Rwanda Information Portal

Join us on 7th April 2010 at BBC World Service: Break The Silence Campaign


7th April 2010 at BBC World Service
Strand – London WC2B 4PH

Millions of people have been dying in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (GLRA) since the early 90s.

The world has today shifted its focus elsewhere but the suffering is ongoing in the region. Root causes are still there: leaders of rebel movements (Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila) presently turned into presidents of sovereign countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo), thanks to the US and UK backing, are using the same inhuman methods from their time in the bush to rule over their citizens.

They are not allowing real and effective democracy in their national political space. They are harassing, imprisoning political opponents who try to emerge and address issues faced by their compatriots: human rights, famine, epidemic rape of thousands of women, lack of health systems, education infrastructures, and others. The objective of the demonstration is to bring back to the attention of the international community the plight of millions of Africans in DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda.

All the ongoing situation would normally be more than enough to become recurrent news material as underlying issues are still present: protected criminals and pursuit of DRC wealth, to get an ongoing media attention the world over, especially if it were to threaten influential nations in some way. Yet, perhaps as a cruel irony, influential nations in the world benefit from the vast resources coming from the DRC for which people are dying over and oppressed in the region.

We demand to BBC World Service and other global media to point to the real culprits of the tragedy of the Great Lakes Region and not cover them up because they serve interests of the West at the expense of millions of African lives. Without underestimating the insecurity that current rebel movements are causing, particularly in Eastern and North Eastern Congo, the latter shouldn’t be seen as scapegoats. They didn’t wake up one day and decided to become rebels without a reason. Dictators of the region are fuelling their existence and using them to justify their oppressive structures to stay in power for ever.

We want global media to see and highlight to the attention of governments and UN and the general public the relation between

* financing massively Rwandan and Ugandan dictatorships through bilateral and multilateral channels and the suffering of millions of citizens in the Great Lakes region

* arming and supporting militarily these regimes and the lack of political space for democracy, particularly during these electoral years when populations expected to express freely who they want to lead them

* plundering DRC mineral resources through embezzled structures with bases in Rwanda, Uganda and connections with companies in UK, Germany, Belgium, US, Canada, China, and the ongoing tragedy of rape, torture, imprisonment, displacement of populations

We demand to global media to objectively inform decision makers in influential nations and international institutions such as UN, Security Council, EU, particularly US and UK governments, because of their unconditional support to the dictators of the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

We request from global media such as BBC World Service to highlight the plight of millions of Rwandans and Ugandans who are suffering at the hands of their dictators, and put pressure on their sponsors, among other measures,

* to end in Rwanda an apartheid like system camouflaged under a wall of laws and daily practices which only fool foreigners but not Rwandans, and which oppresses the majority of the population

* to suspend temporarily bilateral and multilateral aid and put a military embargo to Rwanda and Uganda until they stop opposing fully inclusive inter-citizens dialogue involving pro and against their respective regimes and open up their political space for democracy and change; inter-citizens dialogues have been applied in South Africa, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo successively; there is no reason they shouldn’t apply in Rwanda and Uganda.

April 2, 2010   No Comments

Restructured Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Gets New Staff

Ms. Clare Akamanzi, Chief Operating Officer, Rwanda Development Board.

Ms. Clare Akamanzi, Chief Operating Officer, Rwanda Development Board.

KIGALI – A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Thursday has approved new appointments Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The agency was restructured in January but has been without staff as the existing employees were being sieved.

The Cabinet had already appointed Mr. John Gara as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in November 2009 replacing the American businessman Joe Ritchie. Now, RDB CEO John Gara has finally got his team in place:

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO): Clare Akamanzi – formerly Deputy CEO in charge of Business Operations and Services
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO): James Kamanzi
  • Head of Information Technology: Mr. Patrick Nyirishema
  • Head of Trade and Manufacturing: Mr. Pipien Hakizabera
  • Head Tourism and Conservation: Ms. Ricah Rwigamba
  • Head the Asset and Investment Management department: Mr. Daniel Ufitikirezi
  • Head the Human Capital and Institutional Development department: Mr. Paul Kayoboke

April 2, 2010   5 Comments

Rwanda Cabinet Appoints High Court Bosses

Kigali – Rwandan Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Thursday has appointed Mr. JMV Hitimana as vice president of the High Court while Mr. Benoït Gakwaya Gatete and Emmanuel Kamere were respectively appointed President and Vice-President of the Commercial High Court.

April 2, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Bishop John Rucyahana Appointed As Chair Of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission

Ret. Bishop John Rucyahana

Ret. Bishop John Rucyahana

Kigali – Rwandan Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Thursday has appointed Rt. Rev John Rucyahana as President of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.
Bishop John Rucyahana who has been at the helm of Shyira Anglican Church Diocese for the last 13 years tretired last month. He hassince been replaced by Rev. Dr. Laurent Mbanda who has been consecrated on March 28th.

April 2, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Dissident PS Imberakuri Leadership Appeals To Authorities Over ‘Ousted’ Chair Ntaganda

Bernard Ntaganda - still claims to be the only legitimate leader of PS Imberakuri

Bernard Ntaganda - claims to be the only legitimate leader of PS Imberakuri

Mme Christine Mukabonane, la nouvelle présidente du PS-ImberakuriMme Christine Mukabunane, Chair of dissent RPF-backed faction of PS-Imberakuri

Kigali – The dissident RPF-backed leadership of PS Imberakuri political party has appealed to relevant authorities to intervene in solving the issues between the party and its former President, Bernard Ntaganda, the party’s vice president, Christine Mukabunane, has said.

In a press conference yesterday, Mukabunane told members of the media that even after being removed from the helm of the party, Ntaganda has continued to be a problem.

