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Posts from — September 2010

Kagame speech at the IISS: ‘The Challenges of Nation-Building in Africa’

by Paul Kagame.

The 2010 Oppenheimer Lecture delivered on Thursday 16 September 2010
watch the video.
download the lecture.

‘The Challenges of Nation-Building in Africa’.

“The Rwandan people learned the hard way the danger of politics of exclusion where the winner takes all…”

It is a great pleasure to be here at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and an honour to speak on the “Challenges of Nation-building in Africa”, with special focus on our country, Rwanda.

This is a topic that is pertinent to us in Africa, but it is equally important for developed countries since nation building is a continual process.

Let me start by expounding on what, in my view, constitutes nationbuilding in general, before I move on to discuss what nation-building has entailed in Africa and in our country.

Nation-building is a long and challenging political process, but one that leaders, together with the citizenry, must undertake with seriousness.

We must understand that most nations have their unique circumstances and each one, throughout history, has built and developed itself around certain distinguishing core features.

The first of these has always been the conscious cultivation of a national identity, the sense of belonging, based on shared values, tradition, history and aspirations. National identity is the foundation of social cohesion.

The second is the establishment of institutions and laws of governance which formalise the relationship between the leaders and citizens, and their expectation of service delivery.

The third feature is the participation of citizens in the governance process by choosing a system that serves them best, selecting their leaders and playing an active role in decision making.

Then there is economic transformation – it is only right for the people to expect a qualitative improvement in their lives. Part of nation-building, therefore, includes establishing the climate and mechanisms for economic development for the whole nation.

It is worth mentioning that the process of nation-building can only be internally generated and led; it cannot be achieved from the outside, however well meaning. This does not mean that we can’t learn from outside or that we do not appreciate support for our initiatives.

For a country coming out of conflict, the first priority should be one of stabilisation and security, which requires strong internal political leadership, systems and institutions. In essence, this is a precondition for successful nation-building. There is need for restoration of order, peace and stability for the building to happen.

All these features must be conceived and implemented within a broad vision of the nation.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
Esteemed audience:

For over sixty years of post-colonial rule, nation-building in most African countries has been an up-hill task as a result of the disruption and fragmentation of our societies caused by our former colonialists. There is no doubt that colonialism created some conditions that made it difficult for newly independent African countries to function as proper nation states and the ramifications are still felt today.

However, this cannot absolve the failures and weaknesses of some postcolonial African leaders who have tended to indulge in a blame game that is not helpful.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot shy away from the heavy responsibility we bear of managing our own affairs, and leading our people.

Today, the Africans and African leaders are challenged to alleviate poverty and ignorance, and to bridge the technological gap necessary for sustainable development. Where this responsibility is not taken seriously, you see weak states and you see failure in nation-building.

Africans also inherited weak administrative structures, inappropriate, and not tailored to the needs of our countries.

I won’t dwell much on the cold war and the competition for influence that engendered proxy wars, which caused instability and slowed the process of nation-building. They were instigated by the colonialists with the sole purpose ofsatisfying their interests.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen; I would now like to share with you our experience in Rwanda, which has had its share of challenges regarding nation-building. Our history in the thirty years following independence was marked by the near absence of characteristics of a functioning state, working in the interests of all its citizens.

From independence in 1962 up to 1994, Rwandan governments based their legitimacy on a fundamentally flawed premise of exclusion. These governments destroyed the identity and unity on which the Rwandan nation had been founded and exclusion became institutionalised.

The conditions of conflict and destruction were made possible by this type of leadership which championed division and sectarianism.

Because of this fundamental deficiency, when faced with the challenges of legitimacy, this leadership fell back on the ideology they were familiar with – the so-called ethnic identities, which in effect fragmented Rwanda.

There were other attendant weaknesses. The politics of exclusion inevitably leads to loss of legitimacy, which meant that governance was exercised through coercion rather than consent. National resources were then diverted to keep this coercive machine in place, corruption was used to maintain a semblance of effectiveness, and the available resources were poured into the preferred regions of the leaders.

