Stop Killing Rwandans Or Resign: RNC Tells President Kagame
In a not so rare confession of intent to commit murder, the Rwanda Patriotic Front-owned and Rwanda Intelligence-run The New Times, May 3, 2011, in an opinion titled “Osama bin Laden’s Lessons for Local Terrorists”, opens with ominously familiar warning to all pro-democracy voices and Rwandans in general: “You can run. You can hide. But you won’t escape. Osama bin Laden learnt the lesson of this simple truth”. In short, Kagame is telling Rwandans, “accept my rule and keep quiet, or else I will kill you, as I have killed many others…”
Excerpts from The New Times article:
“In Rwanda we have our own criminals and terrorists sheltering in foreign countries. What has happened to Osama bin Laden should serve as notice to them that they cannot hide forever. Justice, in whatever form, will catch up with them.
“Other politicians, like Victoire Ingabire and Deo Mushayidi, who have tried to use terrorism to get to power now know the perils of that route and, unless they are idiots, are unlikely to advise anyone to go the same way.”
“But there will always be idiots for whom history has no lessons. The group that is now known as the Gang of Four (Kayumba Nyamwasa, Gerald Gahima, Patrick Karegeya and Theogene Rudasingwa) all of whom have committed crimes ranging from abuse of office to treason are trying to reinvent themselves as political saviours of Rwandans. The indication that they have learnt nothing is that they have chosen the terrorist route to political power”….The criminal quartet and other unsavoury characters to whom they are allied in a terrorist enterprise will soon find out that the jungles of foreign countries and villas in upmarket areas of foreign capitals are not very safe.”
“They can run and hide, but will run out of options and then their actions will catch up with them”.
There is little or no surprise that President Kagame and his regime would, once again, turn to assassination, intimidation and insults in dealing with Rwandan citizens demanding peaceful and democratic change in their motherland.
To Kagame, critics in academia, civil society, media and members of the political opposition are all genocidaires, revisionists, divisionists, terrorists, idiots, gangs, unsavoury characters and criminals who should be hunted and killed like Osama bin Laden.
What is surprising is that the Kigali regime’s previously secret policy of killing real or imagined opponents within and outside Rwanda has now become official open policy. The regime’s criminal nature, its decadence, arrogance and incredible impunity is alarmingly turning uglier, blatant and scandalous.
Osama bin Laden’s death should be a teachable moment to all humanity. Unfortunately, like all tyrannical regimes, Kagame’s regime is both unwilling and incapable of deriving the right lessons from an event like this, the foremost of which is that those who live by the sword die by the sword.
On the African continent and the world at large, no other ruler’s profile comes close to resembling bin Laden’s as President Kagame’s.
Kagame’s endless list of victims, itself a who is who in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, probably is by far longer than bin Laden’s, and includes, over a decade and half, his comrades-in-arms, politicians, military officers, children, men, women, and other leaders in Rwanda and neighboring countries. The ghosts of these innocent victims ceaselessly haunt him and have turned him into a paranoid serial killer and sleepless character who must not rest till he finds another victim.
If he was a good student of history, he would know that killing citizens has never saved dictators. On the contrary, such unparalleled onslaught on citizens’ fundamental rights and yearning for freedom makes Rwandans ever more courageous to resist Kagame’s regime.
Rwandans firmly believe that Kagame and the RPF regime he has criminalized will one day be caught up with justice in the courts of law. Unlike him, however, RNC and other pro-democracy are not calling for his death. Killing people is not the RNC way. It is the Kagame way. RNC and the majority of Rwandans are trying to change, and change for good, this violent way that disregards the dignity and worth a Rwandan, by peaceful and democratic means.
The Rwanda National Congress calls upon President Kagame to resign immediately if he cannot stop killing, jailing and exiling innocent citizens. Rwandans need a leader who has moral integrity, who is honest, who can help them talk to each other truthfully as a genuine way to reconcile and heal. Rwandans need a leader who helps them overcome fear so as to build a shared future together. Out of the 11 million Rwandans in and outside our Rwanda, there are those who can surely lead us out of the present dangerous political impasse. Clearly, Kagame is not that leader. He has selfishly gambled away enough of Rwandans’ and international goodwill.
Stranger than fiction Order Now
RNC further calls upon the United States and the U.K. Governments, and the rest of the international community, to use the leverage of their strong links with the government of Rwanda to support democratic change and respect for fundamental human rights by the state institutions. We recommend the following measures are necessary to convey an unequivocal message to the Government of Rwanda that it must carry out reforms to ensure respect of the legitimate demands of the citizens of Rwanda for freedom:
(a) Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners;
(b) Demanding an end to persecution (including arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture; involuntary disappearances and extra-judicial killings) of government opponents and critics and their relatives;
(c) An end to the practice of channeling the development assistance directly into budget support, and conditioning the development assistance that the UK, USA and international community provide to the Rwanda government on political reforms, including opening up political space;
(d) Using regional and United Nations human rights mechanisms to ensure that President Kagame and his security officials are held accountable for gross human rights violations that are committed against innocent citizens;
(e) Encouraging the government of Rwanda to agree to a comprehensive and unconditional dialogue with the opposition on ways for resolving the political impasse, engulfing Rwanda;
f) Calling on the United Nations, the African Union, UNHCR, the international community and member states to prevent the impending application of the cessation clause (end of 2011) for the Rwandan refugees, and instead support creating an enabling environment within Rwanda for their voluntary and peaceful repatriation; and,
g) Supporting a political and peaceful process for ending the long standing DRC-based rebellion by Rwandan armed groups.
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa is Co-ordinator, Interim Committee Rwanda National Congress (RNC)
Submitted by: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW; a correspondent, Assistant Editor, and Volunteer Coordinator for NGO News Africa through the volunteer project of the UN. Jennifer is also the media co-coordinator and senior funding executive for The Africa Global Village. You can write to Jennifer, who is also a Salem-News.com writer, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org