Archive for December, 2011

VISION:

We envision a new Rwanda that will be a united, democratic, and prosperous nation inhabited by free citizens with harmonious and safe communities who will live together in peace, dignity and mutual respect, regardless of class, ethnicity, language, region, origin or other differences, within a democracy governed according to universal principles of human rights and the rule of law.

VALUES:

Human dignity and respect for human rights, equality and non-discrimination, mutual respect, democracy and the rule of law, integrity, empathy, solidarity, patriotism, humility, forgiveness, the right and responsibility of citizens to hold leaders accountable, accountable leadership, truth, justice, and fairness.

10 -POINT POLITICAL PROGRAMME:

1.Stop and prevent violent conflict, including genocide and grave human rights violations that Rwanda’s people have periodically suffered and that have historically extended to citizens – men, women, and children – of neighboring states;
2.Eradicate a culture of impunity for human rights violations;
3.Create a conducive and progressive environment for inclusive social and economic development for all the people of Rwanda;
4.Establish, nurture and institutionalize democratic governance, particularly the rule of law in all its aspects;
5.Establish independent, non-partisan, professional civil service and security institutions;
6.Build a stable society that promotes and protects equality, embraces and celebrates diversity, and fosters inclusion in all aspects of national life;
7.Promote individual, community and national reconciliation and healing;
8.Promote harmonious relations, reconciliation and mutually- beneficial collaboration with the peoples and governments of neighboring states;
9.Resolve the chronic problem of Rwandan refugees;
10.Nurture a culture of tolerance to diverse ideas, freedom of discussion, and debate of critical issues.

13 STRATEGIES FOR TRANSFORMING RWANDA:

1.Mobilizing the People of Rwanda to Unite in the Struggle Against Dictatorship
2.The Need for a Transitional Government
3.The Imperative for National Dialogue
4.The Necessity of Reform of the State
5.Establishing a Constitutional and Legal Framework that Advances Freedom and Democracy
6.Reform of the Security Sector
7.Opening Space for Political Participation and Good Governance
8.Adoption of Consociationalism as Rwanda’s Form of Organization of Political Governance
9.Economic Empowerment and Development
10.Truth-Telling, Justice and Memory
11.Repatriation and Re-integration of Refugees
12.Unity, Reconciliation and Collective Healing
13.A Progressive Foreign Policy Based on Common Values and Interests, Adherence to International Law, and Mutual Respect Between States

Rwanda has a deplorable record of relations with the international community, in general, and its neighboring states, in particular. The Rwandan state has fueled endless and deadly conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has engaged in premeditated schemes to destabilize other states in the region. President Kagame‟s arrogant and often predatory approach to relations with Rwanda‟s neighours has undermined the efforts of the international community to bring peace and stability to the Great Lakes region.

Rwanda‟s policies towards its neighbours have also antagonized governments of the region and generated bitter hatred against people of Rwandese descent in some countries. Rwanda owes its disproportionate blame in the Great Lakes region to efforts on the part of the international community to contain Rwanda‟s aggressive posture and to dissuade Rwanda from continuing its role of a “spoiler,” ever eager to undermine regional peace, especially in the DRC. Rwanda‟s relations with states farther afield lack a principled basis. Its relationship with the West, for example, has been built on the foundation of exploiting the West‟s guilt over its failures in relation to the 1994 genocide.

Rwanda‟s policies and actions undermine peace and security in the Great Lakes region, as various United Nations reports, including the recent report on mapping of human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo have demonstrated. Rwanda‟s utter disregard for international law and the sovereignty of other states, its direct aggression towards neighboring states, its sponsorship of proxy groups to wage war against legitimate governments, and President Kagame‟s gratuitous arrogance towards the leaders and peoples of nations in the Great Lakes region fuel instability, conflict and immense suffering in the region. Rwanda‟s policies towards neighboring states are also a very significant hindrance to regional economic cooperation, as well as Rwanda‟s own security and development needs. As a result of Rwanda‟s foreign policies, Rwanda is deeply isolated in the region and its relations with major development partners continue to deteriorate.

Rwanda‟s prospects for long-term stability, peace and economic prosperity require an urgent review of the foundations of its relations with the international community. Rwanda‟s security and development is best served by peace and stability and good relations with its neighbors. Rwanda‟s image as a predatory and aggressive rogue state is detrimental to the long-term interests of nations in the Great Lakes region.

