Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rwanda: Rwandese Behind Green Party Named

By Godwin Agaba
256 News
January 31, 2010

It has emerged, following a leak by security sources, that there is a team of RPF/Inkontanyi historicals who have fallen out with the system over the years and are the ones who formed the new Rwandan political party, The Green Party.

According to a leaked security brief, a copy of which some Media Houses including 256 news has seen, has some of the names men and women behind the Green Party of Rwanda and have been coordinating
clandestinely through emails and phone calls to wrestle president Kagame out of power in 2010.

According to a leaked security brief addressed to Rwanda President, Gen. Paul Kagame by intelligence officers it has John Nagenda, a senior adviser to President Museveni of Uganda to be related to some of the big names behind the Green Party formation.

According to the brief, Nagenda is a maternal uncle to interim Green party president Frank Habineza. And it’s Nagenda who paid Habineza’s school fees in his school days.

Another fact is that Nagenda (*pictured) is a long time and a close friend to Charles Kabanda who is Green party general secretary and Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa who is currently Rwandan ambassador to India and a former RDF chief of staff, who is also on the list.

Kabanda, who hails from the present Ugandan district of Ntungamo, is the first president of Rwanda Patriotic Front, RPF, in 90’s, and he was later dropped by RPF.

According to a leaked security brief, some of the names that are listed and all have served in RPF in various portfolios Include; Mazimpaka Patrick, Ambassador Rwamasirabo, Senator Joseph Karemera, Col. Mudenge, Sam Nkunsi , Brig. Gen. Charles Gasana, Ambasador Pascal Ngonga, Dr. Maj. Ben Karenzi, Senator Aloysia Inyumba, Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, Gen. Rutatina, Col. Zigira, Dr. Bihozagara and Nkongori John.

According to the brief, the argument of these people is that Kagame has ruined their chances.

When contacted over the matter, Frank Habineza the interim president of green party refuted the report.

“None of the mentioned people are green party members or is funding us, these are allegations,” Habineza told 256 news today over the phone.

According to military sources, top security officials are investigating strongly the addressed matter.

One RDF senior officer and who is a historical who spoke to 256 news over the matter but preferred anonymity said “I have no knowledge absolutely about any coup plot against our government or the
defections in RPF or any rift within RPF but if any we have the capacity to crush it.”

Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is in the midst of a looming controversy surrounding its quest to register.

Related Materials:
My unplanned overthrow of Rwanda!

Rwandan Green Party fear oppression from the undemocratic Rwandan government as mysterious "leaked" report appears

Green Party officials react on Intelligence report 


Rwanda's Iron Lady: Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Takes on Paul Kagame

By Free Uganda
January 20, 2010

Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire returned to her country to fight the fascist regime in a David vs Goliath scenario.

Since the great daughter of Rwanda, Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire returned to her motherland to fight the fascist regime of Paul Kagame, in a David vs Goliath scenario.The fascists have not slept since she got back-just like the world expected,the fascist would carry out a heinous and a defamatory campaign to break down her resolve. However,they've failed just like how they failed to wipe out all Hutu,Twa and Francophone Tutsi people.

The fascists have underestimated this daughter,sister and mother- Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire,she has one weapon that the fascists will never destroy-Truth and Courage!

The Paul Kagame Fascist regime as always expected of them, are displaying their true colours by denying the truth and feeding their Hostages(the majority of Rwandans) with packs of lies that has won them awards.

This is the recorded speech that was made by the iron lady while visiting Kigali Genocide Memorial Center at Gisozi:
"It is clear that achieving reconciliation has a long way to go; it is far away and this is understandable considered the number of people who were massacred in our country, because such tragedy is not something to move on from easily on the one hand.
On the other, when you analyse the situation objectively, you don’t find any serious strategy intentionally developed and implemented to help Rwandans to achieve that reconciliation. For example, we are here honouring at this Memorial the Tutsi victims of the Genocide; there are also Hutu who were victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes, not remembered or honoured here. Hutus are also suffering.
They are wondering when their time will come to remember their people. In order for us to get to that desirable reconciliation, we must be fair and compassionate towards every Rwandan’s suffering. It is imperative that for Tutsi survivors, Hutu who killed their relatives understand the crimes they committed and accept the legal consequences.
It is also crucial that those who may have killed Hutus understand that they must be equally punished by the laws. It is finally very important for all of us Rwandans with our different ethnic backgrounds to understand that we need to come together in unity and with mutual respect in order to develop our country peacefully.
 The reason we came back is therefore to find ways collectively of starting off on that roadmap towards unity, working jointly to remove injustices from our country, addressing as one issues of getting Rwandans to live freely in their country. Thank you."
Now this is what the fascist regimes reported in its propaganda mouthpiece the "New times":

-The Sunday Times of 17th January 2010 - Editorial – “FDU’s Ingabire desecrates memory with Double Genocide theory”

-The Sunday Times of 17th January 2010- Front page: News - Ingabire espouses Double Genocide Theory

-The New Times of 18th January 2010 - Editorial – “Genocide deniers: the law should take its course”

-The New Times 18th January 2010 - Front page: news – “Govt won't stand violation of the laws-interior Minister”

-The New Times 18th January 2010 - Front page: news – “Political Parties, CNLG slam Ingabire 'divisionist' politics.

As the world has come to know them, they're the only criminals that always go back to the crime scene to commit more crime.

-The Times 20th January 2010- Commentary:"Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s arrival in Rwanda, an utter reminder of the RTLM!"

-The Times 20th January 2010- State sponsored Letter: "FDU chair Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza does not qualify to vie for President of Rwanda"

Very pathetic!

What the world should understand is that they're so many Mothers and Daughters like Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire out there armed with Truth and Justice.

We should all be proud of Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire!!

Related Materials:
Video: Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site in Kigali


Rwanda: Let’s stop being naïve and keep up the fight

By Augustin Munyemana
January 26, 2010

Kagame and his acolytes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took power at gun point and they will onlly give it up by the sound of the gun. There is no doubt about that.

The courage and the political self-sacrifice of Mrs. Ingabire deserve much appreciation, and our full support 100 %.

However, a the few days since Mrs. Ingabire has stepped out and put some political pressure on the Kagame’s regime, it seems like most of us have suddenly forgotten the realities of Rwanda’s politics and its militaro-economic negative implications for the majority of Rwandans. Many are those who now see Mrs. Ingabire as the Messiah sent by the Almighty God to defeat, without a fight, the dictator in Kigali. For many, she has become the 21st century Joan of Arc who will defeat Kagame and his mighty army with the sword of her tongue. Hence, many appear to be looking for ways and means to take positions behind her, even those who do not support her, with the wait and see objective. This is wrong and once again it is absolutely wrong.

Well, are we going to be surprised when Mrs. Ingabire’s political actions fall short of expectations either because of political defeat, silenced or physically eliminated? When that happens, I predict everybody will be running for cover, leaving behind more damage to ourselves, the Rwandan people.

Folks, make no mistake! Kagame’s regime with all the blood on its hands will not go down as easily and quickly as many might think. Most importantly, Kagame's regime won’t go down by one person’s actions. Kagame and the RPF’s regime will fight their way through, using all their power and allies, in the process of victimizing political opponents and the Rwandan people.

Here’s my plea to everyone: let’s stay in the course and keep up the fight as though nothing has changed. This is the only effective way alltogether we can help Mrs. Ingabire. Remember, the enemy is mighty, the fight will be longer and harder than many of us might think. Everybody’s contribution is needed and diversified actions are necessary for a victorious end.

