Rwanda Claims Democracy Would Lead To Another Genocide
In his article titled “The politics of genocide in Rwanda”, Geoffrey York reports on the spirit prevailing today at the Rwandan political scene. He writes:
With an election looming in a few months, Rwanda’s authoritarian government has made an astounding claim:democracy leads directly to genocide.
The claim is made in an article this week by Jean Paul Kimonyo, an advisor in the office of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He argues that Rwanda has only had “plural politics” for two brief periods in its history, and both times it “led to mass killings.”
He also makes the sweeping statement that “political parties and independent media” were a big reason for the killings. All parties and all media, in his view, are just as dangerous as the hate-spewing radio stations and politicians that fuelled the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
His conclusion, apparently, is that Rwanda needs to suppress its political parties, restrict its independent media and tightly control its elections, even though it’s been 16 years since the genocide. Democracy – or “confrontational politics,” as he prefers to call it – would “almost certainly lead to renewed violence.”
This is a very convenient argument for those who are currently in power. But what about everyone else? Opposition political parties are already finding it almost impossible to get registered for the August election. Independent journalists are harassed and threatened.