“We decided to first solve the issue internally and relieved him of his duties as the party president, but that seemed not to have solved the problem. Right now, we have written to the relevant authorities to intervene in the matter,” she said

Mukabunane said that for instance, financially, the party is operating with support from its members because Ntaganda had refused to hand over relevant bank documents.

Ntaganda was removed from the helm of the party last month for allegedly promoting divisionism and associating with terrorists.

Mukabunane dismissed Ntaganda’s claims that members of PS Imberakuri had been intimidated and some of their leaders temporarily detained.

“We are an opposition party, but I can assure you that nobody has jailed me. I took a decision to join this party and I think I am old enough not to be intimidated into anything,” she said

Samson Dusingize, who represents the party in the Western Province, said that he had not received any reports of harassment and intimidation.

“No one has come to my office to report any form of harassment. The issue here is that some people feel that they are above the law. Ntaganda is spreading the wrong information because he never imagined that he could leave the presidency of the party, but the party members took a decision and it cannot be reversed,” he said

According to Faustin Nkekabahizi, who was also part of the PS Imberakuri entourage of ten, Ntaganda’s undoing was that he drifted from the party’s core mission and allied with groups that have been blacklisted both locally and internationally as terrorists.

“Of course we started this party with Ntaganda and we had a good plan. When Ntaganda said that he was going to Europe, we held a meeting. You can imagine our shock when we heard the news that he had signed an agreement with other political factions without the party’s consent,” he said.

April 2, 2010   2 Comments

Rwanda: Immaculee Uwanyirigira Appointed New Envoy To The Netherlands

Kigali – A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Thursday appointed little-known Ms. Immaculee Uwanyirigira to cover up the vacant embassy in the Netherlands. The former Rwandan Ambassador in the Netherlands, Mr. Jean Pierre Bizimana, resigned end February and sought political asylum in the Republic of Ireland.

April 2, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda Appoints New Envoy To China

Kigali: A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame has named on Thursday former head of the Genocide survivors’ umbrella organization IBUKA, Mr. François-Xavier Ngarambe as the new envoy to China, in replacement of the long serving diplomat in Beijing Mr. Benjamin Rugangazi.

April 2, 2010   1 Comment

Rwandan Minister Struggles To Explain Alleged Presidential Planes

Minister Tharcisse Karugarama

Minister Tharcisse Karugarama

Kigali: In what seemed like he had been caught off-guard, Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama contradicted the official government position on the alleged $100million presidential planes packed in South Africa, RNA reports.

In February, the South African investigative newspaper The Sunday Times claimed Rwanda owns two $50million-each executive planes. The paper said the Government owns the planes through a fronted company Repli Investments 29 (Pty) Ltd. Presidential aide Prof. Manasseh Nshuti and reclusive businessman Hatari Sekoko are the ones behind the planes.

A week later, Government released a statement dismissing the allegations. In subsequent media appearances and statements, it was made clear that the planes do exist but are not owned by government. Government admits the planes are privately owned by Rwandan nationals, but only used for hire to transport the President and top officials.

However, appearing on BBC Kinyarwanda service, Minister Karugarama did not seem to be aware of the official government position, saying instead that those planes to “do not exist”.

“I do not have expertise in planes. What I can tell you is that [South Africa] cannot have planes contrary to the law…cannot have unknown property…I think those talking about the planes should be the ones giving details…,” said Karugarama.

In response to a follow up question as to whether the planes really exist, Mr. Karugarama paused for some seconds, then said guardedly: “I am not involved with the management of planes, I am the Minister of Justice. With the planes domain, why can’t you ask those responsible…You could as well ask those managing airports.”

The Minister said “up to this point”, he has no knowledge of the existence of any such planes. “I only know planes called RwandAir Express,” he maintained in reference to the national carrier.

Sounding like he was not privy to the details of the controversial planes which have been published widely outside Rwanda and by local tabloid UMUSESO and RNA, or even the Government position, Mr. Karugarama asked “who published that?…the BBC…”

“Me as Minister of Justice, I don’t know those planes,” he said. He added that whoever has evidence of illegal ownership of any planes should avail him with the information so he could prosecute any suspects.

However, the Minister pointed out that the person bringing the evidence should clearly indicate the illegality behind that ownership. “…but you cannot just find me walking and ask me about planes…if you had instead asked me about the plane that brought me here,” he said amid laughter.

The interview with the Minister was recorded this week when he was in London, but was only aired Thursday.


April 2, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Police lays siege on Ingabire’s house

Kigali: Police detectives are at the house of opposition politician Victoire Ingabire, as news comes through suggesting she has already been charged in a Gasabo Intermediate court on general sheet of three counts, RNA can reveal.

Ms. Ingabire was arrested at 9am, taken to Kicukiro Police station and immediately paraded in court to hear the charge sheet. An impromptu court session heard from a prosecutor that Ms. Ingabire was promoting divisionism, negating the Tutsi Genocide and supporting the FDLR rebels in eastern DR Congo.

The opposition politician, whose party is yet-to-be registered, also immediately filed an application for bail which her lawyer Protais Mutembe said is her constitutional right, according to sources. Court will convene Thursday to rule on whether she can be granted bail.

Meanwhile, at her home in Kinyinya – a suburb of Kigali, about five police officers are keeping an eye on any activity at the building. There are about five, a woman in the house told RNA, adding that she saw two officers with guns.

The three people in the house were refused from leaving the compound by the officers, but did not give any reasons. The police detectives are apparently outside the fence and have not entered the house since mid-day.

Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga confirmed to The New York Times Ms. Ingabire was in police custody and was facing charges of Genocide ideology, divisionism and cooperating with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. The group’s members are blamed in Kigali for slaughtering Tutsis and fleeing to Congo.

April 2, 2010   No Comments