Vous êtes ici : Accueil » Afrique centrale » Rwanda » Lifting the lid on Rwandan repression

Lifting the lid on Rwandan repression

D 4 novembre 2014     H 05:46     A David Mepham     C 0 messages


Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who is giving a speech at London’s Chatham House today, is viewed by his admirers as the man who saved the nation – who brought stability and rapid economic development to a country devastated by genocide now 20 years ago. Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who advises the Rwandan government, has talked of Kagame’s “visionary leadership,” while former US president Bill Clinton has described him as “one of the greatest leaders of our time.” But these admirers – and others – seem to be willfully ignoring the darker side of Kagame’s record in office.

Rwanda under Kagame has no tolerance for dissent or political opposition. Years of state intimidation and infiltration have emasculated Rwandan civil society. In July last year, the last effective Rwandan human rights organization, the Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, suffered an internal coup, which ousted critical and independent voices and installed government-compliant ones. The Rwandan media is dominated by government views, and most media outlets follow the official line. Scores of Rwandan journalists have fled the country, unable to report freely and fearful for their safety.

Kagame’s Rwanda is similarly ruthless in its treatment of political opponents. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front dominates political and public life, at national and local levels.

Opposition parties have faced sustained pressure, preventing them from operating effectively. Some prominent opposition leaders, like Victoire Ingabire and Sylvain Sibomana, remain imprisoned, following flawed judicial processes.

Rwandans living abroad who criticize Kagame’s government have also been physically attacked, raising serious questions about Rwandan government involvement. In January, Patrick Karegeya, a former Rwandan intelligence chief turned Kagame critic, was found murdered in his hotel room in South Africa. In the days that followed, Kagame and other senior government ministers branded Karegeya a traitor and implied he got what he deserved. A few years earlier, an attempt was made on the life of dissident and former senior military official Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, who lives in South Africa. In August, a South African judge convicted four people for the attempted murder – including two Rwandans – calling the attack politically motivated and saying it emanated from a certain group of people in Rwanda.

While in London, Kagame is likely to be lauded for Rwanda’s economic and development achievements, which are impressive. But they in no way excuse his severe crackdown on political opposition, the intimidation of journalists and civil society, and any violence against Rwandan critics abroad. Kagame’s hosts in the UK should say so and in the strongest possible terms. And Kagame should be left in no doubt that he will pay a heavy price internationally for his continued repression and authoritarian rule.

By David Mepham

Rechercher

Les plus lus

1.  ALIMENTATION : Réduire la faim, soutenir les femmes agricultrices

2.  Déclaration à propos de la menace du gouvernement britannique de priver d’aide les pays qui violent les droits des personnes LGBTI en Afrique

3.  Angola : Isabel dos Santos, Honour and Lies

4.  Botswana : LABOUR TRANSFORMATION, THE DYNAMICS AND CHALLENGES IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

5.  La voix des Sahraouis étouffée au cœur de l’Europe


5 articles au hasard

1.  Après le numéro de clown du Macron au Burkina Faso, retour aux fondamentaux…

2.  Le CADTM lancera le 24 mars un appel au Parlement européen pour l’organisation d’un audit de la dette tunisienne

3.  Madagascar - Toamasina : Les ouvriers de l’usine de Dynatec en grève

4.  La compensation de la biodiversité de Rio Tinto à Madagascar : un double accaparement de terre au nom de la biodiversité ?

5.  Djibouti : DANGER pour la vie du témoin-clé de l’affaire BORREL


Les plus populaires

1.  Texte liminaire de la Conférence de presse du mercredi 04 mai 2016 : Des fondements de la rupture d’avec les coalitions Bennoo Siggil Senegal et Bennoo Bokk Yaakaar à la formulation des nouvelles exigences et tâches, ou le temps de l’alternative populaire.

2.  Aide-ménagères à Bamako : Ton paradis, mon enfer

3.  MADAGASCAR : le premier État de la planète à souffrir de la famine à cause du dérèglement climatique

4.  Djibouti : Protection citoyenne pour Mohamed KADAMY

5.  Mauritanie : Déclaration à la mémoire des victimes de la funeste journée du 27 novembre 1990