Related Materials:
Rwanda: A False Reconciliation

Rwanda: RPF's confusion between ethnic majority and political majority

The New Times and Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: A nasty character assassination ploy

Habyarimana Doctor’s Family to Sue Rwanda’s The New Times for Defamation

Beyond the Praise for President Paul Kagame

By Andrew Oxford
January 29, 2010

Rwandan Tutsi leader turned President Paul Kagame is a popular man in the West. And why not? In his ten years in office he has lead his war-ravaged nation through a period of unprecedented economic growth which has turned Rwanda into a playground for foreign investors. At the same time, he emphasizes self-reliance and efficient government while supporting populist spending programs that could make Rwanda the only African nation to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (not that he is a fan of the UN, which he frequently criticizes for its response to the 1994 civil war). His administration in Kigali has admittedly wracked up a deficit that would ordinarily draw frowns from World Bank bureaucrats but in the case of Rwanda, the organization that usually demands drastic budget cuts is underwriting a litany of government programs. It helps that some of Kagame’s greatest admirers are Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Starbucks magnate Howard Schultz (1). American evangelist Rick Warren (2) considers him something of an inspiration and even Bill Gates has invested in what has been called Africa’s success story. Yes, Western liberals, reactionary evangelicals, and capitalist carpetbaggers alike tout Paul Kagame as the herald of a new, self-reliant African prosperity.

Of course, nothing in Rwanda is ever so clear cut. Kagame’s regime has benefited from more than its fair share of political repression. This prompted his challenger in the 2003 election, Faustin Twagiramungu, to denounce the poll citing harassment and restrictions that inhibited any effective campaign efforts (3). An earlier opponent, Pasteur Bizimungu (who Kagame replaced as Prime Minister) attempted to form a party at the beginning of the last decade which was promptly banned. What’s more, the formation of new groups is often hampered by Kigali authorities. Reporters Without Borders has also expressed concern at the restrictions on the press which have included the shuttering of critical newspapers and new fees for launching media outlets (4). Even The Economist took exception with his heavy-handed domestic policies and accused the new hero of Clinton and Blair as being more repressive than Robert Mugabe (5).

Most alarming is the integral role that Kigali has played in the Second Congolese War (6) which has claimed upward of three million lives. The Rwandan government has been lending significant support to rebels within the Congo, especially in the mineral-rich north. There, the objective is widely considered to be securing the valuable resources of the region which have been trafficked through Rwanda during the conflict. While some press attention has been given to the horrendous plight of women in the area and the massive and mounting casualty figures, little connection seems to be drawn between Kagame and his complicit fans in Europe and North America.

Kagame, however, maintains innocence. While never outright denying his support for murderous combatants in the Congo or his imposition of restrictive policies on journalists, he counters that his critics are merely stoking ethnic divisions. That, of course, is a serious charge in Rwanda. It is also a strange one coming from a man who boasts that he has put the past behind him. Not far enough, as it would turn out, to trust the democratic process with criticisms or challenges. Nor far enough to shut down the parasitic black-market trafficking of minerals and resources — reminiscent of the lecherous European occupations of other centuries — that have enriched some foreign and local entrepreneurs while leaving little more than funeral bills for the Congolese (7).

There are bigger issues at play in Rwanda and the DRC than this one man but what is remarkable about Paul Kagame is the support he has received from both conservatives and liberals in the West. It is no surprise that foreign investors have so embraced a man who is willing to put aside the rule of law or the mandate of the ballot. What is surprising is how quiet the left has been in challenging the blatantly backward praise Kagame has so vocally received while stoking one of the most tragic and violent conflicts of the present day and rolling out plans to sell his nation to the highest bidders. It is time to connect the dots in Africa.


(1) “Rwanda Rising: A New Model of Economic Development.” Fast Company, Wednesday, March 18, 2009.

(2) This comes on the heels of reports that Rick Warren and his reactionary cohorts where involved with neighboring Uganda’s efforts to execute homosexuals.(

(3) This BBC report is from the end of the election when Twagiramungu called on Kagame to “accept freedom of speech and association and also to accept democracy.” (

(4) Reporters Without Borders profile of Paul Kagame ( and also a brief report on the issue of fees for free press (

(5) “A Flawed Hero”, The Economist, August 21, 2008

(6) The New York Review of Books printed an extensive article on the matter by Howard W. French in their September 24, 2009 issue ( The UN has also issued annual reports on the Second Congo War every year which allude to the influence Kagame has played in the conflict.

(7) “Looted Wealth Fuels Congo Conflict”, Financial Times, November 30, 2009. (

Habyarimana Doctor’s Family to Sue Rwanda’s The New Times for Defamation

By Godwin Agaba
256 News
January 30, 2010

The family of the late Dr. Emmanuel Akingeneye, has threatened to sue The New Times, a mouthpiece newspaper of the ruling RPF party, has learnt.

Dr. Akingeneye was the personal physician of late former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. The two men were killed together in the 1994 plane crash at Kanombe airport in Kigali.

The family of Akingeneye is to sue The New Times, arguing that a commentary the paper published in issue no 2025 of 28th January 2010 claiming that Dusabe Therese, the mother of Rwandan opposition presidential aspirant, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was Dr. Akingeneye’s concubine.

According to The New Times, the Gacaca court of Butamwa has already sentenced Ms Dusabe Therese in absentia to life imprisonment for her role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

According to The New Times, Dr. Akingeneye fathered Ingabire Victoire’s young sister, Uwineza Regine who later married an EX-FAR Captain. The same commentary alleged that Ingabire was able to get employment in the Finance Ministry (Customs Department) through the influence of Dr. Akingeneye.

The commentary titled “Mrs. Ingabire Victoire, an ardent advocate for racial politics, now resorts to the victimization card,” by Felix Muheto was intended to give a background to Ms. Ingabire.

A daughter of Dr. Akingeneye and a family lawyer called last night and informed it that the lawyer is travelling to Rwanda next week to sue The New Times for allegedly defaming their deceased father.

“This is a totally false story. Our family has no relation whatsoever with Ingabire and we don’t know her. The story was only intended to tarnish the reputation of the family. That’s why we want the author to provide evidence in court to support his allegations,” said Dr. Akingeneye’s daughter who spoke on behalf of the family over the phone from Brussels.

The family lawyer from Belgium is expected in the country early next week to collaborate with locally-based lawyers on the case.

She further said the family is currently based in USA and Belgium.

The case is expected to raise temperature in Rwanda since it is the first time the official government mouthpiece is sued for defamation.

Ingabire's return to Rwanda 3 weeks ago has sparked off a political storm in Kigali as her opposition blood boils like acid into the regime's flesh.

Related Materials:
The New Times and Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: A nasty character assassination ploy
Rwanda: Hidden Agenda Behind False Allegations by The New Times

Rwanda: RPF's confusion between ethnic majority and political majority

By IngMa Ba
January 30, 2010

The issue of the ethnicity that has been made a taboo by the Rwandan government while at the same time same government still makes statements around it.

For instance, Kagame's view that Rwandans must view themselves only as Rwandans and stop using the words “Hutu” and “Tutsi” comes under fire when his government sustains that the only political parties that will be allowed to exercise political activities in the country will be those that can prove to advocate the unity of all ETHNIC GROUPS based in Rwanda.

Another good example is found in the article 14 of the Rwandan Constitution which says:
"The State shall, within the limits of its capacity, take special measures for the welfare of the survivors of genocide who were rendered destitute by the genocide committed against the TUTSIS from October 1st, 1990 to December 31st, 1994, the disabled, the indigent and the elderly as well as other vulnerable groups."

Therefore, it is clear that ETHNIC GROUPS still exist in Rwanda. However, mentioning them openly in the public (as a student in Rwanda once pointed it out to a foreign journalist: at school or at work I am Rwandan, but at home I am Tutsi…) is a felony under the Rwandan criminal law.

In Rwanda, there are nearly 85% Hutus and 14% Tutsis. Democratic elections in Rwanda would probably give back the power to a "Hutu" movement.

This analysis has always been in the RPF’s calculations with regard to plausible results of democratic elections in Rwanda.

The RPF leadership suggests that such results simply denote "confusion between the ethnic majority and the political majority."

Since 1993, the RPF leadership estimates that such results would inexorably relegate it to the opposition for an indefinite period of time.

Indeed, this is the case for the UPRONA of Pierre Buyoya in neighboring Burundi since the democratic elections of June 1993 and 2005.

This also is the case in South Africa where democratic elections have thrown the National Party of De Klerk (now renamed the Democratic Alliance) in the opposition since 1994. That is root cause of the current DRC crisis in the province of North Kivu.

Any Rwandan and/or friend of Rwanda should take a closer look at what the CNDD-FDD accomplished in neighboring Burundi.

