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Potential Consequences of the Policies of the Rwanda Government: “A Violent Conflict Is Virtually Certain”

by 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)

Potential consequences of the policies of the Rwanda Government

Rwanda, as demonstrated, still faces many difficult challenges in its experience of nation- building in the aftermath of, and continuing, violent conflict. It is generally acknowledged that Rwandan society remains deeply divided along ethnic lines. The country’s transition to democracy has been unsuccessful. The human rights situation in the country remains a matter of grave concern. Citizens lack access to fundamental human rights. State security agencies commit grave human rights abuses with impunity. The country on the surface look peaceful, but many observers are of the view that recurrence of very violent conflict may be inevitable, at least in the medium to long term. President Kagame claims to have made progress in developing Rwanda, and argues that human rights, including rights relating to political participation, are not a priority for the development process.

Nevertheless, concerns over the country’s progress in engendering reconciliation and creating a democratic system of government raise questions about the sustainability of Rwanda’s social and economic advances and the potential for renewed conflict. The situation that prevails raises serious questions about the country’s future. Are the country’s development achievements broad-based and sustainable? Can Rwanda continue to be peaceful while the government continues to be repressive and the majority of the people consider the government illegitimate? How do we balance individual freedoms and the requirement for a stable community? How should citizens respond when rulers mistake the state to be their personal estate and deprive their subjects of their inalienable rights?’

We firmly believe that the violent conflicts that Rwanda has experienced over the past half century are rooted in issues revolving around governance. The RPF government, we assert, has failed to effectively address the root causes of conflict in Rwandan society. As a result, Rwanda is in a situation of serious crisis.

The only path to sustainable peace and development in Rwanda is a system of government that has popular legitimacy, includes all communities of Rwanda and is committed to the respect of fundamental human rights, especially the integrity of the person and the right to political participation. This, we believe, well reflects the stated approach of the United States government itself to supporting societies in political transition. Economic development in post conflict societies that is not rooted in democratic values, respect for human rights, and broad inclusion is not sustainable. We are convinced that violent conflict is virtually certain to return to Rwanda if the present government does not heed calls for dialogue and agree to a process of peaceful political reform leading to democracy. The results of the substantial development assistance that your government and others have extended to Rwanda since the end of the genocide could be very swiftly undone in the event of such conflict, with grave implications for the whole Great Lakes region and for international peace and security.

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

1 comment

1 Bwana { 10.11.11 at 5:10 am }

The author of this article clearly has a shallow understanding of what it takes to move a country up from level A to level B. Equally, the author has no compassion for Rwanda apart from being a spectator who would like to see Rwandese failing. My basic understanding is that for a country to move forward, it requires good and wider based leadership, informed citizens who are determined to thrive and support good initiatives in the best interest of their country, and of course financial resources to fuel the change process. Good leadership will certainly face many difficulties if the two other elements are missing. The RPF system has been struggling to bring up all the three pillars at the same, and so far, it has brilliantly succeed, although a number of outside campaigners (who would like to see Rwanda failing) continue to predict all kind of devil fueled projections. Informed and patriotic Rwanda citizens know that the change process graph is consistently raising, and they know that it is very unfair to criticize President Kagame (and the RPF ) who on contrary deserve support and appreciative gestures. Kagame (or RPF) did not create difficulties for Rwanda. Instead, he works tirelessly to shift the country away from where the past political regimes have thrown its population (poverty, divisionism, isolation). We still have a long way to go, but please, don’t make us believe that Kagame does not love Rwanda. It is just the very opposite side of what Rwandese people feel ( and they are very right).

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