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Africans, and particularly people from the Great Lakes and specifically Rwandans and Congolese living in Europe, have a moral duty towards their respective compatriots in ensuring protection of their rights whenever and wherever they can. With the background of continuing tragedies in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, the visit of Paul Kagame this early December to Brussels should be such an opportunity.
The call for a general mobilisation of Rwandans and Congolese living in Europe and particularly in Belgium, to come out in big number to show to the Rwandan president how they feel about his crimes, must give him a sign of times to remember for as long he rules over Rwanda. We reproduce here an invitation to participate to that act of solidarity as prepared and published on different online networks by The Association Jambo.
Paul Kagame in Brussels – Congolese and Rwandans: Rise up against tyranny and impunity this Monday, December 6th, 2010.
The association JAMBO calls Rwandans and Congolese of Europe to rise up against tyranny and impunity this Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 12:30 Rue Mont des Arts 1000 Brussels, Belgium. (Http://www.jamboasbl.com/)
Between 6 and 8 million Congolese and Rwandan civilians mostly women and children were massacred during the past 20 years in the Great Lakes. It is more or less the greatest conflict’s death toll the world has experienced since the Second World War.
It is with this particularly gruesome background that the main responsible for this tragedy that continues today, General Paul Kagame, was invited to the European Development Days. Responsibility for its army, RPA, has been clearly demonstrated by various reports and by the numerous testimonies of survivors of these atrocities. The latest being a report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published on October 1st, 2010, accusing its troops of committing in Congo war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts if produced in front of a court could probably be considered as genocide. Already in 2002 an expert report (GRIP) addressed to the UN highlighted and estimated at millions of dead in Congo explaining that ‘These deaths are a direct consequence of the occupation by Rwanda and Uganda.’
Against this backdrop, several associations of Rwandan and Congolese diaspora in Belgium of which ASBL Jambo is part invite members of both communities and all other citizens of the world guided by fairness, justice and freedom to come and express their outrage and denounce described situation.
Rwandan associations insist more particularly on the fact that June 24, 2010, hundreds of Rwandans in Kigali had come out against their fear and denounced violations of human rights they are still victims of today. That demonstration was violently repressed and leaders of political parties who called for it, Me Bernard Ntaganda and Victoire Ingabire are currently imprisoned in Rwanda. The latter was subject to torture during her first days of detention.
The Rwandan diaspora has a unique opportunity to relay the warning cries of their compatriots in a country where freedom of expression is permitted, at the risk if it fails to do so, create a definitive break between citizens still present in Rwanda who suffer oppression in their everyday life and the Rwandans in exile who, even though they still suffer intimidations and harassment from Kagame’s regime, were lucky to escape.
Rwandan and Congolese people have suffered enough over the course of their recent history. They deserve better from Rwanda to head a regime that continues to oppose deliberately citizens to each other and who, despite human losses already recorded in the region, continues to detain, torture or kill any critical voice. The prevailing situation continues and above all to be the source of instability in the region and poses to the region risks of a resurgence of extreme violence.
How many rebel movements present in neighboring Congo currently which are not funded by Rwanda and Uganda?
The EU must assume its responsibilities, like Jose Louis Zapatero in July 2010 who refused to accept General Kagame and then said no to holding a double discourse which is to publicly advocate a message of peace and condemn the most serious violations of human rights while at the same time receiving backstage with honors perpetrators of atrocities.
The association Jambo and its partners have requested from Belgian authorities to arrest any immediate members of the delegation of the Rwandan president who would be within the scope of arrest warrants against officials of the Kigali regime, issued in 2008 by the Spanish courts for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Come express your feelings against Kagame’s regime loudly, it is time to turn the darkest pages of our past. There is an urgent need to rebuild our promising country, economically, politically and especially socially.
The association Jambo