The Rwanda National Congress will endeavor to promote reconciliation and harmonious relations with neighboring states – based on mutual respect and respect of the sovereignty of other states – and peace in the Great Lakes region. The RNC will seek to strengthen regional organizations in which Rwanda is a member and to enhance Rwanda‟s positive contributions to promoting regional peace and advancing economic and cultural cooperation between Rwanda and her neighbors. The RNC will support the establishment of relations with the wider international community based on shared values and interests, rather than exploitation of the guilt over the failures of other nations with regard to the 1994 genocide.

Rwanda has a long history of violent upheaval and ethnic and region-based cleavages. These cleavages were radicalized by long periods of poor and ineffective governance that included identity-based discrimination. Cleavages between the country‟s two major communities reached their worst level as a result of the violence, including the genocide, which the nation experienced during the 1990s. Post-genocide Rwanda has undertaken various initiatives to promote reconciliation in the aftermath of violent conflict, including genocide.
While the current government of Rwanda claims credit for having reconciled Rwandan society, it remains deeply divided along lines of ethnic identity. Several factors have acted as a hindrance to the process of national reconciliation, including:

– Reluctance of the majority of Rwandans to admit to knowledge of the circumstances in which genocide was carried out in their respective communities
– Unwillingness of perpetrators to express remorse for their crimes
– Commission of human rights abuses against members of the Hutu community during and after the genocide (including atrocities human rights violations against refugees in the Congo)
– Arbitrary arrests and detentions, extending to many years in most cases, of tens of thousands of genocide suspects
– Failure or omission of the judicial processes that Rwanda has undertaken to address human rights violations against members of the Hutu community
Prospects for reconciliation have also been undermined by various policies and practices that discriminate against certain sections of the population (including the abolition of French as a national language) and the Rwandese Patriotic Front‟s maneuvers to monopolise political power through unfair, undemocratic and often criminal means.

In order to build unity and reconciliation, the RNC will seek to ensure that there is synergy between the strategies mentioned above, notably the establishment of a democratic government, the adoption of consociational democracy, the repatriation and re-integration of refugees and the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other forms of accountability for past human rights abuses. To further promote national unity and reconciliation, the Rwandan National Congress will seek to promote the healing of victims of the various human rights violations that have taken place, affected families and communities and the nation as a whole.

Our belief is that every individual, family and community in Rwanda has to some extent suffered trauma as the result of the violence that Rwandan society has experienced. Rwandans are victims, perpetrators or both. All Rwandans need healing for unity and reconciliation to become a reality.

The Rwanda National Congress will also support the following additional policies and programs to promote reconciliation and unity among Rwandans:

– Reform of public sector institutions, including security sector bodies, to ensure fair representation of all communities, especially in management or command levels
-The re-integration into the armed forced or civilian life of members of armed groups that have been waging war against the Rwandan state
-Restoring the French language as an additional national language
– Public debates and education programs on citizenship, diversity and co-existence, directed especially towards the youth
– Affirmative action in favour of marginalized groups, such as Batwa

Bavandimwe,

Muli ibi bihe by’iminsi mikuru ya Noheli n’Ubunani ,mboneyeho akanya ko kubifuriza amahoro, ibyishimo ndetse n’ibyiza byose bituruka ku Mana.Noheli nziza n”umwaka mushya muhire wa 2012.Muzawurye ntuzabarye kandi muzawugiremo amahirwe menshi mwebwe n’abanyu bose.
Mboneyeho n’akanya ko kubashimira ubwitange mukomeje kugaragaza muli uru rugamba twiyemeje,kandi mbamenyesha ko inkunga mukomeje gutanga ariyo yatumye tugera aho tugeze aha ngaha. Mwese muzi ibyo twakoze kandi dukomeje kugeraho kubera ubwitange bwa buli muntu wese muli twe. Mu izina rya RNC turabashimiye y’umwihariko kandi tubifuriza ibihe byiza.

The problem of refugees has long been and remains one of the most visible manifestations of poor governance and enduring social cleavages in Rwanda. The problem of refugees is also a major driver of conflict in Rwandan society. The failure of successive governments to organize the voluntary repatriation and peaceful re-integration of significant numbers of refugees has been one of the major causes of violent conflict in Rwanda. The 1990 – 1994 war was partly a result of the unwillingness of the post-colonial governments to address and resolve the problem of Tutsi refugees. In 1994, the fall of the government that carried out the genocide led to an unprecedented exodus of Hutu refugees.