One should also recall that Burundi represents a good specific example because both Rwanda and Burundi share the same ethnic composition of their populations not to mention a similar dark history of sporadic ethnic cleansings.

The CNDD-FDD painfully but straight forwardly negotiated with the rebellion movement Palipehutu-FNL.

Interestingly, beyond all expectations, a peace deal was concluded, simply because the CNDD-FDD is not longer afraid to face the PALIPEHUTU-FNL in democratic elections.

Let me make it clear:

The “HUTU FACTOR” does not and will not absolutely play any role between the CNDD-FDD and Palipehutu FNL supporters during the upcoming Burundian presidential elections. These political parties have the obligation to play modern politics.

Their respective leaders, including the FRODEBU leadership, will have to propose to the Burundian Hutu voters something smarter than the length of their noses during the upcoming electoral campaigns.

Concerning the ethnic composition of the Rwandan population and the political mind set of the Rwandan voters, these two parameters are not prone to any change in the near future. The Republic of Rwanda will always be inhabited by a majority Hutu and minority Tutsi. Given such a situation, the RPF cannot indefinitely run away from the democratic elections. It must have the courage to face them right away.

Should the RPF lose these elections, it will have to learn from its mistakes of the past. It is now time for the RPF to get ready for the upcoming political defeat, rather than attempting, without any perspective of political reforms in the near future, to delay these democratic elections. Sooner or later democratic elections will be held in Rwanda.

That is the way the Rwandan history course has been drawn and nobody can change it. People who are still skeptical about such a realistic approach should take a closer look at South Africa where the white racist regime has done everything it could in the past to delay democratic elections by denying the voting rights to the black people. The white racist regime already knew that black people (the majority) would likely vote for a political movement mainly composed of black people.

Fortunately, there was not much the white racist regime could do about this ethnic composition of the South African population and this situation will undoubtedly last several centuries to come.

What would then the white racist regime have done to keep its head above water? Continue to be stubborn by fear of losing democratic elections? Continue to spread proxy wars in neighboring countries, under the umbrella of waging the war against the communism system, and establish a huge protective shield, spanning from Namibia to Mozambique not to mention Zimbabwe and Angola?For how long the white racist regime would have blocked the actual course of the South African history?

That is what Frederick De Klerk thoroughly understood and I strongly believe that this is probably why he won the Nobel Peace Prize that he shared with Nelson Mandela. That is also why the ANC needs a comprehensive plan that would improve the quality of life for all South African black voters besides the credit it already enjoys for having successfully fought against the apartheid.

The stake could not be higher for the ANC. It must address the social concerns of all South African people, create jobs, provide lands, decent housing, affordable healthcare system and access to higher education, etc. rather than selling out the fact of being a “black” movement.

Interestingly, that is exactly what Pierre Buyoya of Burundi has come to realize lately. Actually, there is no doubt that Pierre Buyoya deserves strong respect from the Burundian people, despite his many terrible mistakes of the past and strong disagreement from his own party leadership.

In Rwanda, one can still delay the opportunity to alleviate the sufferings imposed to the Rwandan people. However, one should keep in mind that such an attitude does not mean that the Rwandan history will not ultimately relegate the RPF into the opposition for an indefinite period of time.

Therefore, it is time for the RPF to lift its many blockades to such a great opportunity in the Rwandan history. That is how the eastern DRC might regain its lasting stability. The time for proxy wars in DRC is over. It is time for the RPF to cope with its weaknesses and humbly accept the change the Rwandan people have been waiting for.

It is time for the Rwandan people to stand up and request for a secured RPF hideout in the opposition. Unless the RPF accepts to play modern politics, it will not escape from this unfortunate fate. Keeping running away from this process by intensifying headlong rushes denotes a political anachronism of a failed regime.

Unfortunately, such an attitude inexorably prolongs the sufferings of the Rwandan people who are desperately begging for help. Tenacious memories still rime in so many Rwandans who survived RPF atrocities both in Rwanda and DRC. Therefore, the more the RPF will intensify its headlong rushes, the longer will be the time it will have to spend in the opposition ranks.

In the forthcoming 2010 Rwandan presidential elections, the RPF will finally have one more chance to make up its mind set for the common good of the Rwandan people.

Related Materials:
The New Times and Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: A nasty character assassination ploy

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Habyarimana Family categorically rejects the Mutsinzi Report!

By Mick Collins
January 28, 2010

[If US foreign policy were really driven, as my President Obama has contended on a number of occasions, by Americans’ love of Freedom, Justice and Democracy, the privatized military adventures that brought death en masse to Yugoslavia and Rwanda would never have taken place. But because the US—and, really, the rest of the NATO-occupied world—has become a sort of nuclear-militarized ‘Bates Motel,’ where a morbid, narcissistic fantasy is being defended from encroachments by a persistent and unforgiving Reality with mass murder that is post facto charged to its victims, the swelling tide of judicial evidence that is breaking against the US/UK/EU/NATO-version of events has called forth ever-more hysterical and mawkishly sentimental apologias for this consensus false-consciousness.
Now Boris Tadic, the comprador president of Serbia, is trying to get his parliament to pass a resolution acknowledging his country’s responsibility for what he would have as the defining event of the Bosnian war: the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys. In 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that Serbia was NOT responsible for this alleged mass crime, which is still legally unproven though all too frequently stipulated to.
And an equally cynical, if slightly less craven, attempt at puttying up the cracks in a steadily disintegrating false history of genocide has been filed by the current Kigali military dictatorship of Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) with their issuing of the Report of the Mutsinzi Commission of Independent Experts on the 6 April 1994 missile strike that took the lives of all aboard the Rwandan president’s Falcon 50 executive jet, including two duly-elected African heads of state, and triggered the so-called genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and ‘moderate’ Hutus in 100 days.
Both these would-be genocides have been the primary concerns of the two UN ad hoc tribunals in The Hague (for Yugoslavia) and Arusha, Tanzania (for Rwanda), which share a single Appeals Chamber. The legal precedents for proving this crime of genocide are dodgy at best (Srebrenica was stipulated to after plea-bargained confessions from alleged collaborators dropped a guilty verdict on the ill-defended Drina Corps Commander, Radislav Kristic), and completely fatuous at worst (as in the ICTR Military 1 trial, where, after acquitting the so-called brains of the Rwandan Tutsi genocide, Col. Théoneste Bagosora, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Lt-Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, of any ‘planning or conspiracy’ in the Rwandan genocide, the three FAR officers were convicted of the ‘genocidal crimes of others’ on the basis of a June 2006 Appeals Chamber order to take ‘judicial notice’ of the crime. That is to say, the trial chamber should consider the Rwandan genocide a ‘natural fact of Jesus,’ so widely believed in as to be beyond any need for evidentiary verification.
Here is another refutation of the Mutsinzi Report for you (yeah, you’re welcome.). This one’s from the family of the martyred Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana—from his three sons, Léon, Bernard and Jean-Luc. When one considers the absolute UnReason to which the enemies of Historical Truth and Justice have had to resort—the morally bereft Philip Gourevitch’s racist discounting of the Rwandan revolution under President Habyarimana as a thirty-year (communist) genocide springs to mind here—the future of the thinking world seems truly dank. –mc]

The Habyarimana Family categorically rejects the Mutsinzi Report!
Communiqué from the family of the late Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana concerning the recently issued Rwandan Report by “the Committee of independent experts” on the terrorist attack of 6 April 1994.

Following the release of the “Mutsinzi Report” on the 6 April 1994 attack which took the lives of 12 fathers from Rwanda, Burundi and France*; we, the family of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, feel an obligation to warn the public of the attempted manipulations of and diversions from the reality of this terrorist act that took our father from us. We want first of all to impeach the objectivity of this “Independent Committee of Experts,” whose use of the word ‘independent’ is a mere embellishment for its desperate need to get across. Everyone knows [or should know—cm/p] that Mr. Jean Mutsinzi, head of the Commission, is a founding member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, currently holding state power) and the former Chief Justice of the Rwandan Supreme Court, also under the same RPF regime. His proximity to Paul Kagame is even better known and we do not expect that this Commission he leads is going to cast any suspicion on the party of which he is a founding member or on his colleagues and comrades-in-arms, including Kagame, himself, though they have been found, by international judicial investigations, to be the instigators and commanders of this attack.

