Thursday, February 18, 2010

Belgium Worried About Lack Of Democracy In Rwanda (18.02.10)

The new Foreign Affairs minister of Belgium, Steven Vanackere (CD&V), recently visited the great lakes region. On January 25th, Belgium newspaper De Standaard reports:

`Vanackere benadrukt dat hij in Congo, Rwanda en Burundi geen enkel gespreksthema uit de weg is gegaan. ‘Zo heb ik in Congo het hoofd van de militaire justitie erop gewezen dat je geen opleiding nodig hebt om te weten dat je niet moet verkrachten.'En aan de Rwandese president Paul Kagame — voor wie De Gucht altijd een stuk milder was dan voor Kabila — zei Vanackere dat hij bezorgd was over het gebrek aan een oppositiepartij.`

In English:

`Vanackere stressed that on his visit to Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, no subject has been avoided. 'I have, for example, told the head of military justice in Congo that you don't need education to know that you should not rape.' And he told the Rwandese President Paul Kagame, of which his predecessor Karel de Gucht was less critical, that he had worries about the lack of a opposition party.`

Today, the largest Dutch newspaper, de Telegraaf, writes that Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who has recently returned to Rwanda as Presidential Candidate for a Rwandan political party, has been attacked at a municipal office in Rwanda. Police stood by without protecting her and her assistant. The New Times, a "newspaper" that in reality publishes propaganda in favor of the current military junta, has for weeks been writing half-truths and lies about her. Off course, again today, the New Times wrote a distorted account of what actually took place: "Ingabire was standing in line and didn't want to wait for her turn." I am affraid The New Times campaign of character assasination will continue. There strategy seems to be: "Throw as much shit at her, some of it will stick." Allafrica, a faithfull publisher of government friendly press in Rwanda, continues to pass on these "press releases". It's amazing it doesn't hurt their business model. Makes me wonder concerning the credibility of the news they receive from other "news sources" in Africa. US mainstream media have kept silent about Ingabire´s return to Rwanda so far, makes me wonder how much longer they can wait. I can´t wait to hear what Philip Gourevitch or Stephen Kinzer have to say about her.

Voice Of America reports that Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza will today publish an open letter to Paul Kagame demanding protection in the run up to the Presidential elections. Wouldn't it be great if Reverend Rick Warren made a video with his "friend paul", a civil forum setting would do, asking him to protect Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza?

Interior Ministry dismisses Ingabire’s security worries (18.02.10)

Kigali: Embattled opposition politician Ms. Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza cannot be given personal security escorts, instead she just has to abide by the country’s laws, the Interior Minister said Thursday, a day after Ingabire claimed a mob had attacked her.

Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana said the fiery politician is “one among about 10million Rwandans,” and cannot be provided personal guards as she had demanded in the February 03 letter to the Minister. Sheikh Harelimana is himself leader of Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), one of the six small coalition partners to the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).

Ms. Ingabire indicated Wednesday she would write to President Paul Kagame seeking to have her security guaranteed ahead of the August 09 presidential polls. It has now emerged that the letter was addressed to the Interior Minister – under whose portfolio internal security falls.

Among the issues the now controversial mother-of-four raises includes accusations that security operatives have been trailing her since she arrived in the country January 12. Ms. Ingabire also reportedly claims that security personnel, including police officers, are part of a concerted effort to intimidate her.

“What is wrong with somebody trailing you, as long as they don’t harm you?” said Minister Harelimana on the BBC Kinyarwanda service. “Our Police officers have name tags, but Ingabire does not provide any names of officers trailing her.”

Sheikh Harelimana said Ms. Ingabire allegations are “baseless” as Rwanda’s Police Force is “professional” and “respected across Africa and globally”.

The Interior Minister was the first government official to rap the FDU Inkingi leader following contested comments she made at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center on her arrival from the 16-year exile.

