Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rwanda: PDR-Ihumure refutes genocide allegations leveled against its Vice-President

By Pio Ngilik
Executive Secretary
PDR-Ihumure 
February 23, 2014

1. “News of Rwanda”, an on-line news publication channeling pro-RPF propaganda, a few weeks ago put out a slanderous article alleging genocide involvement by our Vice President, Djumatatu Nzeyimana. There is nothing factually accurate in this muckraking article, except a nauseous pile of lies and misrepresentations that are only good for the sewer. It is available at http://www.newsofrwanda.com/featured1/22046/tracing-president-kikwetes-fdlr-links-back-to-rwanda/.

2. The PDR-Ihumure initially felt responding to these baseless accusations was a complete waste of our time. In the end, we have decided we cannot let them go unchallenged and must set our record straight as a political organization. We are proud of our 8-year record as an opposition political party fighting for genuine democracy in Rwanda. Our organization enjoys a unified team of hard-working men and women fully dedicated to the cause of democracy, especially in our leadership positions. For the record, our Vice President, Djumatatu Nzeyimana, who has been attacked, is a law school graduate who worked for the Rwandan government as a civil servant until 1994, and never worked for the Rwandan government beyond that. He has never been in hiding in unknown locations between France and the Netherlands as alleged in the article, and his current address is publicly known in official records. He has never traveled on a fake passport, never lived in refugee camps in DRC, nor has he ever resided in Dodoma, Tanzania. His wife has never had any name changes since they have known each other. He was duly employed by the United Nations at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 1997 to 2003, and assertions to the contrary are a reckless attempt to tamper with U.N. personnel records or discredit U.N. officials staked out as the source of this defamatory news article.  The claim that our Vice President has lived in Europe for 18 years is simply an egregious lie. We find it incredibly irresponsible that Mr. Innocent Gahiji would level allegations of genocide so carelessly against our Vice President simply for political expediency. Back in 2003, Djumatatu Nzeyimana became a victim of similar character assassination attacks, to no avail. Therefore, we challenge anyone, first and foremost Mr. Innocent Gahiji, to produce evidence in support of the serious allegations of genocide he has so callously brought up against our Vice President, absent which we reserve the right to pursue charges of defamation and seek damages and reparation for the harm unduly done. It is highly regrettable how a regime once feted - albeit erroneously - as the savior group that ended genocide in Rwanda has now stooped to a level so execrable as to drag families in gutter politics and embark on gruesome assassinations of former comrades in arms.

3. Buckling under intense pressure following a disastrous year 2013 during which its frontman in DRC gen. Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the ICC,  its proxy M23 rebel group was soundly defeated in DRC, and its involvement in the plunder and humanitarian tragedy of eastern DRC was laid bare for everyone to see, it seems the Kigali RPF regime has decided this year to go out for broke by mounting an all-out suicidal offensive against its political opponents, whether national or foreign, not with creative ideas on how to advance Rwanda but with brutal assassinations, smear campaigns, threatening statements, and a wave of arrests of supposed genocidaires living in exile. This kind of thug, violent, cut-throat politics is what’s ordinarily known as state-sponsored terrorism. Other strongmen such as Idi Amin in Uganda, Saddam Hussein in Irak, Kadhafi in Libya tried it in the past. It didn’t work for them, and it won’t work for Kagame. For twenty long years there has been this super- potent twin scarecrow - FDLR and genocide - which the RPF regime has dangled each time it has faced problems, and they have all gone away as if magically. Those days may be coming to an end.

4. The biggest outrage of this whole campaign is the shameless attempt to savage the reputation of a neighboring and friendly nation, Tanzania, along with its President, Jakaya Kikwete. This is the country that, through exemplary active support to the ANC, has helped to end Apartheid in South Africa, and countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia to be born as independent states. Tanzania also helped get rid of dictator Idi Amin in Uganda, and may have been one of the many countries cheering the RPF’s rise to power in Rwanda in 1994, misled by a prevalent myth at the time that President Kagame was part of a “new breed of African leaders”. In hindsight, everyone knows today it was the lie of the century. Currently, just as it did in the past, Tanzania is wisely, courageously and steadfastly spearheading a painstaking SADC effort to midwife a regional peace in a Great Lakes Region of Africa torn apart by two decades of the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. At the opposite side stands Rwanda, which is neck-deep involved in this conflict, and which has become synonymous with impunity by providing a safe haven for the Laurent Nkundas, Jules Mutebutsis, Jean Marie Runigas, and scores of other war lords of the region, all of whom are wanted by justice for their crimes of war and crimes against humanity.

5. When President Jakaya Kikwete first brought up this issue of peace talks with armed groups, it was during a regional summit on Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 26, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Understandably, this was the right diplomatic manner and venue for raising this issue and eliciting a workable way forward on this intractable matter. Other Heads of State were present when President Kikwete tabled this issue. It follows simple logic, therefore, that if President Kagame has a problem with the issue of peace talks with armed opposition as was raised, he can simply bring it up for discussion by his peers in the same diplomatic manner and venue, if only for the sake of minimum decorum. Instead, he has chosen to throw dirt and settle the matter individually like a bully in a school yard. He has personally ranted about it repeatedly and has enlisted an army of internet journalists to try and sling as much muck on President Kikwete as possible. It’s sad that advisors are not counseling President Kagame right.

6. Regarding FDLR, we want to reiterate our position which was clearly explained by our President in his speech (http://pdrihumure.com/documents/alllocution15122012.pdf) during our Party Assessment Conference in Brussels 15 December 2012, and in our Party’s recent letter (http://pdrihumure.com/documents/pdrlettertomonusco.pdf) to their Excellencies Mary Robinson, Martin Kobler and Russ Feingold, namely that if there are crime suspects within FDLR, they must be fully prosecuted, just as suspected criminals within the RPF in power in Rwanda must be brought to justice. This position has not changed. Just as importantly, however, we find it a matter of public outrage that the RPF regime continues to reject direct peace talks with FDLR alleging “they are a group of genocidaires” even as it has welcomed former FDLR commanders (such as gen. Paul Rwarakabije, gen. Jerome Ngendahimana and others) within its ranks with nary a qualm about their “genocidaire” status. This is a long- recycled ploy by Kigali to have it both ways on this FDLR issue, a kind of political duplicity that has now gone rancid.

7. Clearly, the attack against our party is part of the RPF’s grand scheme of counter-attacks and diversion tactics for a regime besieged by a battery of daunting challenges from all fronts as 2014 unfolds with a vengeance. For the last few weeks, Kigali has had to deal with a  damning report on Rwanda’s Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association (http://freeassembly.net/rapporteurpressnews/rwanda-visit-statement/) by the U.N. Special Rapporteur, Mr. Maïna Kiai,  an equally damaging report by Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/01/28/rwanda-repression-across-borders) about Rwanda’s attacks and threats against opponents and critics abroad, and a stinging defeat at the U.N. Security Counsel in a failed attempt to block a U.N. Sanctions Committee report (http:// www.enca.com/africa/un-sanctions-sparks-row-between-drc-and-rwanda-0) which states the M23 rebel group is busy recruiting and regrouping inside Rwanda. The international community must not relent in holding the RPF regime’s feet to the fire of accountability for its crimes and gross human rights violations in Rwanda and in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Source: RAYA-Network 

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