We wish to draw the public’s attention to the fact that besides the dubious independence of this Rwandan Commission, it was only conceived in April 2007 and set up by the Rwandan government in November 2007 to begin its work in December of that year, or nearly 14 years after the fact. This is incontrovertible evidence of the indifference of the Rwandan government, since the RPF came to power, on the subject of finding the truth behind this terrorist act. This indifference was even confirmed by Paul Kagame, himself, at the end of 2006 when he stated on the international airwaves (on the BBC’s Hard Talk and on RF1) that he is not at all interested in clearing up the death of President Habyarimana; he said he could not care less about it.

The authorities in Kigali claim to have written to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) demanding the establishment of an international commission of inquiry and that their demand was never followed up on. We can just imagine the insistence with which the RPF administration must have made this demand! We believe that if the Kigali government had really wanted an international inquiry, that inquiry would have taken place and Paul Kagame would not be talking about how such an investigation into the death of President Habyarimana did not interest him at all. Moreover, out of respect for the Burundian people, whose president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, also died in the attack and, therefore, on Rwandan soil, this same government would normally have had to recognize its duty to see that such an international investigation were initiated.

It is well known that the Rwandan genocide was triggered by the 6 April 1994 attack. For 15 years, Paul Kagame and his forces have been unwilling to shed any light on this terrorist act, without which Rwanda and, doubtlessly, the whole of the Great Lakes region would never have descended into chaos. This paralysis due to the indifference of the Rwandan government has shown that the RPF wants to avoid, at all costs, that its responsibility in the genocide be revealed in any definitive way. Since 1998, a French anti-terrorist court has been investigating this attack. Contrary to what is stated in the Mutsinzi Report and by those who would deny the truth, the French investigation was begun in response to a complaint filed by one of the families of a French victim in the attack and not ordered by the French authorities. The independence, objectivity and professionalism with which the French judiciary led this investigation could only be questioned by those who were directly involved in this attack or those who want the history of the Rwandan genocide to continue as a perversion of reality. The French investigation, in which we took part as plaintiffs, is to this day the only credible judicial investigation into this attack. To ridicule and minimize more than 11 years of work by men and women who specialize in such investigations, and the struggle against international terrorism, would be an insult to the victims as well as to the justice after which we all strive.

We must remember that the French judges were not the only ones to have demonstrated and substantiated the involvement of Paul Kagame and the RPF in this attack. Well before the French, Mr. Michael Hourigan, an Australian investigator assigned to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), filed a report in May 1997 with the UN and the ICTR. This report clearly assigned responsibility for, and named Paul Kagame and the RPF as the authors of, the 6 April 1994 attack. As soon as the new rulers of Kigali were found to be responsible, Hourigan and his team were ordered to halt their investigation.

After years spent in charge of the investigations of the ICTR and feeling the impossibility of getting to the truth while charging only Hutus, Mme Carla Del Ponte revealed her desire to investigate the crimes committed by the RPF. She was especially interested in shedding light on the attack of 6 April 1994 and aligned herself with those who believed that this attack fell within the mandate of the ICTR. She said: “If it turns out the RPF was behind this attack, the whole history of the genocide would have to be rewritten.” This expressed intention to bring justice for all the victims cost her her job as Chief Prosecutor at the ICTR after pressure from Paul Kagame was applied to the UN.

The Spanish justice system, which also investigated the genocidal crimes committed in Rwanda and the DRC, likewise designated Paul Kagame and the RPF as the instigators of this attack. The Mutsinzi Report assigns responsibility for the attack to the government forces at that time (ex-FAR), particularly to superior officers [Col. Théoneste] Bagosora, [Major Aloys] Ntabakuze and [Lt-Col. Anatole] Nsengiyumva. These officers were being prosecuted at the ICTR and are being held in Arusha. It must be noted that throughout their trial, these officers diligently demanded that the ICTR open an investigation into the assassination of the Rwanda head of state so that the responsibility for the genocide could be brought to light. Their conscientiousness was never respected!

We wondered, therefore, how people already being tried for genocide and after fighting for years to prove their innocence, could put the rope around their own necks by demanding that the ICTR investigate a crime that they, themselves, were alleged to have committed? We believe that if these officers had actually been responsible for this terrorist act, the event that triggered such a monstrous tragedy, the ICTR would immediately have taken up the case.

The number of witnesses heard by the Mutsinzi Commission (557 of them) does not give any credibility to its conclusions. Any informed person knows that Rwanda is a country where personal freedoms are violated on a daily basis and disappearances have become banal. To have a difference of opinion or to point a finger is enough to wind one up in prison or dead. The International Organizations in Defense of Human Rights that never cease to challenge the RPF regime can testify to this. Under these conditions, how can we ignore the pressure and fear that these different witnesses, ex-FAR for the most part, suffered through to give testimony clearing the RPF and incriminating their brothers in arms?

We also must recall that within our family there are two direct witnesses to the attack who were at our home in Kanombe at the time it took place. They are both absolutely positive: The missiles were fired from the hill in Masaka (or from the valley next to it). These eye-witnesses were facing the hill in Masaka at the moment the presidential plane was making its final approach, and Camp Kanombe was to their right and just behind them. Obviously, neither one was interviewed by the Mutsinzi Commission. So, unless the geography or topography of this part of Rwanda has changed since April 1994, the conclusions of the Mutsinzi Report on this subject are nothing but brazen lies.

The Mutsinzi Report produces as evidence some photographs of the wreckage of the president’s plane, photos taken by one of the president’s sons who was an eye-witness to the attack, and yet it does not include his testimony. We recall that this witness, Jean-Luc Habyarimana, gave his version of the facts while testifying before the “Bruguière” investigation and twice to the ICTR.

But what is completely unbearable for us is to have our mother accused of being responsible for the murder of her husband. The Mutsinzi Report indicates that at the end of March 1994, President Mobutu of Zaire (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo) informed Mme Habyarimana of preparations for an attack on her husband and that she did not convey this information to the President despite the insistence of the Zairian president. Even if absurdity cannot kill, it is difficult to imagine anything more cynical. Did this Commission question Presidents Mobutu and Habyarimana before their deaths? Was this information unexpected by Mme Habyarimana? Why did President Mobutu choose to inform his Rwandan counterpart through his wife when he knew he would be meeting with President Habyarimana in Gbadolité on 4 April 1994?

Then the Report specifies that Mme Habyarimana confessed all this over the telephone to French President Mitterand on 6 April at 9:30 pm, when the French president called to express his condolences! Mme Habyarimana never spoke to President Mitterand that night.

Such baseness on the part of this Commission and its false witnesses can only reinforce the negative view we have of it.

To us, the conclusions of the Mutsinzi Report were known in advance because its authors could not stray from the mission, to whitewash the RPF and its chief, assigned them by the Rwandan government.

We will renew our confidence in French justice to shed light on this act of terrorism and continue to deplore the International Community’s foot-dragging on this issue, now 15 years down the road from the event.

Without a serious and credible elucidation of the attack of 6 April 1994, the Rwandan genocide will continue to be instrumentalized by those who have no interest in the truth’s ever being known. We take this opportunity to remind the International Community that it has a duty to aid all the victims in obtaining real justice. This will permit all the people of Rwanda to begin to work for the sort of remembrance that will bring them true reconciliation.

--Paris, 25 January 2010--

For the family of Juvénal Habyarimana:

Léon Habyarimana
Bernard Habyarimana
Jean-Luc Habyarimana

* List of the victims of the 6 April 1994 terrorist attack:

1. Major-General Juvénal HABYARIMANA, President of the Republic of Rwanda;
2. Mr. Cyprien NTARYAMIRA, President of the Republic of Burundi;
3. Mr. Bernard CIZA, Burundian Minister of Planning, Development and Reconstruction;
4. Mr. Cyriaque SIMBIZI, Burundian Minister of Communication and government spokesman;
5. Major-General Déogratias NSABIMANA, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army;
6. Ambassador Juvénal RENZAHO, Diplomatic Adviser to the Rwandan President;
7. Colonel Elie SAGATWA, Personal Secretary and Chief of Security to the Rwandan President;
8. Doctor Emmanuel AKINGENEYE, Personal Physician to the Rwandan President;
9. Major Thaddée BAGARAGAZA, Aide de Camp to the Rwandan President and Second in Command of the Presidential Guard;
10. Major Jacky HERAUD, Pilot of the Presidential Falcon 50 aircraft;
11. Commander Jean-Pierre MINABERRY, Copilot of the Presidential plane;
12. Chief Adjutant Jean-Michel PERRINE, Navigator/Flight Engineer on the Presidential plane.

