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


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sircus: Rwanda’s George Washington?

President George W. Bush welcomes President Pa...Image via Wikipedia

Hope Springs Eternal By Joel Sircus Staff Columnist adopted from Yale Daily News

This past Friday, Bernard Ntaganda was sentenced to four years in a Rwandan prison, marking the second time in the past year that a former presidential candidate has been sent to jail. The verdict underscores severe corruption problems within President Paul Kagame’s administration. Though revered by many, the former general who brought Rwanda out of her darkest hour has since ruled the central African nation with an iron fist. While the country has made great strides in reconciling the internecine strife between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples, the future for the country appears bleak if President Kagame is allowed to continue to bully his opposition into political irrelevancy. It’s high time for the Kagame administration to change course, and adopt a greater degree of political openness — indeed, an about face may be the only thing that can put Rwanda back on the right path.
Three summers ago, I spent a month traveling around Rwanda, volunteering at a number of different hospitals and health clinics. Thanks to the ubiquity of English across the country, I was able to connect with many Rwandans on a substantive level. Our conversations ran the gamut from food to family to football (their version). But there seemed to be a palpable aversion to discussing what was most directly on my mind — the genocide. Rwandans are, by and large, an astoundingly gregarious people. Yet, without fail, conversation became terse when the topic turned to 1994. It was almost as though, in an effort to expedite the reconciliation process, now 17 years in the making, it was nationally understood that the less one discussed the genocide, the greater the chance it would be forgotten. My travel companions and I noticed that the country had taken the phrase “never forget” and turned it on its head — in Rwanda, it was, more appropriately, “forget ASAP.”
Throughout the trip, two things continued to fascinate me — the speed and success of the genocide reconciliation process, and the reverence that so many citizens paid to President Paul Kagame. The admiration, bordering on idolatry, was appropriate; the man was the greatest war hero the country had ever known. I thought of him as a modern day George Washington. But unlike our founding father, Kagame did not forfeit the sword upon taking political office. He won the trust of his citizens, but has maintained and fortified said trust by thuggish intimidation, not political benevolence. Paul Kagame has spent the last decade fortifying his regime through strong-arming, violence and chicanery. Supposed political transparency and freedom of speech in Rwanda are both shams. Though I do actually believe that those who support Kagame do so for legitimate, laudable reasons, I cannot condone the practices that Kagame and his thugs employ to silence any semblance of opposition. Ntaganda and the others imprisoned are, if you can believe it, the lucky ones. This past July, Gakwe Rwisereka, the Vice President of the opposition Green Party, was found decapitated on the Rwandan-Burundi border.
Though one can argue that strong leadership was essential for bringing Rwandans out of the bloodshed that resulted in the death of some 850,000 victims, business as usual is not sustainable. One need only look to the northern coast of the African continent to see what can happen when scores of people become dissatisfied with years of authoritarian rule. If Paul Kagame wants to avoid the same fate of Hosni Mubarak, he would be prudent to welcome in dissenting voices, not send thugs to shut them up. It’s time for Paul Kagame to open up, unclench his fist and accept the voices and demands of political opposition. Only then will the country truly move past its horrific past.
Joel Sircus is a freshman in Trumbull College.
Enhanced by Zemanta

4 comments:

oakleyses said...

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

oakleyses said...

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

oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, insanity workout, canada goose, p90x workout, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp, nfl jerseys, ugg soldes, instyler ionic styler, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose outlet, reebok shoes, ghd, herve leger, nike huarache, ugg outlet, bottega veneta, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, ugg, canada goose outlet, babyliss, mcm handbags, uggs outlet, asics shoes, north face jackets, lululemon outlet, north face jackets, hollister, marc jacobs outlet, replica watches, valentino shoes, uggs on sale, birkin bag, uggs outlet, nike roshe, vans outlet, chi flat iron, new balance outlet, nike trainers, beats headphones, ugg boots, mont blanc pens, ugg boots

oakleyses said...

moncler outlet, wedding dress, supra shoes, uggs canada, louboutin, coach outlet, canada goose, air max, ugg, lancel, moncler, converse, moncler outlet, louis vuitton canada, thomas sabo uk, moncler, pandora charms, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, links of london uk, swarovski uk, replica watches, juicy couture outlet, moncler, nike air max, swarovski jewelry, timberland shoes, montre femme, hollister, oakley, moncler, hollister clothing, ray ban, hollister canada, pandora uk, vans, pandora jewelry, baseball bats, ralph lauren, gucci, parajumpers outlet, converse shoes, moncler, canada goose pas cher, iphone 6 case, karen millen, canada goose, toms outlet