The fire-spitting lady wondered why the memorial, where some 250,000 people are laid to rest, only honors Tutsis killed by Hutus disregarding Hutus killed by Tutsis. Ms. Ingabire did not elaborate but her comments, made for the first time on Rwandan territory, raised a storm here with some sections saying she was promoting the double Genocide theory.

The Genocide survivors’ umbrella organization IBUKA has demanded that Ms. Ingabire be barred from visiting any other memorial site, accusing her of negating the Tutsi mass slaughter. The group was also very specific - urging government to prosecute her.

Paul Kagame's Rwanda Dictatorship : Frank Talk on Kagame's Rwanda by one of his former soldier (14.02.2010)

I am Tutsi myself. I fought the war and did a lot to stop the genocide. I agree that the 1994 genocide was planed by selfish politicians in the region as well as some politicians in Europe. If you asked me to tell you why I fell out with Kagame, my simple answer is that I thought Kagame was going to usher in fundamental change. This did not happen.

I wanted him to democratize Rwanda. I wanted him to reduce the powers of the president, I wanted him to go beyond ethnic divisions, I wanted him to unite Rwandans. This he failed. First, it became a principle that any Tutsi army officer who got involved with or married a Hutu lady was either killed or the relationship was frustrated. This was done with Kagame's approval.

What is interesting is that the game Kagame is playing against the Hutu and Twa is the very game the Hutu will play against the Tutsi when they also reorganize and come to power. You wait, it wont take too long!

It is true there are no identity cards indicating who is Tutsi, Hutu or Twa. But frankly speaking, is there any sober person who has ever lived in Rwanda under Kagame that would say there is no discrimination? True, discrimination in Rwanda is now done secretly unlike before the Genocide. For example, let us mention the two camps that are the masters of appointments in Rwanda namely the James Musoni and the Dr. Ndahiro camps. Who can qualify through either of these camps for appointment if he/she is not Tutsi? No doubt there are some Hutus in "strategic" places. But let us be open, do such people like the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament, the Minister of defense, etc, all of whom are Hutu, make any crucial decision? It is even clear from their facial expression that they are insecure. Some Tutsi young boys are real the controllers of these seemingly strong men. Friends ... let us be frank. Kagame regime must change or else, when the Hutu finally take power, the Tutsi should be prepared to be treated the same way.

There is a problem in Kigali under Kagame, every thing that comes up, they will immediately go to their defensive. Every body who tries to say something contrary to the "correct line" is immediately referred to as a killer!

By the way, do you know how many people we as RPA killed in Byumba and in many other places? Why isn't this also talked about openly? Do you know how many Hutu that were killed by RPA?! Do you know how many Tutsi have been killed by Kagame? Dont just blindly defend Kagame, he is a killer!! This he knows himself. He even ever asked us in some senior officers' meeting "what will happen when the world comes to know everything we did?" Do you think France and Spain are stupid? Those guys are right. The only mistake they did is that their list of wanted RPA officers is short. Also, the list does not include Tutsi civilians who killed. Otherwise Kagame is a killer!
(The writer is referring to international arrest warrants issued by a Spanish judge. See "Spanish judge issues arrest warrant for 40 Rwandan army officers and men" of 13 Feb 2008 on our front page - Editor)

The common belief that Kagame does not stomach corruption .. wait a moment! All the names of people like Kalegeya and others, whom Kagame allegedly "dealt with" for corruption are simply sacrifices. It is because they disagreed with the guy ( Kagame) on the way forwards for the administration of the state. The real corrupt people who accept to do business for Kagame are never bothered! Consider James Musoni, Dr. Ndahiro, Nziza, among others. The good thing with Kagame, and as some writer refered to him as being good at creating a positive image of himself in public is that when one opposes him, he will get rid of that person under pretext of "fighting corruption". What about Kagame's wife? Do you know how corrupt she is? What about the Charles Kayongas, James, etc.. these are extremely corrupt guys.

Just pray that there is a change in Kagame's approach or let us us pray for a bloodless regime change in Kigali.