The majority of these refugees have returned to Rwanda. However, a very substantial number of Rwandans who fled the country after 1994 (including most of the middle class that populated Rwanda‟s government, business and civil society institutions up to 1994) remain in exile. A substantial number of Rwandans of all identities have fled the country since the RPF assumed power in 1994. While there may be some refugees whose decision to remain in exile is motivated by a desire to evade justice for crimes they may have committed during the genocide, the majority of this group remain in exile on account of legitimate fears of persecution. The factors that account for the unwillingness of these refugees to return to Rwanda include concerns over the absence of democracy and the rule of law; concerns for personal security; fear of political persecution; social and political exclusion; marginalization; and lack of confidence in the country‟s judicial system. Citizens of all ethnicities and identities continue to flee the country on account of these pervasive factors.

The return and peaceful re-integration of refugees is essential for the creation of conditions for national reconciliation and harmonious co-existence among the country‟s communities. The RNC will promote and support policies to end the problem of Rwandan refugees. The RNC is of the view that conditions for the peaceful return and re-integration of all refugees in Rwandan society do not yet exist. The current Government of Rwanda has colluded with some governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to forcefully repatriate some Rwandan refugees against their will. The RNC opposes and will campaign to cease forced repatriation of Rwandan refugees while Rwanda remains a repressive and authoritarian nation.

All repatriations of Rwandan refugees should be voluntary. After the era of dictatorial government, the RNC will work to address the historical root causes of the problem of refugees in Rwandan society, including lack of security, policies of discrimination against certain sectors of Rwandan society, violent persecution of critics and opponents of the government and their families. The RNC also commits itself to ensure that the issues that compel Rwandans to stay in exile shall be addressed and that conditions necessary to give refugees confidence that they can voluntarily return in dignity and freedom shall be established. The RNC will support the successful economic, social and political re-integration of returning refugees.

