to its obligation in upholding Article 33 para 1 of the Convention of 1951 relating to the status of refugees of which Zambia is also a signatory.
If the situation was condusive in Rwanda, indeed, no one would long more to go back to Rwanda than the Rwandan refugees, because that is where they belong.
No one was born or created to be subjected to the test of living the life of a refugee and or of Rwandans in Diaspora. It was not our mistake to be forced to leave our country. It is therefore wrong to condemn Rwandan refugees for their refusal to return home where their lives are deemed to be in danger. It is imperative, one must look at the continued circumstances that are forcing them to flee their homeland and condemn it in the strongest terms.
Refugees of Rwandan origin make up to around 2.5 million refugees who have fled the country since 1959 and to date. Of these, 1.2 million live in Uganda. The RPP – IMVURA has been advocating for a direct and meaningful dialogues that would involve a wider consultations as a parameter to resolve all issues that affect Rwandan refugees since 1959 to date.
We need to work out a clear mechanism required to facilitate a “peaceful and meaningful repatriation and permanent resettlement” of all Rwandan refugees.
There is need for a negotiated and enforceable agreement where the wellbeing of all refugees returning home would be guaranteed by the international community as a confidence-building exercise.
The RPP – IMVURA has communicated to the Rwandan government and to the United Nations about the readiness and unreserved willingness of Rwandan refugees to return home.
The party has also requested the postponement of the 9th August 2010 elections to next August 2011, so as to give appropriate opportunities to millions of Rwandan refugees to become part of the democratic process to elect leaders of their own choose.
The RPP – IMVURA has been urging the international community to support this peaceful idea and there has been no response of any sorts from either Rwanda or the international community.
The RPP – IMVURA, wishes to take this opportunity once again to call upon the Rwandan government to enter direct Peace Talks to resolve the questions of Rwandan refugees once and for all.
The RPP – IMVURA also calls upon the regional leaders in particular the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, the African Union and the international community, more importantly, ‘the Five plus One’, that is; the US, UK, France, Russia, China and German, to facilitate direct and meaningful dialogues and support the implementation of any agreed frameworks.
The RPP – IMVURA is open to work with the international community and other supporting agencies to ensure a peaceful return of all Rwandan refugees as soon as it becomes possible.
The RPP – IMVURA requests the international community to support its efforts to engage in direct negotiations with the Kigali regime.
“We would also seek direct guarantees from the international community that we shall not be treated like Deo Mushayidi, Ms Victoire Ingabire and others who have returned home and found themselves in the Kangaroo courts,”
The RPP – IMVURA appeals to the international community to view and see Rwanda as a state beyond Rwandan President Paul Kagame, rather than viewing and seeing President Kagame beyond the state of Rwanda. It is therefore, wrong for anyone to think, suggest or even to believe that there would be no Rwanda without President Kagame.
The RPP – IMVURA believes that forcing Rwandans to return home where their lives are in danger may trigger violence like that of 1981 when former Ugandan President Milton Obote regime in the 1980s, forced thousands of Tutsi refugees to return home against their wishes. The forceful repatriation led to over 4500 Rwandan refugees loosing their lives when they were returned to Rwanda into yet another hostile environment without any due regards of their safety and wellbeing.
RWANDA PEOPLE’S PARTY – IMVURA
(RPP-I) – RPP079/07/I-03J/RR/10/U.