RWANDAN OPPOSITION HAILS SANCTIONS AGAINST RWANDA FOR M23 REBEL SUPPORT IN DRC

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The Rwandan opposition parties and organization PDR-Ihumure, PDP-Imanzi, and PSImberakuri, FDU-Inkingi and RNC strongly welcome the decision this past week by the governments of the USA, the Netherlands, the African Development Bank, Germany and Great Britain, as well as the initiatives by the U.N., DRC, South Africa, Belgium, France and other interested partners to bring pressure, sanction or otherwise suspend aid to Rwanda for its support to the Congolese rebel group M23 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a welcome collective response to aggression which, if firmly sustained, could go a long way in resolving the unfolding crisis in eastern DRC, in stamping out widespread violence by rebel groups against innocent civilians in eastern DRC while also ending impunity for outlaw warlords and their bankrollers.

In this context, we wish to bring to the attention of the international community the following elements of utmost consequence for peace and security not only in eastern DRC but also in the entire DRC, Rwanda and the whole Great Lakes region of Africa:

1. The M23 of ICC-wanted General Bosco Ntaganda is nothing but the latest reincarnation of the CNDP of renegade General Laurent Nkunda, itself a rebel outfit recycled straight from the RCD of yesteryear. All these groups have laid false claim to fighting for the rights of Congolese Tutsis while their true nature is acting as a proxy for Rwandan President Kagameʼs RPF in its greedy and brutal history of fishing in troubled waters in eastern DRC and plundering the vast mineral resources in the Kivu provinces. In the process, well over 5 million innocent Congolese civilians and Rwandan refugees in DRC have been killed in more than a decade of occupation by these forces. It has taken almost 20 years but it is comforting that it has finally dawned on the international community that the villain in this unending tragedy in eastern DRC is none other than Rwandaʼs President Kagame and his army, the RPF.

2. The bitter irony of the on-going crisis in eastern RDC is that tiny Rwanda has achieved military superiority over its neighbors in the region only thanks to millions of dollars poured in as development aid by donor countries. Itʼs as if these donor countries have been complicit in the death of millions of innocents in the region. It therefore smacks of mordant hypocrisy for Rwanda to cry crocodile tears lamenting the so-called “child-to-parent relationship” with foreign donors when it has handsomely benefited from it, like a spoiled child spitting on the hand that feeds him rather than assuming full responsibility for his actions. It is uplifting that the international community appears to have learned its lesson from the arrogance of the lying, manipulative, ruthless and unrepentant Rwandan dictator.

3. Now that President Kagame and his predatory army have been caught red-handed in violation of international law, we are hopeful that they will be made to feel the sting of the law to its fullest extent. With two fully documented reports – the UN Mapping Report of 2010 and the current UN Report on Rwandaʼs support for the M23 rebel group – whose criminal indictment of President Kagame and his army is staggering, we strongly feel that the only acceptable outcome for the memory of the victims is for the suspects to face justice, and we are confident that day is fast approaching.

4. The international community must fully understand that the on-going crisis in eastern DRC is much deeper than the M23 mutiny, its Rwandan support and the other rebel groups active in the region, and therefore must be tackled from a broad perspective. The fundamental problem underlying the presence of rebel groups in eastern DRC and the reason why there is no peace in DRC and Rwanda today, is President Kagameʼs dictatorship and lack of democracy in Rwanda. U.S. President Barack Obamaʼs stern admonition in Accra, Ghana, on July 11, 2009, that “Africa does not need strongmen, it needs strong institutions”, could not find better relevance than in todayʼs Rwanda. Indeed, opposition political figures Victoire Ingabire, Deo Mushayidi, Bernard Ntaganda and others are in jail while many others are in exile or have been killed because President Kagame is at core intolerant of contrary opinion. He must be forced to free these political prisoners, open up political space and allow free political activity and freedom of the press.

5. Finally, the time has come for the international community to move onto the next phase and recognize that the Rwandan regime of President Paul Kagame has run its course and change is needed in Rwanda for democracy, peace and security to take hold in the region. The on-going rounds of peace talks, including next weekʼs regional summit in Kamplala, Uganda, will not yield any positive results as Kagame has a proven track record of negotiating in deceit and bad faith. There is a new generation of 21st century Rwandan leaders eager and able to take the reins of government and steer the country to new horizons. We want to thank the entire community of donor countries for taking such a strong stand against their taxpayersʼ money being used to fund unnecessary tribal wars and an illicit blood minerals business in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Done in Brussels,
1st August 2012

For the PDP-Imanzi,                                                                                    For the PS-Imberakuri,
Gérard Semushi,                                                                                                 Jean-Baptiste Ryumugabe
Vice President Executive                                                                               Representative for Europe

For the PDR-Ihumure,                                                                                For the FDU-Inkingi
Djumatatu Nzeyimana,                                                                                     Dr. Nkinko Nsengimana
Vice President Co-ordinator,                                                                         Co-ordinating Committee

For the RNC
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Co-ordinator, Interim Co-ordinating Committee

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