A preoccupation with remaining in power and meeting the demands of a sectarian constituency did not allow for the investment of meagre resources in education, technology and business that were needed for socio-economic transformation.

This state of affairs had two related consequences.

First, the economy stagnated and levels of poverty remained high.

Second, it led to heavy dependence on foreign aid that had devastating consequences on the development of the country. It led the people to believe that they could rely on perpetual handouts from donors for their livelihood and therefore need not work hard.

Most of the donor funds remained in the wrong hands and, to a great extent, served to entrench corrupt leadership. But equally, these funds gave donors undue political influence in our domestic affairs.

It is instructive that Rwanda’s budget before 1994 was financed almost 100% by external funding. Today external support ofthe national budget is less than 50%.

The loss of legitimacy by post-colonial governments and the necessity to prop them up by undemocratic means had other consequences that militated against effective nation building. Leaders were not accountable to the citizens, but rather, to their foreign benefactors. It also led to increased repression and exclusion. The tragic consequence of all this was the genocide in 1994.

Informed by the failures of past governments, the government of Rwanda has since 1994 approached the challenges of nation-building in a different way.

We have adopted and implemented policies that foster national unity, promote reconciliation, peace and security and development. We have set out to build a nation of laws and institutions.

The first step was to correct a historical wrong and institute inclusive politics. The Rwandan people learned the hard way the danger of politics of exclusion where the winner takes all, and have opted for a model that builds on inclusive politics of power sharing and consensus building.

At our stage of development, we recognise the important role of the state in service delivery, and as an enabler of economic productivity.

In order to make this effective, it was necessary to build strong institutions of governance at different levels of government, and at the same time decentralise authority and decision-making so that ordinary people’s voices are heard, and so that decisions of government reflect their priorities, needs and input.

It is also clear to us that for effective service delivery, accountability and transparency are key.

In dealing with some of the threats to the unity of our country, we realise that the most effective remedies come from our own historical experience.

And so, when faced with a huge and divisive problem of millions of genocide suspects and an equally large number of genocide survivors living in the same country, and in many cases, the same neighbourhoods, we referred to our culture and came up with a workable solution.

We chose a multi-dimensional view of the problem – justice, reconciliation, healing and forgiveness – and sought a system that would enable us to move forward. Through Gacaca courts, Rwandans were able to administer a difficult but necessary restorative justice in spite of opposition from many quarters.

Another major objective of our government has been the socio-economic transformation of our country. Governments exist to enable their people to lead reasonably good lives. This requires policies and mechanisms that facilitate increased production, more trade and attract investments.

African countries, and Rwanda in particular, recognise that we will develop if we enhance trade among African countries and beyond, and have free access to international markets, trading in high value products. It is imperative, therefore, to establish good relations among nations on the basis of mutual respect.

African governments should eventually aim to wean ourselves off aid as an important component of our development effort. This does not mean that we do not recognise the value of aid.

Rather, aid should be used to create conditions which will make it possible for us to live beyond it, because aid should not be an end in itself, nor is it a substitute for business, innovation and hard work. Aid that does not defeat poverty creates perpetual dependency, which in turn deprives Africans of dignity and self-esteem.

In conclusion, let me say that nation-building is like building a house. You start with the foundation before you build the structure. The foundation comprises security, peace, and stability. But let me also reiterate that, while acknowledging the value of external support and partnership, nation-building cannot be dictated from outside. It should reflect and be informed by the history and particular circumstances of a country.

And so, a nation that cannot find home-grown and innovative solutions from within itself to the numerous challenges of survival and growth is doomed to failure, no matter how much support it gets from external sources. It is with this in mind that Rwandans have sought to solve the numerous challenges we have met by drawing from our history, culture, and experience, as well as drawing support from others.