Related Materials:
Rwandans deserve better than this

Rebuttal of the Mutsinzi Report on the Rwandan genocide

Report of the Mutsinzi "Experts Committee" : a collection of distortions of the truth, speculations, lies, paradoxes and antitheses

Admission of Rwanda to Commonwealth caps off assassination, genocide, and civil war

Rwanda: Habyarimana Death - Findings Out But Where Are the Black Boxes?

The alleged mystery surrounding the black box of the Rwandan genocide 

Malawi releases Rwandan Genocide fugitive

The New Times
January 22, 2010

A Genocide fugitive recently arrested in Malawi, Charles Bandora, has been released under unclear circumstances, The New Times has learnt.

According to a highly placed source who preferred anonymity, the ex- senior official of the former ruling party in Rwanda, the MRND, was let off the hook last week a few days after his arrest.

Bandora was arrested a fortnight ago by Malawi’s Criminal Intelligence Department (CID) on Devil Street, near Mugasa House, where he allegedly operated a business.

“It’s true he is out of jail and his whereabouts are still unknown up to now. But there are reports that he has escaped to Zimbabwe,” the source said.

The Genocide suspect, a former businessman in Ngenda, now Eastern Province, faces charges that include; Genocide, complicity in Genocide, conspiracy to commit Genocide, extermination, murder as a crime against humanity and organized crime.

By press time, efforts to reach Malawi’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Wezi Kayira, for a comment on reports of Bandora’s release, were futile as repeated calls went unanswered.

When contacted, Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said that he had heard about the development, but hastened to add that he has not got any official communication to that effect.

“I have no official communication about that. What we are trying to do is to establish where he escaped to, and circumstances under which he escaped,” Ngoga said.

This is not the first time Malawi has been reported of arresting Genocide fugitives and releasing them under unclear circumstances.

Genocide fugitive Vincent Nzigiyimfura was also arrested and thereafter left the country for the United States of America in 2009.

Born in 1945, in Busasamana, Southern Province, Nzigiyimfura was formerly a businessman.

Malawi was listed by the Prosecution last month as among some of the African countries that have rendered little cooperation towards arresting and trying or extraditing indicted fugitives responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The New Times and Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: A nasty character assassination ploy

By Chris Nzabandora
Kigali, January 29, 2010

Ever since Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza set foot in Rwanda on January 16th, 2010, the Rwandan daily newspaper, the New Times, spared no efforts in tarnishing her image.

Indeed, after a crude distortion of her statement at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial, and calls for her arrests and subsequent hate editorials, the newspaper has come out without a new charge of family criminal records, in its issue of January 28th, 2010.

The content of this article betrays the true agenda of the paper and denotes a total disregard of the respect of individual privacy.

The loose narration of the so-called Gacaca trial of Mrs. Ingabire's mother in Butamwa is an eye opener on the professional standard of to paper. For the sake of the truth, to the best of my knowledge, Mrs. Ingabire's mother is not a fugitive and has nothing to do with the wild allegations levelled against her by the paper. Mrs. Ingabire's mother has never been summoned to any hearing of the Gacaca courts and is ready to clean her name.

The newspaper tries, out of cheap propaganda, to imply that genocide ideology is a family rooted crime to which every member has to answer. In a nutshell, the newspaper tries to bring the people into believing that Mrs. Ingabire is guilty, because her mother was tried and sentenced by a Gacaca court. By extension, Mrs. Ingabire would not be clean of any wrong doing in the genocide and is thereby not fit for presidential race. This is the sinister agenda of the paper, for a newspaper whose stated mission is "becoming an exemplary and constructive media house".

The statement of Mrs. Ingabire on Gacaca courts reflects UDF-Inkingi party's position, not her own feelings. As for the so-called "clean bill of health given to the Gacaca by renown scholars", I refer to the latest United Nations Human Rights commission, Human Rights Watch, Lawyrers Without Borders and even the Commonwealth Human Rights Committee's statements, but to mention a few.

In a healthy democracy, discussion should be focussed on issues, not individuals. Mrs. Ingabire is in Rwanda to defend a program, not to promote her own interests. But once for all, let's address the recurrent issues that the paper surfs on.

The so-called substantial evidence gathered by the United Nations Group of Experts about the collaboration between FDLR and Mrs. Ingabire is nothing but hearsays. Even neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi government issued strong worded statements describing that report as lacking in many areas. The party extensively dwelt with that report in a press release. The "experts" based their allegations on a meeting that took place in Barcelona and to which FDLR was invited. The meeting indeed took place. It was organised in the framework of Inter-Rwandan dialogue which brings together Rwandans of different shades and ethnic groups for that matter. The paper omits deliberately to mention that the meeting was attended also by a delegation from Rwanda , including well known ruling party RPF' members whose names can be availed if necessary. Is that the "substantial evidence" that the paper holds?

The report states that Mrs. Ingabire is a sister to the military leader of FDLR . This is absolutely rubbish. Mrs. Ingabire has no family relationship at all with him.

The paper also talks about RDR roots of Mrs. Ingabire. Mrs. Ingabire is the president of UDF/FDU-Inkingi, to which RDR is a party. RDR is not a criminal organisation as insinuated by the paper. RDR is an opposition party. Holding divergent opinions in a democratic society is not criminal. RDR has its own leadership. Should the paper have a case with the RDR, it should address itself to its leadership, not to Mrs. Ingabire as a person, as she is in Rwanda in her capacity as Chairperson of UDF-Inkingi, not RDR.

Last but not least, the paper may not agree with Mrs. Ingabire on different issues. But Mrs. Ingabire is far from being "controversial" . She is a flag bearer of a party's program which may hurt newspapers bent on courting the establishment.

The New times newspaper is doing a disservice to democracy and reconciliation, by attempting to silence a dissenting at a very time when the country wants to show to the world in general, and the Commonwealth and East Africa in particular, that it is fit to be a full member of these honourable bodies and their cherished values.

Chris Nzabandora is UDF-Inkingi party member.

Related Materials:
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: I am back home

Video: Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site in Kigali



Rwanda: Hidden Agenda Behind False Allegations by The New Times

Rwanda: A False Reconciliation

Rwanda has not healed: "Tribalism, state sponsored abuses continue"

A Seething Below Rwanda's Surface: God Sleeps in Rwanda

Thursday, January 28, 2010


By Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Chairperson – FDU-Inkingi
Kigali, January 28, 2010.

Also Available in


Friends of Rwanda

It’s 49 years now since 28/01/1961 when Rwandans decided to be ruled democratically, a system of governance where they would be consulted and have the right to select leaders concerned with the population’s problems, not oppressing citizens, elect their representatives at the parliament, and political changes coming peacefully through elections at the will of those who choose the leaders. That’s the reason why for every Rwandan, this date is very important in the country’s history.

Nonetheless when we look back, we find that since Rwanda decided to become a Republic, which means to be ruled by the masses and concerned by their issues, as political regimes changed, there were political inner circles, that some called ‘Utuzu’, which concentrated political power into their hands, and left the population politically powerless, put in place oppressive laws, and even got some people killed because they were of different opinions from those prevailing in political leadership.

These situations occurred particularly through changes and manipulations of the fundamental laws of the country, those in power trying through that to remain in power indefinitely without the consent of the population, forcing Rwandans to vote for the power’s candidates into the parliament, which is no different from nepotism, constant interference of the government in the judiciary system and removal of all essence to justice, instead the latter becoming a political means to imprison or oppress those not needed anymore.

