Rwandan Diaspora and Friends of Rwanda urge the US government to push hard on General Kagame and the UN Security Council
By Ing Mah
The protesters gathered in front of the White House from 10 am to 2 pm and later marched to the US State Department from 2 pm to 5 pm.
They called upon the US government to show leadership by urging the UN Security Council to address the recent UN Report of the Mapping Exercise which was released on October 1, 2010. The Report documents the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by Rwandan troops within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo against Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese people between 1993 and 2003.
The protesters also urged the US government to use their influence on Rwandan President Paul Kagame to secure immediate and unconditional release of all Rwandan political prisoners, including, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Mr. Bernard Ntaganda, Mr. Deogratias Mushayidi, Mr. Theoneste Niyitegeka, Mr. Charles Ntakirutinka, and many others.
According to their statement, US taxpayers sent over one billion of tax dollars in foreign aid to Rwanda in the past decade alone.
“We therefore urge the United States Government to link future aid to Rwandan government on fostering genuine reconciliation, accountability and development for all Rwandans instead of supporting political agenda of the RPF ruling party”.
While in front of the White House, protesters unexpectedly encountered a counter protest led by the Staff from the Rwandan Embassy in US and their friends.
Fortunately, because these counter protesters failed to show to the security officers a required permit, they were asked to immediately leave the White House sidewalk. They gently walked across the street towards Lafayette Park where they stayed until the rally was over at 2 pm.
Starting at 2:30 pm, the Rwandan Diaspora and Friends of Rwanda in US were allowed to pursue their rally in the front yard of the US Department of State. Copies of their press release and the statement on Mrs. Ingabire’s High Court bail hearing last Monday November 8, 2010 were handed over by the protesters’ representative to Staff in charge of the Rwandan Desk at the US Department of State.
Upon their humiliation in front of the White House, the unfortunate Staff from the Rwandan Embassy in US and their friends did not give up. They made it to the US Department of State but were barred from approaching the courtyard because they once again failed to show a required permit.
Surprisingly, counter protesters from the Rwandan Embassy in US knowingly misled the Rwandan public opinion by falsely reporting to the New Times in Kigali that they urged U.S to act on fugitives despite the fact that they were not allowed access to neither the White House sidewalk nor the US Department of State courtyard!