I thank you for your kind attention, and welcome your questions and observations.

The author General Paul Kagame is President of Rwanda and is currently fighting the official publication of the well documented recent UN report which suggests that his army has committed genocide against Hutus.

[International Institute For Strategic Studies]

September 18, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame talks with CNN about genocide accusations

Becky Anderson talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame about accusations of genocide of Hutus by Rwandan troops in the Congo.
[HTML1]

September 17, 2010   No Comments

Spain wants Rwanda general Nyamwasa extradited for genocide

Fugitive Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, accused of crimes against humanity and genocide

Spain requested on Friday that South Africa extradite an exiled Rwandan general who it wants on charges including genocide and killing four Spaniards in Rwanda in the 1990s, the Justice Ministry said.

The Spanish High Court has charged Lieutenant-General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa with genocide and with the murder of a Spanish missionary in 1994 and three Spanish aid workers in 1997.

“He took part in systematic and planned attacks on the civilian population, in forced disappearances and crimes against international law, also, organising and executing terrorist attacks,” a ministry statement said.

Nyamwasa fled to South Africa this year after falling out with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and later accused him of using an anti-corruption campaign to frame opponents.

The general fought alongside Kagame to end the 1994 genocide in the central African nation. During and after that war he held a number of key positions, including army chief of staff and head of the country’s intelligence services.

Nyamwasa was shot in the stomach in June in what his wife called a Rwandan-backed assassination attempt. South African police arrested four people for the attack.

[Source: Reuters]

September 17, 2010   3 Comments

Rwandan High Court sentences opposition politician Deo Mushayidi to life

Deo Mushayidi:
“Si vous m’aimez, soutenez la cause que j’ai défendue et que je défendrai de mon vivant”

Kigali – Sept.17 – Opposition politician Deogratias Mushayidi will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was found guilty on three of the seven very serious charges, the High Court ruled Friday.

Mushayidi, who was arrested in Tanzania – handed to Burundi, which immediately extradited him to Rwanda, was found guilty on three counts including: causing state insecurity, using forged documents and inciting citizenry against established authority.

The defense led by Kigali lawyer Christophe Twagirayezu told reporters after the verdict that he was going to appeal in the Supreme Court.

In addition to the life sentence, Mushayidi was ordered to pay 73,150 Francs (Approx. US$130) as court charges.

The High Court however cleared the controversial ex-head of the Association of Rwandan Journalists (ARJ) of four charges.

They included: promoting Genocide revisionism, ideology and sowing seeds of divisionism; terrorism and collaboration with armed groups with intent to oust a legitimate government.

Prosecution had prayed to court on August 23 to slam Mushayidi with three separate sentences including two life sentences and 50 years in jail for all the charges against him.

Mushayidi – who has been in detention at the maximum security jail here in Kigali, was not in court to hear his verdict.

The outspoken politician was arrested and subsequently extradited to Rwanda on March 5 this year. The state produced several witnesses and documents showing how the head of Belgian-based PDP-Imanzi political group had been collaborating with the Rwandan FDLR rebels in DR Congo.

At some point, prosecution alleged Mushayidi was part of a “terror network” with exiled Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col Patrick Karegeya – both on political asylum in South Africa. They are said to be operating in this region – but no specifics have been availed.

During the trial, prosecution brought a person described as a ‘high profile witness’ by the names of Samuel Nsengiyumva whom court heard was Mushayidi’s close partner. Prosecution said they had been working together on preparing armed rebellion from Tanzania.

Before fleeing Rwanda in 2000, Mushayidi headed the local journalists’ grouping – from which he is alleged to have disappeared all its finances which had been provided by UNESCO.

A former combatant of the RPF rebels, he would turn out to be a fierce critic of President Kagame from the safety of Europe – where he joined up with various opposition groups.