The worst being the fact that those in power controlled the security structures, instead of being at the service of the country and protect people’s rights, Rwandan security forces became instruments in the hands of inner circles’ politicians to oppress their parents, thus dictatorship rule becoming the standard norm of leadership.


The times we are living in, no one should be ruled like an animal, though even a good livestock holder does not beat his cows!

The time for change is now for every Rwandan to get back their rights, so that no one continues to behave like a Land Lord (Umuhinza) or a King in the Republic and pursues oppressing Rwandans using the laws voted by his friends. We are in decisive times for leaders to agree or not if they are in a political regime working for the population, in position of authority where they were mandated by the masses. When you consider what is being done in the name of democracy in Rwanda, we have gone 50 years backwards.

The time is now for everyone to understand that there are no Rwandans who are more equal than others, with more rights than the rest, who have to walk proudly while others look down, or the right to speak out when others are denied expression, eat what they want when others are forced to farm products which won’t feed them, get access to education when poor Rwandans are kept ignorant, live in luxurious buildings when the rest is almost homeless, live in total security when others survive in constant insecurity.

These are the reasons we consider that we need an Inter-Rwandan Dialogue, for Rwandans to come together and discuss about positive achievements which would be praised, wrong doings which would be corrected, put an end to the system of dictatorship and the politics of revenge among Rwandans, and establish a framework of political leadership embedded with the masses’ concerns and protecting every citizen’s life and other human rights.

Finally I would ask all Rwandans, those inside and outside the country, those armed and those who are fighting for their rights peacefully, to understand that we all need to do everything possible to establish solid foundations to make Rwandans live together in harmony.

Thank you. And I wish you to enjoy Democracy Day.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Chairperson – FDU-Inkingi

Rwandans deserve better than this

By Susan Thomson
Pambazuka News
2010-01-28, Issue 467

Given Rwanda's history of the elite manipulation of the past for political gain, Gerald Caplan's analysis of the Mutsinzi Report is dangerous and thoughtless, writes Susan Thomson.

It remains shocking to me that reports like Caplan's are given such priority in respected publications. This is the type of incendiary reporting that characterises the Rwanda socio-political landscape. Much of what Caplan writes is unbalanced in favour of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and is a dangerous thing as the RPF tightens its grip on political life in Rwanda in advance of the August 2010 presidential elections.

The Mutsinzi Report raises as many questions as it claims to resolve. Caplan supports the independence of the report without remarking on the one-sideness of the available evidence. As an academic, this is abhorrent. Good critical research is contextually situated and historically balanced. Instead, Caplan treats as solid the evidence ‘proving’ the complicity of Hutu extremists with little regard for any written or oral evidence pointing in the direction of the RPF.

Knowing that the political situation in Rwanda is tense, and the free speech is virtually non-existent, it is difficult to accept wholesale the testimony of the hundreds of witnesses. Note the RPF's silencing of Joshua Ruzibiza, the man who claims to have affected Kagame's order to shoot down the plane. He was harassed and threatened into submission in late 2008. His recanting is available on YouTube. His book is titled, Rwanda: L’histoire secrète and was published in 2005 by Editions du Panama.

Of identified informants, at least two dozen are members of the former government army, were interviewed under extreme pressure in the presence of RPF officials, in full awareness of what they were expected to say, and of the price to be paid if they did not. The validity of the narratives gathered by the report needs to be considered by any serious academic.

The Mutsinzi Report sets up a straw man and then proceeds to attack Hutu extremists. This is exact same tactic that was used by those in power before the genocide to argue for its implementation! Caplan is but fodder in this debate that presents half-truths as facts and fails to substantiate any of its claims.

Given Rwanda's history of the elite manipulation of the past for political gain, Caplan's analysis is dangerous and thoughtless. Rwandans deserve better than this.

* Susan Thomson is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa.

* Please send comments to or comment online at Pambazuka News.
Related Materials:
The Mutsinzi Report: A Video Analysis of Habyarimana Plane Crash
Rebuttal of the Mutsinzi Report on the Rwandan genocide
Report of the Mutsinzi "Experts Committee" : a collection of distortions of the truth, speculations, lies, paradoxes and antitheses
Admission of Rwanda to Commonwealth caps off assassination, genocide, and civil war
Rwanda: Habyarimana Death - Findings Out But Where Are the Black Boxes?
The alleged mystery surrounding the black box of the Rwandan genocide

Rwanda: A False Reconciliation

By Susan Thomson
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow,
School of Political Studies,
University of Ottawa.

First published on January 21, 2010
The Mark

For most ordinary Rwandans, life since the genocide has not been as pleasant as the country's authorities would pretend.

As Rwanda gears up for Presidential elections in August, it is a good time to reflect on the progress the country has made since the genocide in 1994, both in image and in reality.

By most popular accounts, Rwanda is a nation rehabilitated. Diplomats and journalists talk of President Paul Kagame’s phenomenal success in rebuilding the once-shattered country.

The capital, Kigali, boasts a modern airport, several international hotels, a modern ICT infrastructure, and countless new residential and commercial properties. Numerous cafés and nightclubs have opened, catering to the city’s growing middle class of bureaucrats and businesspeople. Kigali’s crime rate is low and its streets are clean.

In the Rwandan Parliament, women hold 56 per cent of seats, the highest proportion of female representation in the world. Tony Blair is a presidential advisor and international dignitaries, including Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks, frequent the country.

Kagame is praised as a benevolent and thoughtful leader who cares deeply about his people. His policies have reconciled the Hutu perpetrators of the genocide with Tutsi survivors. Community-based gacaca courts have processed more than 100,000 Hutu accused of acts of genocide with most successfully reintegrated into society.

But most foreign visitors do not see the deep poverty and daily hardships that confront ordinary Rwandans. For most of them, Hutu and Tutsi alike, life since the genocide is not as bright and shiny as the authorities in Kigali would pretend.

Some 90 per cent of Rwandans are peasants who rely on subsistence agriculture. Few of them have benefited from the country's rapid reconstruction. The gap between the wealthy urbanites and the poor rural dwellers is on the increase. Government policies favour the urban elite, many of whom are Tutsi who returned to the country after the genocide.

The vast majority of Rwandan women and men who survived the genocide remain extremely poor, politically marginal, and, in many cases, traumatised by what they lived through. Almost 95 per cent of Rwandans in the country during the genocide have post-traumatic stress disorder. Few receive government-sponsored counselling or support.

With rare exceptions, Rwandan peasants are thin, their eyes lacklustre from continued hunger, with weathered hands and faces, giving them the appearance of being older than their actual age. Some have orange hair, a telltale sign of malnutrition. Many go barefoot and dressed in ragged clothes – often the extent of their wardrobe.

Most of the Rwandans I spoke to lamented the constant struggles of everyday life since the genocide. For them, there is a lack of food, clean water, and affordable and proximate health services.

Increasing levels of authoritarianism by the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) stifle any attempts to address these inequalities.

Public space for free and open political expression is limited. The media and civil society operate at the behest of the RPF. Any individual or group that challenges the official government version of Rwanda as a rehabilitated nation, peaceful and secure, is harshly dealt with.

Opposition politicians, journalists, and ordinary folk alike who criticize the government are all subject to harassment, intimidation, disappearance, and, in extreme cases, death. Just ask Joseph Sebarenzi, the former Speaker of the House. Kagame forced him into exile in 2001 for his efforts to constitutionally limit the powers of the president. He writes about his experience in his recent book God Sleeps in Rwanda

Instead of allowing for frank and open discussion of the genocide, the RPF has forced reconciliation upon the people. They make Hutu tell the truth about what they did during the genocide, and make Tutsi forgive them. Reconciliation is not a sincere affair of the heart; it is an administrative matter.

The ordinary Rwandans I talked with are more than just skeptical about the government’s commitment to reconciliation; they also recognise it as a form of social control.

As Olive, a Hutu widow whose Tutsi husband died during the genocide told me, “All these confessions are a program of the government. Hutu confess to get free. But we know what happened! We were there in 1994. Not all who killed get justice – the government pardons them for reconciliation. Not all who didn’t kill go free – the government puts them in prison for reconciliation. What kind of peace is this? It is not from the heart.”

