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Should Britain keep aiding and abetting the Rwanda’s despotic regime?

Referring to the recent developments of Rwandan state terrorism on UK soil, British journalist Ian Birrell wrote the following comment in The Times published on Monday 23rd May.

Stop the flow of cash to Rwanda’s despotic regime

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Somehow, we never seem to learn. This year, we have seen seismic uprisings in North Africa expose the shabby foundations of a foreign policy that propped up a bunch of corrupt dictators. In their wake, British diplomacy was forced into a rapid change of gear as it sought to realign itself with democrats instead of despots.

Still we make the same mistakes elsewhere on the continent. Take Rwanda. One of the few things that unites Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron is the fervour of their support for this country as it recovers from the trauma of genocide.

One after the other, they chucked huge amounts of aid at the tiny nation. They ignored how Paul Kagame’s regime played a leading role in the conflict in the Congo, the most vicious war in African history with more than five million people killed, and sold off stolen minerals. They ignored how Mr Kagame crushes dissent, jails opponents and closes down critical newspapers. And they ignored the way he won a meaningless election marred by murder last year with a ludicrous 93 per cent share of the vote.

But surely they cannot ignore the latest transgression. Can we really have a situation in which we hand over £83 million a year to a regime that in return, according to Scotland Yard, sends hit squads to assassinate Rwandans living in London? Incredibly, the revelation that police had warned two exiles of a threat to their lives from the Rwandan Government came just a month after MI5 told the country’s High Commissioner to stop an alleged campaign of harassment and intimidation against dissidents.

Such tactics are no surprise. Opponents have been shot, beheaded, jailed and terrorised. I have spoken to former members of Mr Kagame’s inner circle who said he never hid what would happen to his critics. Even Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who became a hero after saving 1,268 people as the hundred-day hell of genocide raged around him, had to go into hiding after speaking out.

Despite a deluge of damning reports from the UN and human rights bodies, Britain is pouring increasing amounts of aid into Rwanda — one third of a billion pounds over the next five years. Government sources claim that stopping this cascade of cash would only hurt the poor, but this reasoning has not prevented Britain freezing aid to Malawi this month because of human rights concerns.

The desperate desire for an aid success story has ensured that for too long, too many people who should know better have ignored repression in Rwanda. We can ignore it no longer. Otherwise we are aiding and abetting an autocrat whose regime sends death squads to murder people living peacefully in this country.

We all hope that the British leaders are listening and will dare take appropriate action.

5 comments

1 Rugema { 05.25.11 at 10:10 am }

unless international community is a heavy court which cant fit our mother land! If other disports why not a man with petals of blood.

2 Said { 05.25.11 at 10:42 am }

The dictator Paul Kagame is always arrogantly in saying “I do not care” for him this means human blood is like water that you poor anywhere and anytime! The way he brulatlly ignited Genocide in Rwanda to sacrifice 800,000 tutsis to enraged Interahamwes who were taking revenge of the former president assassinated under Kagame’s order it’s true he said “I do not care” about his same ethnic people
In killing 6000,000 in DR Congo he was not also caring and now that he feel strongman to do the same in Britain using British taxpayers money! So many orphans….,so many widows…. we are crying and we do not want what happened to us to keep on conquer the World by dictator Paul Kagame.

3 Hummer { 05.25.11 at 12:22 pm }

I can only say that Thank God, finally the truth can be heard, hutus talked and talked about Kagame’s plans to exterminate them no one wanted to listen, at last kagame’s real nature is out in the open, he wont lie anymore to anyone. It is time now for peace loving people to work together and remove the despot from power.

4 Bob { 05.30.11 at 9:25 pm }

The commitment made by Britain to Rwanda and its leadership will not stop because you are writing this fabricated story. HE Kagama, has delivered on all commitments he made during the elections. Rwanda is where it is today because of HE Kagame. For any one, who doubts this, should visit Rwanda, and see with their own eyes. Stop fabricating for the sake of attracting attention. History will live to judge you.

5 Bob { 05.30.11 at 10:44 pm }

Its aimed at tarnishing the image of HE Kagame, speared headed by those in opposition. For those who don’t know much about African opposition Politician, they use unsubstantiated facts to tarnish the image of the Govt.
FYI, this is all rightful thinking Rwandans know about HE Kagame. HE Kagame and his leadership, inherited a shattered society, a criminal society, crumbled economy and above all, the loss of 0ver $1 million people, the Genocide of Tutsi. You can all imagine.
If any one of you received a letter in the mail appointing you to be president at that time, you would have written on it ” return to sender” It was not easy to be a leader in Rwanda. It was only People like HE Kagame, that could hear the call. He has delivered and he made us to be proud of Rwanda and to be Rwandans gain.
This is my message to you Rwandans: Stop listening to the so called Rwandan opposition politicians , they love to fish in the troubled waters. Don’t let that happy. HE Kagame is still the best hope for our nation. No one-not FDU, not Rudasingwa and his half brother and certainly not Rusesabagina has offered any alternative, either in leadership or solution to the problems our country has. The opposition criticisms about HE Kagame,is comprised of personal attacks, not affair assessment of his performance. The fact is HE Kagame has our Country headed in the right direction, and its not realistic to expect his policies to fix all problems of Rwanda in just 17 yrs. Indicators by the all developments agencies have indicated that Rwanda is a pillar on the AFrican Continent. We must reject any one trying to rewrite Rwanda history in their own interest. We don’t owe this to HE Kagame, we owe it to ourselves. Lets give his policies time to bear fruits. The good new is, he has a record of not failing his people. HE Kagame, has put our Rwanda back on Track. Rwandans will not go for less. No.

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