C’était un événement annuel baptise par erreur dialogue national. Ce n’est ni national ou même un dialogue. Paul Kagame et son FPR –une minorité dans le sens politique et ethnique- utilisent l’occasion pour harasser les rwandais qui ne font pas partie de leur clique se rétrécissent plus que jamais et des étrangers qui soulèvent des questions sur le Rwanda et son actuelle crise humanitaire et de gouvernance.
Le monologue de Kagame était presque entièrement dirigé contre tous les étrangers –principalement les Etats-Unis (dont l’ambassadrice, Susan Rice qui a critiqué le Rwanda pour son manque de Démocratie, Liberté de Presse et l’abus des droits de l’homme) et la Belgique. La liste d’ennemies incluait aussi les suspects habituels : journalistes et activistes des droits de l’homme. C’est néanmoins, aux critiques de l’ambassadrice Rice que Kagame a hurlé des mots cruels et insultes: intrus, non-sens, bouffon, menteur, double morale, utilisateur de faux, etc….
Le discours de Kagame est très difficile à analyser. Dans le passé, j’ai travaillé très dur sur les discours de Kagame à la fois sur l’aspect contenu et l’aspect présentation. Il s’est révélé être un étudiant très pauvre en idées et imagination, même entre les mains des personnes ayant une plus grande expertise que moi. Je visitais un ami ce weekend, quelqu’une a essayé de me convaincre à écouter son discours. J’étais hésitant comme j’ai en général arrêté de lire ou écouter les discours. Il dit beaucoup de mensonges. Il n’a pas de respect pour le rwandais. Pour les nombreux problèmes du Rwanda, soit il est leur source, soit il les complique davantage, ou il n’a pas de solutions à donner. J’ai succombé à la pression de mon amie et suis entré dans l’agonie d’écouter trente minutes d’un pénible rappel que le Rwanda est devenu un état sans homme d’état.
Premièrement, sa pauvreté en idées se fait entendre à haute voix et clairement. En lui écoutant, à quelque moment j’ai pensé que j’écoutais an Idi Amin réincarné. Il se demande si les rwandais sont des sourds-muets, s’ils n’ont rien à dire, ou si quelqu’un les empêche de parler. Ensuite il saute sur le cas du roi Mutara Rudahigwa. Ensuite à l’Afrique et l’affaire de mendicité. C’est un va –et- viens. En psychiatrie on appelle ça « idées éphémères »,caractéristiques de situations où un patient a à la fois une grande illusion de lui-même ou elle-même et la paranoïa que tout le monde est contre lui ou elle, et les idées sans connections.
Deuxièmement, ses mensonges, tromperies et refus d’admettre la vérité sont très évidents. Il tente de rallier le peuple autour de lui en utilisant le génocide, Bagosora et la défaillance de la communauté internationale. Il prétend qu’il ne connait pas comment cette même communauté internationale qu’il insulte maintenant (spécialement les Etats-Unis et le Royaume Uni) l’a protégé pour sa responsabilité de crime de guerre, crimes contre l’humanité (Mapping Report-Nations Unis) terrorisme (Abattage de l’avion de Habyarimana). Autrement, en ce moment –même Kagame serait croupissant en prison, à côté de Bagosora. Ses remarques sont calculées, pour une fois encore, intimider la communauté internationale, maintenant qu’il y a un nouveau et irrésistible moment Um de l’amener à rendre compte de ses crimes.
Troisièmement, son sens de frustration et colère viennent sous la forme d’insultes et mots cruels. Nous connaissons ce type de comportement quand nous même ou nos enfants sont pris en flagrant délit. Mais Kagame est un cas spécial. Les rwandais et les étrangers doivent comprendre que Kagame a une mentalité de meurtrier en série et tueur en masses, et cesser de le prendre comme une personne normale au raisonnement rationnel. Il s’est auto-absorbé dans un monde à lui seul, et le système rwandais dans son entier montre une image déformée de lui-même. L’empereur est nu, mais les applaudissements multiples continuent à lui dire qu’il est merveilleusement fait et habillé. Kagame est comme un chauffeur irréfléchi qui sur une route à sens unique est entrain de conduire dans le sens inverse de la circulation. Il conduit à grande vitesse, ses passagers (les otages) retiennent leur souffle mais continuent à sourire et applaudir. Les autres chauffeurs se demandent ce qui se passe, et la police est en train de faire tout pour stopper le fou conducteur. Dans les hauts parleurs installés sur le bus Rwanda, il demande « We ni nani » ? »Qui est tu » ?
Dans l’histoire comme dans les temps modernes, les hommes d’état efficaces font trois choses. Quand ils sont nés et forges dans les temps difficiles, ils aident leurs concitoyens à triompher contre leur peur. Ils accomplissent ceci, en combinant une dose suffisante de tension pour que les gens aient des actions au-delà de leur zone de confort, mais être sur qu’ils ne sont pas paralysés par leur peur.Deuxièmement, un homme d’état incarne l’espérance d’un peuple, de toute une nation. Sans cette espérance, sans cette vision, les gens périssent (en kinyarwanda , bapfa bahagaze).
Enfin, et beaucoup plus important, l’homme d’état a un grand cœur (généreux) pour accepter tout son peuple, sa nation, avec leur fautes et atouts. Le président Kagame n’est pas cet homme d’état. Il a soumis à la peur toute la nation rwandaise, les voisins du Rwanda et la communauté internationale. C’est un homme très mesquin qui trouve sa fierté dans ses tueries et divisions du Rwanda.
En concluant son monologue, Kagame dit qu’il n’a jamais été vague dans sa vie, »ce que vous voyez est ce que vous obtenez » En résumé, il nous dit ceci : »Vous pouvez mourir, soyez craintifs, sans espoir, croupir en prison et exile…je m’en fous… Qui êtes –vous ???
Bismarck, le chancelier allemand de »Sang et Fer » qui unifia l’Allemagne disait que les qualités d’hommes d’état consistent à écouter attentivement les traces de Dieu a traves l’histoire et marcher avec lui quelques étapes de parcours. Kagame n’a ni l’humilité, ni la capacité d’écouter les traces de Dieu, ou marcher avec lui-même une étape dans la vraie direction. Maintenant que Kagame est contre les Rwandais, les étrangers et Dieu, qui est pour lui ? Son discours sera compté parmi ses pires et derniers est surement un signal pour lui et nous que le final compte à rebours pour la fin a commencée.