Local officials harass and intimidate those who fail to embrace this reconciliation; anyone who questions the sincerity of it can be imprisoned.

This is not a process grounded in an enlightened vision of peace and security. Instead, it forces Rwandans to remain silent and to not question the RPF version of peace and security. Rwandans are only simulating reconciliation as a means of coping with the demands of their government. As Jeanne, a Tutsi widow, said, “There can be no peace in the heart if there is no peace in the stomach.”

For many ordinary Rwandans, this has been an alienating, oppressive and sometimes humiliating experience – something that could, paradoxically, crystallize and create stronger dissent in the future, perhaps erupting into violence as early as August 2010 when Rwandans go to the polls again.

Related Materials:
Rwanda has not healed: "Tribalism, state sponsored abuses continue"

A Seething Below Rwanda's Surface: God Sleeps in Rwanda

Book Review: God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rwanda’s community courts – for punishment or mercy?

By Anne-Marie de Brouwer
The Observers
January 25, 2010

Also available in Français.

In a village near to Ruhango town, central Rwanda, community judges examine the case of a stolen cow. Posted on Flickr by The Advocacy Project.

In a few weeks, Rwanda's gacaca courts, set up to process the enormous backlog of war crime cases which resulted from the 1994 genocide, will close their doors. After nine years and over a million gacacas, do Rwandans feel that justice has been served through this unique process?

When Rwanda's judicial arm found itself overladen with so many cases that they said it would take 200 years to process them all, the authorities decided to allow the trials to be held in traditional community courts. An experimental concept for trying alleged war criminals - who have never before been tried in a collaborative court.

Gacacas take place outdoors - the word itself means "grass" in the Kinyarwanda language. The judges are called "people of integrity", and the audience comprises local residents, who, if they wish, can object to proceedings by raising their hand.

The community courts were launched in 2001, and have proved quite a success in terms of keeping Rwanda's prisons from becoming overcrowded - in the gacaca courts, if the accused pleads guilty, then their prison sentence can instead be converted into community service. Owning up to your crime is weighted heavily in reducing your sentence, and attaining forgiveness from the family of your victim even more so.

Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International say that the gacaca courts do not meet international standards for a fair trial; the accused has no legal defence and the local judges are possibly biased. From another standpoint, some survivors of the genocide say that the system doesn't take into account that the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis was something planned rather than impulsive; they fear these kinds of trial don't do proper justice.

Over a million cases were assigned to gacaca courts. They were supposed to have been completed by the end of 2009, a deadline which has since been postponed to February 2010.

“Survivors say it’s possible to forgive the assailants if they ask for forgiveness from the bottom of their hearts”

Anne-Marie de Brouwer is a criminal law professor at the The International Victimology Institute Tilburg in the Netherlands. She specialises in the rights of international victims and wrote the book "The Men Who Killed Me: Rwandan Survivors of Sexual Violence".

I've been to two gacaca trials, in 2006 and 2008, along with a fellow lawyer from Rwanda, [whose husband had been murdered in the genocide]. She was there to bear witness because the alleged killer of her husband was appealing. She had asked me to go because she said she'd feel more reassured. It was hard for her to face all the people there and to give her account - she told me that on previous occasions the attendees had even verbally intimidated her.

The alleged murderer said that he wasn't there when her husband was killed, but that it was the other men implicated that had blamed him. His conviction was quashed, ending his 30-year jail sentence. My colleague was devastated because while she agreed with the verdict, it meant that she didn't know what really happened and was unable to give her husband a proper burial because the whereabouts of his body remained a mystery.

I think that's what most of the survivors are looking for. What was really interesting in that particular case was that a Hutu woman in the crowd stood up and said that she saw the alleged murderer in a car with the victim just before he was killed. For me that demonstrates that the gacacas work - a Hutu woman did not protect the alleged killer, Hutu himself.

Gacacas involve the local residents; the people who were there when the crime took place, and who more often than not know what happened. Of course the system has its flaws, but in general, I think it does work. Besides, this type of court has existed for centuries in Rwanda. People are familiar with the system. The country is still traumatised, but these courts are seen as the beginning of the reconciliation process.

Rwandans are not decided on the question of legitimacy of these courts. They understand that for logistical reasons the courts were necessary, but not everyone appreciates them. They say it's become increasingly difficult to stand as a witness because of threats and intimidation.

For survivors of sexual violence, it's even harder than for others. The accused offenders have sometimes taken flight, or can't be identified, or have been killed... And for the victim, it's very difficult to recount the attack in public, whereas they might be able to do it behind closed doors. One rape victim was offered a cow as compensation, and so refused it, because she said that she felt the worth of her life had been reduced to ownership of a cow.

On the other hand, survivors have told me that it is possible to forgive the assailants if they ask for forgiveness from the bottom of their hearts. Rwanda experienced genocide, and now, the country has to rebuild itself and both the former criminals and victims have to live together. It's incredibly difficult. They've accomplished an extraordinary amount in only 15 years."

Related Materials:
Human Rights Watch World Report 2009 on Rwanda

Rwanda Gacaca Criticized as Unfair for Genocide Trials

Kagame opponent claims persecution in Rwanda

By AFP/Kigali
January 27, 2010

A Rwandan opposition leader who returned from exile days ago to register her party and run in the August presidential election, claimed yesterday she was being harassed by the government.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who chairs the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party, condemned what she called “a media hate campaign” and “vicious propaganda... with the clear intention to bludgeon opponents into silence.”

“Some extremists are currently mobilising associations of genocide survivors, widows and others for demonstrations appealing to the government to suspend our work and put me in jail,” she claimed.

Immediately after returning to Rwanda from years in exile in the Netherlands, Ingabire had laid a wreath at the Gisozi national genocide memorial in the capital Kigali.

There, she had called for former rebels from President Paul Kagame’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to be prosecuted for crimes allegedly committed during the 1994 genocide.

Her speech had been interpreted by some media and by genocide survivor organisations as negating the genocide carried out by Hutu extremists against Kagame’s Tutsi minority.

According to the UN, at least 800,000 people - mostly Tutsis and some moderate Hutus - were killed in 100 days.

“They don’t yet understand that silencing my voice won’t stop this growing movement of claims as long as many Rwandans aspire to more democracy,” Ingabire warned in her statement.

In its world report released last week, New York-based Human Rights Watch charged that the Rwandan regime was tightening the screw on political freedoms.

“Rwanda has used its criminal law against ‘genocide ideology’ to silence individuals critical of current government policies or those who challenge past abuses committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” it said.

Kagame, who has been at the helm the central African country since the end off the genocide, is widely expected to secure re-election this year.

Related Materials:
Rwandan Presidential Hopeful Says Kagame Government Planning to Arrest Her

Rwandan Presidential Hopeful Says Kagame Government Planning to Arrest Her

By Godwin Agaba
January 27, 2010

Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire, the president of the yet-to-be registered FDU-INKINGI political party and self-styled presidential hopeful fears the renew threats of being arrested.

In an exclusive interview with at her residence in Nyarutarama, a posh suburb of Kigali last evening, Ingabire revealed she has landed on plans by the Rwanda government to throw her in jail on trumped up charges.

“From well informed sources, some authorities are currently mobilizing associations of genocide survivors, widows, and others for demonstrations appealing to the Government to suspend our work and put me in jail,” Ingabire disclosed.

“But they don’t have the slightest evidence of the facts,” she stated.

Ingabire whom this reporter found reading a copy of the local news paper, Umuseso and had just come from Ugandan embassy to meet the Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda, did not spare any words in criticizing President Paul Kagame’s government.

“I am here to register our political party, FDU-INKINGI and participate in the upcoming presidential elections,” she confirmed.

She revealed that despite a positive reception by the population, there has been a rise in state sponsored hate campaign, calls to arbitrary arrests and the muzzling of her group’s non-violent actions.

The FDU-INKINGI leader who was dressed in a maroon dress and working on a laptop said, “I call upon the Rwandan people and the international community to witness this outrageous mendacity. Powered by non-violent values we seized the opportunity of democratic process believing that the higher authorities of the country, guarantor of institutions and security were seriously ready for the multiparty system and the opening of the political space.”

