Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch



Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rwanda puts Hutu presidential candidate on trial

Rwanda puts Hutu presidential candidate on trial

Slideshow image

In this photo dated Sunday, May, 16 2010, Victoire Ingabire, a presidential candidate and an ethnic Hutu, is seen at her home in Kigali, Rwanda. (AP / Jason Straziuso)

The Associated Press

Date: Friday May. 21, 2010 9:14 PM ET

KIGALI, Rwanda — When presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu, returned to Rwanda after a long absence she immediately visited a memorial to Tutsis killed in the 1994 genocide and asked why Hutus who also died weren't remembered. She then told Hutu prisoners she would get them out of chains.

For these actions, the 41-year-old Ingabire was arrested, charged with genocide ideology and could be sentenced to more than two decades in prison if convicted.

It's been 16 years since 800,000 Rwandans, the vast majority of them Tutsis, were slaughtered by Hutus. With the nation still grappling with ethnic divisions almost a generation later, Ingabire's case has become a test of where Rwanda stands in its effort to move past the genocide -- and how much freedom the government of President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, will allow its people.

The government has been lauded by the international community for its progress in women's rights and economic growth, but analysts say it harshly cracks down on dissent, something Kigali citizens confirm in nervous street interviews.

Ingabire says she's merely trying to exercise her rights and that the government's response shows it is "far from democracy." For its part, the government, wary of anything that could inflame ethnic tensions, accuses her of risking another slide toward violence with her actions.

Kigali, Rwanda's hilly capital, is prosperous and beautiful. More than half the members of the lower house of parliament are women, the highest proportion in the world. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's foundation last year gave Kagame an award in recognition of his work to develop rural health and education systems and strengthen infrastructure.

Kagame is running for re-election in the Aug. 9 elections and is expected to win another seven-year term.

But human rights groups say that under the serene-looking surface the government has an ironclad hold on power and quashes opposing views. The U.S. State Department said in a March report that citizens' rights to change their government are "effectively restricted" and cited limits on freedoms of speech, press and judicial independence.

"Politically there's no space for the opposition or any other view than that of the government," said Daniela Kroslak, an analyst with the International Crisis Group in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ingabire says she returned to Rwanda in January after 16 years because the country needs an open discussion to promote reconciliation. In an interview, she complained that she is being muzzled.

"That's the problem I have with this government. If you talk about ethnicity, they say you are a divisionist," Ingabire said. "I think the better solution is you talk about it and find a solution."

The government's chief prosecutor, Martin Ngoga, said this is not simply a free-speech issue because Ingabire could incite Rwanda "to once more explode as it did only 16 years ago."

Ingabire has contacts with the FDLR, a group of Hutu fighters operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Rwandan government has labeled the FDLR as a terrorist group. Ingabire says her party doesn't agree with the FDLR's politics but Ngoga said she is seeking to destabilize Rwanda with her FDLR contacts.

"We have done a lot in terms of trying to overcome the legacy of the genocide and to get people to pursue the future," Ngoga said. "But we have not gotten to the point where our community is educated enough to the extent where it cannot be manipulated again." He warned that the government won't tolerate people giving "speeches that incite ethnic divisions."

In the wake of the 1994 killings, the government set out to de-emphasis ethnicity. Many in the country now identify simply as a Rwandan, not a Hutu or Tutsi.

"When I was born, when I was growing up, I was Hutu. But now when you see someone you can't ask, 'Is he Tutsi?' There is no difference," said Gabriel Semasaka, a member of parliament.

Despite Rwanda's advances, many Rwandans say they don't feel safe. A series of grenade attacks in the capital this year injured dozens of people and killed two, with the most recent attack occurring on May 15. Police haven't said whether the attacks are connected to the upcoming elections.

Some Rwandans won't even give their names to reporters, fearing government retaliation. One 24-year-old Kigali resident told AP that "tomorrow I'll find myself in prison" if he gave his name. He and a 28-year-old friend said they don't trust the government because of its rigid hold on power.

Many Hutus still live outside the country. Refugees in neighbouring Uganda are afraid to come back and this month asked the Ugandan government for asylum. Yowana Ahetegikimana, 42, said from the Nakivale refugee camp in western Uganda that he was arrested in Rwanda two weeks ago and detained in a container for a month for supporting an opposition party. "I was rarely given food and beaten often," he said.

Amnesty International has urged the Rwandan government to ensure Ingabire receives a fair trial. She is free on bail but her passport was seized and she can't leave Kigali pending her trial at an undetermined date.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I
was wondering your situation; we have developed
some nice procedures and we are looking to trade techniques with other folks, why
not shoot me an email if interested.

my blog recovery

Anonymous said...

Gday! My name is Teri and I just wanted to
say your weblog is great! It truly is amusing because I use to have a blog site
that virtually had an identical website url: http:
//www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1938558784479190403&postID=668833412670348907 mine was only a few characters different.
Anyhow, I am a big supporter of your blogging site and if you ever would like a guest write-up please email me personally at: kayleewilson@mailworks.
org. I love writing!

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog right here! Additionally your website
loads up very fast! What host are you the use of?
Can I get your affiliate link for your host? I desire my web site loaded up as
fast as yours lol

Also visit my site: www.droga.jp

Anonymous said...

I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
Keep up the awesome works guys I've included you guys to my blogroll.

My website ... ranger forum

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz reply as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

My page: ipsl.kw.ac.kr

oakleyses said...

chanel handbags, true religion, michael kors outlet online, gucci handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, polo ralph lauren, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, air max pas cher, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, longchamp handbags, kate spade handbags, nike shoes, michael kors outlet store, true religion outlet, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, nike air max, tory burch outlet, red bottom shoes, christian louboutin outlet, prada outlet, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, nike free, coach purses, ray ban outlet, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet online, prada handbags, jordan shoes, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, coach outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister, nike free, barbour, timberland, air max, guess pas cher, oakley pas cher, roshe run, vans outlet, longchamp, north face, nike roshe run, tn pas cher, chaussure louboutin, michael kors uk, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, mac cosmetics, nike blazer pas cher, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, nike free pas cher, lululemon, nike air force, mulberry, michael kors canada, sac louis vuitton, sac michael kors, nike trainers, louis vuitton uk, sac vanessa bruno, ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, north face pas cher, lacoste pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, longchamp pas cher, vans pas cher, new balance pas cher, ray ban uk, longchamp, hollister, nike roshe, hollister, hermes pas cher, air jordan, burberry pas cher, converse pas cher, nike huarache, scarpe hogan

oakleyses said...

herve leger, moncler, uggs outlet, hollister clothing, birkin bag, instyler ionic styler, babyliss pro, canada goose pas cher, soccer shoes, canada goose, baseball bats, moncler, new balance outlet, beats headphones, marc jacobs outlet, mcm handbags, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, nike air max, rolex watches, valentino shoes, ugg soldes, canada goose uk, chi flat iron, abercrombie and fitch, mont blanc pens, canada goose outlet, lululemon outlet, moncler, celine handbags, bottega veneta, ugg boots, jimmy choo shoes, ugg, iphone 6 case, reebok shoes, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, asics shoes, uggs on sale, moncler outlet, ferragamo shoes, ugg outlet, insanity workout, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti, ghd, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, north face jackets