[ARI-RNA]

September 17, 2010   No Comments

Rwandan genocide suspect Paul Kagame delivers an Oppenheimer lecture at The International Institute For Strategic Studies (IISS)

Kagame has much to say about destroying and re-building African Nations.

On Thursday 16 September 2010, General Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, delivered the 2010 Oppenheimer Lecture – ‘The Challenges of Nation-Building in Africa‘.
This lecture is made at a period when embattled the Rwandan General is deploying all his means to dilute the findings of the UN Mapping report (due for publication delayed until October 1st) which established that Kagame-led army has been committing acts of genocide against Hutus in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Experts estimate that the invasion of Congo by Kagame-led army already cost lives to more than 6 million people.
Watch the Lecture and the Q&A Session.

September 17, 2010   2 Comments

Defiant Rwandan genocide suspect Kagame attacks UN and says he needs freedom from human rights organisation

* Rwandan leader says allegations in U.N. report “baseless”
* Says Rwanda needs freedom from human rights organisation

Rwandan President Paul Kagame attacked the United Nations on Thursday over a leaked report saying Rwandan troops may have committed genocide and criticised a rights group that found fault with last month’s election.

Rwanda threatened to pull out its troops from U.N. peacekeeping missions last month after the leaked report on crimes alleged to have been committed by various forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1990s, including the charge that Rwandan troops may have committed genocide.

Asked if the report damaged his legitimacy, Kagame said: “I don’t imagine that my legitimacy is something that would just be washed away by such allegations.”

Kagame, answering reporters’ questions after giving a speech at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the allegations in the U.N. report were “baseless and totally untrue and flawed in many ways, right from the authors of the report to the methods used“.

If there was anything to be questioned about anything that could have gone wrong either in the Congo or the Great Lakes region or particularly in Rwanda, it should have been the U.N. to really be held accountable for that,” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took Rwanda’s threat to withdraw peacekeepers so seriously he flew to Rwanda last week to talk to Kagame. Ban said they had agreed on the importance of Rwanda staying in peacekeeping operations.

Kagame said the countries mentioned in the report were working with the U.N. “to find where to place the problems they referred to”.

RIGHTS GROUP CRITICISED

U.N. peacekeepers were widely criticised for failing to prevent the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda that ended only after Tutsi-led fighters under Kagame retook control of the country.

Rwanda’s army then invaded Congo, ostensibly to hunt down Hutu fighters who had taken part in the killings and fled into eastern Congo, then known as Zaire.

In the process, Rwandan forces helped sweep the Congolese AFDL rebels of Laurent Kabila to power in Congo. Both forces have been accused of a string of rights abuses against Hutu fighters and civilians across the country.

Kagame, re-elected last month with 93 percent of the vote, has been praised for rebuilding Rwanda and establishing peace in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, but his government has also faced accusations of stifling political opposition.

Kagame sharply rebuked a representative of New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch who asked whether he planned to expand the “political space” in Rwanda so future elections could take place in an atmosphere of genuine political competition.

Human Rights Watch researcher Carina Tertsakian said last month the election was marked by a “climate of intimidation and exclusion of the opposition and critical voices”.

Rwandans have no problems of freedom. It is important you respect them and respect their opinion as well,” Kagame told Tom Porteous, head of Human Rights Watch’s London office.

I also want to say we probably need freedom from Human Rights Watch,” he said.

Source: Reuters
[AlertNet]

September 17, 2010   1 Comment

Genocide suspect General Paul Kagame wants “freedom from Human Rights Watch”

by Aimable Mugara.

Speaking to media in London on Sept. 16th Kagame said that he wants “freedom from Human Rights Watch.”
Show me someone who attacks human rights groups and I will show you a criminal.

2010 has not been a very good year for General Kagame, the Rwandan President. He claims to have won the election with 93 percent of the vote. He might as well claim that he got 100 percent considering how his “victory” only came after the suspicious beheading of an opposition leader, the suspicious murder of an independent journalist, the jailing of journalists, the jailing of opposition leaders, the jailing of opposition lawyers, the shutting down of independent media, and preventing opposition parties from taking part in the election.