It was an annual event that has been erroneously baptised national dialogue. It is neither national nor even a dialogue. Paul Kagame and his RPF-a minority in a political and ethnic sense- use the occasion to harass Rwandans who are not in their ever diminishing clique, and foreigners who raise questions about Rwanda’s current crisis of human rights and governance. Kagame’s monologue was almost solely directed against all foreigners- mainly the United States ( whose Ambassador, Susan Rice, criticised Rwanda’s lack of democracy, press freedoms and abuse of human rights) and Belgium. His list of enemies also included the usual suspects: journalists and human rights activists. It is, however, to Ambassador Rice’s criticism that Kagame hurled harsh words and insults: intruder, nonsense, joker, liar, double standards, masquaraders, etc.

Kagame’s speech is very hard to analyse. In the past I have worked very hard to help President Kagame with his speeches, both on the content aspects, as well as on the delivery side. He proved to be a very poor student, even at the hands of people with more expertise than mine. I was visiting friends this weekend when somebody tried to convince me to listen to his latest speech. I was hesitant, for I have generally stopped reading or listening to Kagame’s speeches. He lies a lot. He has no respect for Rwandans. For the many problems that Rwanda has, he is either the source,complicates them, or has no solutions to offer. I succumbed to my friend’s pressure and went through the agony of listening to thirty minutes of a very painful reminder that Rwanda has become a state without a statesman.

First, his poverty of ideas comes out loud and clear. Listening to him, at some point I thought I was listening to a re-incarnated Idi Amin. He wonders whether Rwandans are deaf, they have nothing to say, or somebody prevents from speaking. Then he jumps to the late King Mutara Rudahigwa. Then to Africa and the begging business. On an and on..In psychiatry, they call it a “fleeting of ideas”, typical of states in which a patient has both grand delusions of themselves, and paranoia that every one is out against them, and ideas that seem not to have coonections.

Second, his lies, deceptions and denials are all too evident. He attempts to rally people around himself by using , genocide, Bagosora, and the failures of the international community. He pretends that he does not know how the same international community he now insults ( especially the USA and UK) has protected him from accountabillity for war crimes, crimes against humanity ( UN Mapping Report), terrorism ( shooting down the Habyarimana plane, ). Otherwise, by now Kagame would be languishing in jail, alongside Bagosora. His remarks are calculated to once again intimidate the international community, now that there is a fresh and irresistible momentum to have him account for his crimes.

Third, his sense of frustration and anger comes through in form of harsh words and insults. We know this type of behaviour from ourselves or our children when caught red-handed. But Kagame’s is a special case. Rwandans and foreigners need to understand that Kagame’s mindset is that of serial killer and mass murderer, and stop dealing with him as a normal rational being. He is self-absorbed in a world of his own, and the entire Rwandan system re-enforces a distorted image of himself. The emperor is naked, but the clapping multitudes keep on telling him he is wonderfully made and dressed. Kagame is a like a reckless driver on a high way, driving in the opposite direction to the traffic. He is overspeeding, his passengers ( the hostages) hold their breath but still smile and clap. Other drivers are wondering what is going on, as the police scramble to stop the mad driver. Over loudspeakers mounted on the Rwanda bus, he asks, “we ni nani?” “who are you?”

In history and in modern times, effective statesmen do three things. When they are born and forged in difficult times, they help their fellow citizens to overcome fear. They accomplish this, by combining a sufficient dose of tension so that people act out their comfort zones, but making sure they are not paralysed by fear. Second, a statesman embodies the hope of a people, of a whole nation. Without such a hope, without such a vision, people perish ( in kinyarwanda, bapfa bahagaze). Last, and most importantly, the statesman is large-hearted, to accomodate all his/her people/ nation with their faults and strengths.

President Kagame is no such statesman. He has subjected the whole nation of Rwanda, Rwanda’s neighbors, and the international community to fear. He is a mean-spirited man who takes pride in killing and dividing Rwandans. Concluding his monologue, Kagame said he has never been vague in his life, ” what you see is what you get”. In short, he is telling us , “you can die, be fearful, hopeless, languish in jails and exile….I do not give a damn..who are you??”.

Bismarck, the German Chancellor of “blood and iron” who unified Germany is quoted to have stated that statesmanship consisted of listening carefully to the footsteps of God through history and walking with him a few steps of the way. Kagame has neither the humility nor the capability to listen to to God’s footsteps, nor to walk with Him even one step in the right direction.

Now that Kagame is against Rwandans, foreigners and God , who is for him? His speech will be counted among his worst and last, and surely a signal that for him and us, the final countdown to the end has begun.