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:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rwanda needs deeper reforms

 FOES: Gen. Nyamwasa was once at par with former boss Kagame (R).
FOES: Gen. Nyamwasa was once at par with former boss Kagame (R). FILE PHOTOS 

In Summary
  • Gen. Nyamwasa, Former Rwandan Army Chief of Staff and Ambassador to India
  • Col. Karegeya, Former Chief of External Security Services
  • Dr Rudasingwa, Former Secretary General, RPF; Ambassador to the United States and Chief of Staff to the President
  • Mr Gahima, Former Prosecutor General of the Republic of Rwanda and Vice President of the Supreme Court

The political system of the Rwandan state lacks mechanisms of checks and balances that are essential for good governance and genuine democracy. The President has absolute control over the executive branch of government. The Executive, in turn, completely dominates other organs of government.
Re-defining sectarianism
The government passed legislation to punish sectarianism and discrimination. The government has, since 2003, used accusations of “sectarianism,” “divisionism,” and “spreading of genocide ideology” to curtail political opposition and civil society work, most specifically human rights work. These crimes are not properly defined in the relevant legislation.
The politics of ethnicity remain intractable in Rwanda. The majority of the Hutu middle-class that was ousted from power in 1994 remains in exile, un-reconciled to the new political order, biding time and hoping for a regime change. Some armed insurgents continue to wage war against the Rwandan state from their sanctuaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sixteen years after the genocide.
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The externally-based unarmed opposition calls for dialogue on how to resolve the country’s continuing crisis, but the government says that the conflict has been resolved and there is no need for negotiation of a settlement.
Reconciliation wanting
There cannot be genuine reconciliation in Rwanda until the grievances of the Hutu community over the issues of political participation, as well as the guarantees for the minorities, equal citizenship before the law, access to resources and accountability for human rights abuses are addressed.
The hopes for a democratic, peaceful and stable Rwanda that the overthrow of the rump government that carried out the genocide once inspired have dissipated. The issues that have previously driven conflict in Rwanda remain unresolved. Rwanda is, by many accounts, again in grave risk of very violent conflict.
Such conflict is not inevitable, but neither is it easily avoidable. Whether Rwanda will again have to endure atrocious conflict or find a way to overcome the forces responsible for intractable conflict and transition to a peaceful, stable democracy will depend on the policies and actions of many players, including President Kagame himself, Rwandan society at large and, indeed, the international community.
We offer the following reflections on some of the steps that may need to be taken to avert a new catastrophe and set Rwanda on a path towards security, peace, democracy, genuine reconciliation, national healing, and sustainable development.
Promoting freedom as the foundation on which to build peace and shared prosperity for all Rwandans; Undertaking a genuine, inclusive, unconditional and comprehensive National dialogue on the nature and causes of the country’s major problems, and on a compact on the future of the country; Establishing a New National Partnership Government to lead Rwanda through the transition to democracy; and Engaging the international community including, in particular, Rwanda’s neighbours, to support Rwanda’s reform agenda.
Looming crisis
The people of Rwanda, together with rest of the international community, have a moral duty to work to end this repressive system of government. Rwanda is literally again on the brink of an abyss.
The complicity of collusion and silence that contributed to making the 1994 genocide possible ought not to be repeated. The manner in which the international community has engaged the government of Rwanda to date clearly indicates that the lessons that ought to have been drawn from the 1994 genocide have not been learnt.
The next priority is to ensure that Rwanda changes its laws on political participation.

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