A few weeks before the election, General Kagame was snubbed by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who refused to meet Kagame because Spanish courts have accused Kagame’s top 40 army officers of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This happened after pressure from Spain’s civil society and several political parties who did not want their Prime Minister to be seen with someone that Spain’s courts deem to be one of the worst criminals alive today.

A few months before that, Kagame had to run away from a graduation ceremony in Oklahoma where he was supposed to be the guest of honor. He ran away to escape from being served the court papers for a federal civil suit in Oklahoma brought against him by the widows of the two presidents that were killed in 1994, the event that sparked the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The widows sued Kagame arguing that they have evidence that Kagame is the one who committed that terrorist act. Kagame ran away to avoid being served.

A couple of months before that, his former close friend General Kayumba Nyamwasa who was also his Army Chief for many years ran away from Kagame and fled to South Africa. Later on, there was an assassination attempt against this General and the General says that he has no doubt that the attempt on his life was ordered by Kagame himself. Considering that South Africa has since withdrawn its ambassador from Rwanda, it appears that South Africa’s investigation may be pointing to Kigali too.

But the biggest nightmare ever for Kagame was when a UN draft report on crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo was leaked to the media. The UN draft report shows that for a period of 10 years, Rwanda’s current Tutsi army committed genocide in the Congo against Hutu civilians. The report, which will be officially published on October 1, 2010 shows that the so-called “good guys” in Rwanda’s conflict are anything but. There is already a UN court that has been trying crimes committed by extremist Hutus. In order to end the culture of impunity on both sides in Rwanda, it will be vital to establish a UN court to try these genocide killings that were committed by the Tutsi army too.

With such a year, no wonder today when he was speaking to media in London (UK), he said that he wants “freedom from Human Rights Watch.” Show me someone who attacks human rights groups and I will show you a criminal.

[Rwanda Human Rights and Democracy]

September 17, 2010   1 Comment

The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) warn UN over Kigali’s ‘tactics’

Rwandan Hutu rebels urged the United Nations Tuesday not to succumb to Kigali’s threat to withdraw troops from Sudan if the world body publishes a report accusing the country’s troops of crimes.

The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, called on the UN to purge its peacekeeping missions of forces it claimed were soiling its image.
The group asked the UN “not to surrender to the manoeuvres, tactics of intimidation and other forms of blackmail that Kigali began to practice… by threatening to withdraw its troops from the UN peacekeeping missions.
“Rather, it’s now or never for the UN to get rid of soldiers that, with hands stained with innocent blood, bring disgrace upon an institution whose mission is to maintain peace in the world,” the FDLR said in a statement.
A draft version of a UN human rights report on the DR Congo accused Rwandan troops of genocide-style massacres in the country in 1996-97.
Infuriated Kigali threatened to pull out its 3,500 troops serving in a UN peacekeeping mission in the Sudan, prompting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to travel to Kigali last week for talks with President Paul Kagame.
The FDLR urge the international community and particularly the UN… to ensure that no one, without exception, of those who have participated in the genocide of Rwandan and Congolese Hutu escape justice,” added the text.
Some FDLR elements have themselves been accused by Kigali of participating in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in which some 800,000 people were killed.

[AFP]

September 16, 2010   2 Comments

Green Party of Rwanda apologises and says: “We have not accused the Rwandan Government of any involvement in the death of our first Vice President”

Frank Habineza: forced to apologise over assassination of Green Party’s Vice-Chair.

Kigali – During the election campaigns, the Green Party accused the outspoken Education Minister Dr Charles Murigande of claiming their murdered vice president was killed in a car accident. That statement seems to have backfired.

The Green Party leader has now appologised to the Education Minister over the statement.

