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:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Kagame Stop Killing": Rwandans and Congolese protest in Chicago

By Ann Garrison from the ANNGARRISON
CLick here to listen to the KPF ANNGARRSION RADION
Rwandan, Congolese, and American activists rallied at the city of Chicago's Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday, 06.11.2011, to protest Rwandan President Paul Kagame's presence in the city. from 

Rwandan, Congolese, and American activists demonstrate against Rwandan President Paul Kagame's presence in Chicago, 06.11.2011.

KPFA Weekend News Host:  Rwandan, Congolese, and American activists rallied in Chicago today to protest the appearance of Rwandan President Paul Kagame at "Rwanda Day," a Chicago event produced by a multimillionaire commodities trader at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.   KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
KPFA/Ann Garrison: The June 3, 2011 report from Amnesty International condemns Rwandan President Kagame’s government, saying that “the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), in power since the 1994 genocide, tightly controls political space, civil society and the media, contending that this is necessary to prevent renewed violence.  Human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents cannot openly criticize the government without facing repression, and Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the FDU-Inkingi coalition of opposition parties remains in maximum security prison, charged with terrorism and genocide ideology, which means disagreeing with the government or the official government history of the Rwanda Genocide
KPFA spoke to Celestin Muhindura, a Rwandan American and President of the Initiative for Democracy and Development, a non-profit organization that advocates for peace, democracy, and development in Africa, with focus on Rwanda and Congo, whose histories and struggles have been inextricable since the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Celestin, can you tell us how the demonstration went today? 
Celestin Muhindura:  The demonstration went very well as planned. The goal was to show, to the American people and to the Chicago people in particular, the true color of the Rwandan government, and the true color of the leader General Paul Kagame.
As you know, Victoire Ingabire left the Netherlands to go run for president. She tried to follow the rules in Rwanda, and once she got there, she was denied the right to register her political party, and the violence against her continued until she was arrested, arbitrary. She was not able to run for president, when the Constitution allows her to run. So it's not just for Victoire Ingabire. It's the same for Bernard Ntaganda. Bernard Ntaganda was in the country. He registered his party, which presented him as a candidate, but, when the time came for running, he was put in prison. So, there are many other signs that the Rwandan government doesn't offer a political space.  Any journalist who tries to speak out is either killed or put in prison.  People who try to free the government, their spies follow them in exile, to try to kill them.  
Rwandan opposition leader Bernard Ntaganda
KPFA:  Do you believe that if she were freed from prison, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza could bring reconciliation to Rwanda?  
Celestin Muhindura:  As I know her, Victoire Ingabire is a Rwandan patriot, who love people and who love the country, and who has the capability to bring people together. If freed, she's gonna be the hope for the country.  
KPFA:  And do you think there's any chance of her being freed?  
Celestin Muhindura:  I believe, if the international community puts pressure on Kagame, he will end up freeing her. 
KPFA:  Many people seem to fear that there could be another outbreak of violence in Rwanda, possibly even worse than before, because the Hutu majority is so repressed.  Are you worried about this yourself?
Celestin Muhindura:  I'm worried about that and that's why we put together this organization, to try to advocate for a peaceful solution.  So we are afraid because Kagame is pushing hard on people, and if he continues, the volcano will erupt.  
KPFA:  Celestin Muhindura, I certainly hope that that does not happen, and thank you for speaking to KPFA. 
Celestin Muhindura:  Thank you very much.
KPFA/Ann Garrison:  For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.
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