Reaction of the International Women Network for Democracy and Peace (IwnFDP) to remarks made by President Paul Kagame on June 30, 2013.
On June 30, 2013, the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame made very hard and scandalous remarks in front of hundreds of youth gathered in a stadium in Kigali as part of a campaign called “Youth Connect” under the leadership of the First Lady, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame.
In his speech of a rare violence delivered in Kinyarwanda and intermixed with some English phrases, President Kagame made it clear that he henceforth intends to put Rwandan youth in two categories: on one hand young Hutu guilt for crimes they have neither committed nor known, and secondly, and on the other hand the Tutsi youth who should always wary about their Hutu colleagues. Paul Kagame also said that the Hutu did not have any natural and inalienable right to live in Rwanda, and that if they still enjoyed it, it was thanks to his sole kindness.
So, in his delirious outburst, he revealed that he had so much leniency to have allowed Hutu to remain in Rwanda! That is why, according to him, the Hutu should ever feel guilty and that each Hutu generation should make the “mea culpa” for the previous on. This has been formalized in a particularly cynical show during which Hutu children chosen for the occasion, took the microphones before cameras of the press at a penance exercise asking for forgiveness on behalf of all Hutu for crimes of genocide, allegedly committed against the Tutsi by their parents
The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace (IwnDP) was shocked by these utterances and the sectarian remarks made by a personality who, as head of state, should rather preach harmony among all Rwandan youth , irrespective of their tribe.
As an umbrella organization of women and mothers, we are more sensitive than others and feel duty bound to the education of youth. The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace therefore condemns publicly this malicious campaign initiated by none other than the head of state, Paul Kagame, in his afore said remarks made in Kigali on 30th June 2013. It is aimed at wantonly blaming alleged crimes committed by Hutu parents to their children and asking the latter to permanently feel guilty and apologize on behalf of the Hutu ethnic group as a whole.
The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace calls on the Rwandan youth to resist to various pressures exerted on them for a collective guilt plea, whatever the material benefits they may be promised. They should, in any way accept to bear the burden of their alleged ancestors sins.
The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace calls on the international community to condemn this sectarian campaign that instills among youth, division, dehumanization and hatred initiated more so by a regime which pretends that there are no ethnic groups in Rwanda. If ethic groups do not exist indeed, on which criteria these young people were selected, labeled as Hutu and forced to apologize?
The RifDP is equally uneasy to hear in some lobby fora that Rwanda is among the first country to promote the status of women with more than 54% of parliament seats. If women were so much empowered, they could not remain silent about this dehumanization of themselves and their offspring. The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace invites Human Rights organizations to join hands in condemning this sinister campaign that amounts to incitement to racial hatred.
The International Women Network for Democracy and Peace finally asks the international community, including the major donors, who have so far been too soft about the crimes and violations of human rights by President Paul Kagame, to realize that, calling part of the Rwandan youth to be wary of another on an ethnic basis, is crossed the red line.
Done in Brussels, 1st July 2013.
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Réseau international des Femmes pour la Démocratie et la Paix asbl (RifDP)
International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace asbl (IwnDP)
Internationale Netwerk van Vrouwen voor Democratie en Vrede (InvDV)
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