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:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

RWANDA:Memorandum to the Presidency of the European Union

2010 was an important year in the Great Lakes region because of the elections which took place. The  Burundian elections which confirmed President Nkurunziza in power also resulted, unfortunately, in the opposition being no longer represented in any of the institutions. The DRC celebrated its 50th  independence anniversary. The Head of State used this anniversary as a platform to launch his campaign for re-election, which he seeks to organise in as closely controlled a political environment as possible.

In Rwanda President Kagame’s re-election took some unexpected turns. The elections, expected  to  be  a  mere  formality,  were  marked  by  the  emergence  of  a  genuinely independent opposition and above all by the fact that individuals who had for long been part of the presidents inner circle of power turned against the President. Members of the international community, while recognising that the elections were  peaceful and well organised,  nonetheless  expressed  their  concerns  about  the  run-up  to  the  elections, particularly the  attacks  on  opponents and  the  restriction of  political  freedoms1. The Rwandan authorities, not being accustomed to truly competitive elections, tried to stifle any divergent  opinion.           Furthermore, from March 2010 onwards it appeared that the extreme nervousness shown by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) regime was due not so much to the existence of opposition parties as to the emerging rifts within the inner circle of power in Rwanda. General Kayumbas escape into exile provided a focal point around which various types of discontent could crystallize.

This situation raises the stakes with regard to regional stability beyond Rwanda, given this countrys central role in the African Great Lakes region. Lasting stability in Rwanda and good relations between  Rwanda and its neighbours are an essential condition for central Africa to break the cycle of violence  it has experienced over recent decades. However, the tragic events in Rwanda 16 years ago remain in everyones consciousness to such an extent that it has become difficult to form an analysis or express a point of view about Rwanda dispassionately, without emotion and without attracting accusations of partiality. The shock of the genocide and the guilt so widely felt have in some ways given rise to the continued lack of consensus about Rwanda on the international scene.

The destabilising potential of the internal divisions within the RPF

The emerging internal divisions and power struggle among members of the RPF political and military élite are a cause of growing concern for Rwanda’s internal stability, and that of the wider Great Lakes region.

1  See for example the statement made by the British Foreign Office news/?view=News&id=22695654


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