Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

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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:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Open letter to the Independent and Rwanda News Agency's Editors

By Mamadou Kouyate

To: The Foreign Editor of the Independent,

CC: The Editor of Rwanda News Agency

Re: Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo's paranoia over Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

Dear Editors,

I am writing to protest against the allegations by your foreign editor, Katherine Butler, in her recent article titled " Minister accuses rival of links to terrorism" published online Saturday August 7, 2010, article quickly relayed the same day by Rwanda News Agency in its article titled “Ingabire is bad news for Rwanda – Mushikiwabo”.


Ms. Katherine Butler knowingly published lie propraganda by Rwanda’s foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo about Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and the ongoing struggle for democratic change in Rwanda when she wrote that:

1) "She [Ms Ingabire] is a criminal". "She is bad news, she is connected to the FDLR and terrorist groups and she has a criminal history. She is not under house arrest, she has only been told not to leave the country."
2) Ms Ingabire was accused of being an "opportunist" who had lived outside of Rwanda for 16 years and still wanted to conduct a politics based on ethnic differences, which was "unacceptable"
I would like to ask Ms. Katherine Butler to give Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza her right of response she strongly deserves.

In case Ms. Katherine Butler cannot do so probably because she has been hired by the British firm Racepoint PR which is currently working out all the details on which media Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo will talk to and what she could say there in London, please seek from specific answers to the following crucial questions before she goes back to Rwanda:

In the aftermaths of the Rwandan genocide committed against the Tutsis the UN Security Council in its resolution #955 of November 1995 stated that both warring sides which were fighting for power in Rwanda i.e. the Habyarimana’s regime and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) of Paul Kagame shared some responsibilities in the killings that took place in Rwanda. These killings have been divided into three categories, including: crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace.

When Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza arrived in Rwanda after 16 years in exile, she recalled such a UN resolution to remind the Rwandan people that anyone who is responsible for any crime committed in Rwanda must face justice and that all victims deserve the right of memory for their loved ones who perished. Mrs. Ingabire also stressed that this is a necessary step for the sake of a genuine national reconciliation in Rwanda.
1) As a high ranking Rwandan official, do you see Rwanda’s problems this way?

2) Which divisionism or genocide ideology do you see in such statements?

In Rwanda there was indeed genocide against the Tutsis in 1994. It was committed by extremist Hutus.

3) How can you sustain that in Rwanda there are no ethnic groups?
Among the solutions that Mrs. Ingabire is proposing to solve Rwandan problems is that the Rwandan people should be free to speak clearly about their current problems so that they can achieve a genuine reconciliation and find tangible solutions to their problems specifically by installing strong institutions where every Rwandan feels represented and protected.

4) Do you see things this way?

On June 24, 2010, when members of the opposition who were peacefully demonstrating were arrested by the Rwandan police, these people were beaten and tortured by the police along with heinous utterances such as: “You Hutus, you are all fed up with too much blood but now we’re going to beat you so that you may throw up that blood. The “hutus” like Ingabire and Ntaganda that you all are following will never get to power as long as we will live in Rwanda”.

The same scenario was repeated on July 24, 2010, when a police flying squad drifted into Ms. Ingabire's temporary residence, knocked off and assaulted 2 guests and a house watchman in front of the door. The victims are Mr. Martin Ntavuka – FDU-INKINGI leader in Nyarugenge district and Mr. Anastase Hagabimana – FDU-INKINGI leader in Kicukiro district. They were handcuffed, beaten up and taken to Remera police detention facility.

The watchman was left with face injuries including one eye swollen shut. Eye witnesses confirm death threats and ethnic hate abuses hurled on-spot by the officer Karekezi, a Criminal Investigation Department staff.

On July 25, 2010, Rwanda's state radio station, quoting police sources, aired that the night before two were arrested for planning illegal demonstrations to be held the following week and that T-shirts with “inflammatory print” were confiscated.

The printed text on either the front or the back of the T-shirts says “We Need Democracy and Fair Justice" or “Turashaka Demokarasi n'Ubutabera Busesuye”.

When Rwandan officials make heinous utterances and torture their fellow citizens it means that there is no reconciliation in Rwanda. It also is obvious that there are still ethnic tensions in Rwanda, especially when it comes to power sharing.

5) Why do you deny such things while you knowingly know that there is clearly a problem in Rwanda?
When Ms. Ingabire brings up these problems which are shared with all Rwandans you label her as divisionist.

6) Between Ms. Ingabire who is pointing out these problems and asking for tangible solutions and the police that are torturing people with such heinous utterances, who do you think is harboring divisionism or genocide ideology?

Since February 2010 you’ve been saying that you have irrefutable evidence showing that Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza collaborates with the FDLR armed group.
7) Why have you failed to try her in court so far?

8) Recently, as political parties were registering their candidates, you said that such evidence against Ingabire was not available because it was to come from abroad. What kind of evidence are you waiting for especially that some of the evidence in question has reportedly been requested from the USA, when everybody knows that Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza never lived in the USA?

9) If the RPF government's intent is not to prevent registering the UDF-Inkingi political party that Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza chairs and to keep her from running in the upcoming presidential elections, why would it take 5 months before trying her in court?

When you interrogated Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza about her collaboration with the FDLR you used the 2009 UN report where it says that she had a meeting with the FDLR. But when one looks at the website of the NGO that convened such a meeting i.e. VeritasRwanda he/she can clearly see that the meeting was also attended by some RPF delegates. It is also clear that the conclusions of the meeting were all about problems facing Rwanda and their possible solutions.

10) Why is it a crime for Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza to attend the same meeting as your RPF delegates?

11) Do you by any chance also accuse your RPF delegates of the same crimes?

12) With regard to those military officers you arrested in Burundi in September 2009 for allegedly working for Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, why didn’t you indict them immediately if it was true that they were suspected of preparing attacks against Rwanda when you know that the Rwandan law says that anybody who is arrested and provisionally jailed should be indicted within 72 hours?

When you started charging Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of collaboration with the FDLR, there were newspapers that a few days before had spread news that there were people that had been paid by RPF to say that they were FDLR members and that they work with Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and indeed it exactly happened that way.

13) How can we trust your justice system where people are trained to serve as false witnesses against other people?

On the 24th of June, 2010 opposition party members held a peaceful demonstration in Kigali, which they had called "demonstration for democracy". They were arrested by the police and were tortured. As a result, Mrs Alice Muhirwa, UDF-Inkingi treasurer, collapsed in front of the judge after spending five days unsuccessfully asking to see a doctor.

The day Ms. Alice Muhirwa collapsed in court the same police that had beaten her took her to a police hospital were they fabricated a medical report saying that she was not ill despite the fact that their doctors gave her some medical prescriptions for her beating condition.

It is obvious that these doctors wouldn’t have given Mrs Alice Muhirwa such medical prescriptions if she was not ill.

Your police officers tortured these political prisoners despite the fact that in 2008 Rwanda signed a treaty banning torture of detained prisoners.

14) What do you intend to do with regard to those police officers who tortured political prisoners?
Thanks for your help.


Mamadou Kouyate

Related Materials:
The Dark side of Rwanda’s recovery

Assignment- Politics in Rwanda

Rwandan Elections Monday Will be a 'Sham,' Activists Say

Facing life in jail, the woman who dared to take on Paul Kagame

Rwanda: Attacks on Freedom of Expression, Association, and Assembly in the Run-up to Presidential Elections

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