Thursday, March 26, 2009

Comments to The Article: The Two Faces of Rwanda

By Edoardo Totolo 25 March 2009

These comments confirm the core argument of the article: two opposing views have emerged regarding Kagame’s government and the path to development taken in Rwanda –one is extremely enthusiastic about the president and does not want to hear criticism, the other is extremely critical and concerned about the country’s future.

I believe that Izzi is on the enthusiastic side, and I fully respect this position. However, I believe that calling an official press release by Amnesty International ‘a random link’ and Human Rights Watch a propagandistic organization makes this comment not very credible. The fact that (s)he does not agree with them does not mean that they do not deserve coverage.

(S)he is right on one point: I made my research and I wrote the article from a foreign country. But sometimes being outside allows to be more objective in the analysis. The article reports many positive things about the country and defines the economic progress in Rwanda ‘outstanding’. However, it also reports the concerns expressed by leading institutions like the UN, Amnesty and HRW. All the cases mentioned (accusation by Judge Bruguiere, election irregularities, street kids’ detention, looting of natural resources, etc.) are based on official documents and were widely reported in the media.

Perfect objectivity does not exist; but the claim that I am trying to ‘fool’ the reader is completely misleading. On the contrary, the article gives a voice to both sides and tries to give a chance to readers to build an opinion and to take one stand or another.

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