The genesis of the matter was after Dr. Murigande gave an interview in July to the Germany ARTE Television in which he was denying allegations that government was behind the death of the Green Party Leader.

“When Mr. Haider dies in a road accident, you do not accuse Austria of the murder,” said Dr. Murigande in French, referring to an Austrian opposition politician, to suggest that the Rwandan government cannot be blamed for every death that occurs in the country.

Joerg Haider, whose far-right and anti-foreigner rhetoric once led to months of international isolation for Austria – died in a car accident in October 2008.

However, in a statement on August 11, the Green Party leader Frank Habineza, who had picked the statement out of context, said the party was “much alarmed and disturbed” by Murigande’s comments.

“The Minister claimed that our First Vice President died in a car accident. This is completely wrong and misleading. It never happened. He was murdered and decapitated (his head was almost removed from his body), we have the photos to prove that and ARTE Television has also shown these photos,” said the Green Party in its statement at the time.

The Education Minister has now fired back in a letter on Monday to Frank Habineza – demanding that he review the ARTE Television clip and listen to the comments clearly. Dr. Murigande also demanded an apology or the matter goes to court – as he had been defamed.

The Green Party has heeded to the demands of the senior government minister.

“After re-playing the video web link on that television today and did not find that statement, we humbly regret any inconveniences this may have caused you and do hereby, withdraw our statement made on 11th August 2010, we are also removing that statement from our website and will inform every one that we had informed. We are also posting this statement on our website,” reads a Green Party statement.

“We regret any inconveniences and misconceptions that may have been caused on your name. Honorable Minister, please note that the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has not accused the Rwandan Government of any involvement in the death of our first Vice President.”

The yet to be registered Green Party also picks on opportunity to “request the Government of Rwanda to quicken the investigations into the death of our First vice President, Andre Kagwa RWISEREKA and bring those criminals to justice as soon as possible.”

September 16, 2010   6 Comments

The tragic consequences of the UK Geo-strategic ambitions and the British Budget Support to Rwandan genocide suspect General Kagame

by UK-Africa.

Summary: The tragic consequences of the UK Geo-strategic ambitions and the British Budget Support to genocide suspect General Kagame

UK Aid That Kills:
UK aid financed Museveni and Kagame’s mass killings, rapes, genocides and war crimes from Uganda to Rwanda; and from Rwanda and Uganda to D.R. Congo.

The Rwandan genocide and 6,000,000 Congolese and Hutu refugees killed are the culminating point of a long UK’s battle to expand their influence to the African Great Lakes Region. Here are some facts as compiled by UK-Africa:

● UK supported Kagame’s guerrilla war by providing military support and money.

● The UK refused to intervene in Rwanda during the genocide to allow Kagame to take power by military means that triggered the genocide.

● Kagame’s fighters and their families were on the Ugandan payroll paid by UK budget support.

● 4 Heads of State assassinated in the francophone African Great Lakes Region.

● 2,000,000 people died in Hutu and Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, Burundi and RD.Congo.

● 600,000 Hutu refugees killed in D.R. Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic and Rep of Congo.

● 6,000,000 Congolese dead.

● 8,000,000 internal displaced people in Rwanda, Burundi and DR. Congo.

● 500,000 permanent Rwandan and Burundian Hutu refugees, and Congolese refugees around the world.

● English language expansion to Rwanda to replace the French language.

● 20,000 Kagame’s fighters paid salaries from the British Budget Support from 1986 to present.

● £500,000 of British taxpayer’s money paid, so far, to Kagame and his cronies through the budget support, SWAPs, Tutsi-dominated parliament, consultancy, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs.

● Kagame has paid back the British aid received to invade Rwanda and to strengthen his political power by joining the East African Community together with Burundi, joining the Commonwealth, imposing the English Language to Rwandans to replace the French language; helping the British to establish businesses and to access to jobs in Rwanda, and to exploit minerals in D.R. Congo.

[UK-Africa]

September 16, 2010   1 Comment