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The U.S. Assistance to Rwanda Enables Ruling Party RPF To Destroy Legitimate Political Opposition

par FDU-Inkingi and Rwanda National Congress.

(from joint open letter of FDU-Inkingi and Rwanda National Congress to members of the US Congress – 14th September 2011)

The United States’ development assistance to Rwanda

The United States has provided generous humanitarian and development assistance to Rwanda. The Rwanda National Congress and the FDU-Inkingi would wish to express their appreciation for the humanitarian and development assistance that has been extended to Rwanda by successive governments of the United States since 1994. Undoubtedly, the assistance that the United States has provided to Rwanda was extended at the time of need and in good faith to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Rwanda and kick start growth and development after the traumatic genocide of 1994. We have no doubt that the assistance that the United States had provided to Rwanda was given in the belief that the assistance would lead to development, stability and sustainable peace rooted in popular legitimacy, respect of fundamental human rights, especially the integrity of the person and the right to political participation.

Undoubtedly, the assistance that the United States has provided to Rwanda has not led to the achievement of these objectives. The majority of the Rwandan people, over 80% of them peasants, still live on less than a dollar per day. While President Kagame enriches himself, buys luxury executive jets to the tune of 150 million US $, and now plans to build a second, and unnecessary airport that will cost well over 600 million U.S. $, Rwanda remains with pressing needs in health, education and livelihoods for the majority of the Rwandan people.

Contrary to opinion in some international development circles, the development assistance that the United States and others ( notably UK) provide to Rwanda enables the government to devote an increasing proportion of the resources of the government and the ruling party to supporting activities to destroy legitimate political opposition. Furthermore, President Kagame misuses U.S and other taxpayers aid money for personal use, on wasteful and unnecessary projects. and on entrenching his absolute and violent rule. Above all, the unconditional U.S economic and diplomatic support to the strong man, the absolute ruler, President Kagame, has made him evermore intransigent and unresponsive to legitimate aspirations of the citizens of Rwanda.

Next:

The Expected Role of the United States and the International Community in Supporting Democratic Change and Building Sustainable Peace in Rwanda

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