“What are they afraid of? If, indeed, the performance of the system they are fighting for meets the aspirations of Rwandans, their candidate will be acclaimed in the upcoming elections. On the contrary, if they like our political program, they will vote for us.

All they need is a free, fair and transparent election,” Ingabire challenged.

She also took on the government again on issue of issuing immigration documents.

“How can one take seven months without a passport when he has applied for it, or getting a national identity card?” Ingabire asks.

She told that she is seeking permission to meet the Rwanda immigration boss, Anaclet Kalibata over the issue of a group of UDF-Inkingi officials who were denied Rwandan citizenship.

Officials in the Rwandan Embassy in Brussels have denied UDF-Inkingi’s officials passports for over 6 months.

On 12th of June 2009, a group of UDF-Inkingi officials led by its First Vice Chairman, Eugène Ndahayo went to Rwanda House 1, Rue Des Fleurs in Woluwé-St-Lambert, in the Belgian capital Brussels to apply for passports ahead of the UDF-Inkingi’s participation in the planned presidential race.

“Four months ago, officers in charge of consular affairs refused to handle application forms for UDF-Inkingi’s First VP pretending that he might not be a Rwandan citizen, stirring anger within his organization,” Ingabire explained

She is also facing the same ordeal as she is yet to acquire a Rwanda national identity card which is a prerequisite for her to register her party. She has already applied for it.

Ingabire returned two weeks ago from 16 years in exile to participate in the August this year general elections where she hopes to challenge President Kagame (pictured).

Speaking to the press shortly before heading straight to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site at Gisozi, Ingabire said she came back to relieve Rwandans “from fear, poverty and inefficient Gacaca (genocide court)”.

She said “Rwandans live in fear” and that “there is need for all Rwandans to work together in their different parties and religious affiliations to fight the fear”.

In words that clearly suggested the “Double Genocide” theory, Ingabire said the reconciliation road has a long way to go unless those who killed Hutus during the Genocide are brought to book.

Her visit to the memorial site was seen by many as a mockery to those who died in the Genocide, an observation supported by her past utterances which reveal a deep sense of revisionism.

Related Materials:

Rwandan opposition leader stirs ethnic controversy

Rwanda: Who Is Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rwanda: Who Is Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza?

By Wikipedia,
The free encyclopedia
November 20, 2009

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza born 3 October 1968 is a Rwandan politician. She is the Chairperson of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) a coalition of Rwandan opposition parties with a large base of active members in Rwanda, Europe,United States of America and in Canada. She has been elected by the political council of her party as the official candidate for the next presidential election in Rwanda in August 2010[1].

Family and career:

Married and a mother of three, she trained in commercial law and accounting and graduated in business economics and corporate management in the Netherlands. Victoire worked as an official of an international accounting firm based in the Netherlands where she was in charge of its accounting departments in 25 branches in Europe, Asia and Africa. In April 2009, she resigned from her function to dedicate herself to a political career and to prepare her return to her homeland and, as the head of her political party, to contribute to rebuilding of her country.

Political career:

Since 1997, Victoire is involved in the struggle of the Rwandan political opposition in exile. Her objective is to introduce to her country, Rwanda, the rule of law and a constitutional state where international democratic standards are respected, where nationalism will at last be the cornerstone for all public institutions and as well as in all aspect of life in Rwanda. Her political activities are centered around the idea of a state of justice where individuals choose their associations based on their shared political aspirations rather than their ethnic or regional background.[2]

In 1997, Victoire joined the Republican Rally for Democracy in Rwanda ([1]). A year later, she became the President of its Netherlands branch and in 2000, she was nominated President of RDR at the international level.

From 2003 to 2006, she occupied the post of President of the Union of Rwandan Democratic Forces UFDR (french: Union des Forces Démocratiques Rwandaises), the main coalition of political opposition parties and personalities in exile, of which RDR is an active member.

Unification of the democratic opposition:

The fight for a unified political opposition in exile dominated her political career. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continued to monopolize power in Kigali, criminalizing, persecuting or co-opting any resistance [3]. Inside the country, opposition to the RPF-led regime in Rwanda is almost non-existent. Only diaspora-based associations were able to mount an opposition attempt to Kagame regime but divisions and political rivalries in diaspora did not make this possible. In favor of fundamental change and reconciliation, she gradually changed the pace of the struggle towards a unified opposition with peaceful means [4] to stand up to the challenge of offering to Rwandans an alternative to Paul Kagame's regime.

• In November 2004, in Amsterdam, Netherlands she organized a conference known as the "Forum on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region" which was followed by the Amsterdam Initiative with the aim to create the new platform for cooperation.[5].

• In October 2005, Victoire initiated contacts with other opposition organizations and organized an all-inclusive meeting for all Rwandan civil society associations and political parties. A consensus of common front against Paul Kagame's regime was finally reached.[citation needed]

• Starting from April 2006, she participated in the creation of the United Democratic Forces (FDU) and was elected President of the political platform. FDU has a goal to install the rule of law in Rwanda, underpinned by the respect of democratic values enshrined in the universal declaration of human rights and other international instruments relating to democracy and good governance.[6]

• Victoire actively participated in Highly Inclusive Inter-Rwandan Dialogue (HIIRD) project in Barcelona, Spain in 2004, 2006 [7] and in April – May 2009 [8] under the auspice of Mr. Juan Carrero Saralegui, the Peace Nobel Prize candidate [2] and of Mr. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the Peace Nobel Prize and Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, the Vice-president of the Alliance of Civilization [3]

She proposed following emblematic reforms calling for change in daily life of all Rwandans and the way they relate to politics: Creation of a Committee of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation to help Rwandans towards true reconciliation; Introduction of a non-political commission in charge of rewriting and interpretation of the actual history of Rwanda; The passing of a bill for the right to private ownership and for protection of the weakest members of the public, for the guarantee by the law of equal opportunity and access to credit and employment for all citizens.

Support of the Union Sector:

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is a founding member of many associations and foundations in the union sector: Association Contact, Dialogue et Actions Caritatives (CODAC) which seeks to give moral, legal advice and material support to the survivors of the Great Lakes region in the Netherlands or in their region; Association URAHO of women refugees from Rwanda in the Netherlands, focusing on getting Rwandese women out of isolation and helping them integrate into Dutch society, to assist non-accompanied children and asylum seekers; Fondation PROJUSTITIA-Rwanda, committed to fighting in favor of fair justice for all victims of the Rwandan tragedy; HARAMBE, platform of African women’s associations in the Netherlands committed to promotting development of African women on the continent. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA was also member of the executive committee of ZWALU, a platform bringing together foreign women in the Netherlands to promote their emancipation.[citation needed]

Her views on current events:

She is the author of numerous articles and publications where she expressed her views on important issues pertaining to current events in her country and that of the Great Lakes region. Among others:

"What is the Outlook for Peace in Central Africa? " (translation) (2001)([4]),

"International Justice After the Crisis in Rwanda" (translation) (2002),[5]

"Conflicts in the Great Lake region of Africa: Origins and Solution Proposals" (translation) (2003),

"National Reconciliation As a Requirement for Security and Sustainable Peace in Rwanda and in the Countries of the African Great Lakes" (translation) (2004)[6],

"Pleading for a True National Reconciliation in Rwanda, Requirements for Sustainable Peace" (translation) (2005).

1-Monthly Publication of the European Network for Central Africa ( EURAC) No. 58 –October 2009

2-Le Rwanda Face à la Declaration Universelle de Droits de l'Homme, 2004

3-Crumbling in Exile - The Changing Nature of the Rwandan Opposition

4-The Dismantling of the Rwandan Political Opposition in Exile

5-Crumbling in exile: The changing nature of the Rwandan opposition Marina Rafti, 2005

6-Forces Democratiques Unifiees-Political Program

7-Intra-Rwandan Dialogue, Barcelona DIR’06 Barcelona (Spain), June 2006

8-Declaration of the Intra-Rwandese Dialog: DIR’2009 (representative Edition)

See also:
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza - Wikipedia (French)

UDF Organization Website

Victoire 2010

Retrieved from: