We, 30 Rwandans, comprising the representatives of opposition political parties striving for Democracy in Rwanda, members of civil society and individual activists, gathered in an extraordinary retreat on 17-19 February 2017, are concerned with the advent of a democratic rule and people-friendly governance in Rwanda,
I. Having observed that the Government of Rwanda led by General Paul Kagamé:
- Has closed political space to guarantee the monopoly of power to the sole political party RPF-Inkotanyi and its chairman Paul Kagame who has been in office for nearly 23 years;
- Has taken the shameful decision, in violation of the Constitution and other laws of today’s Rwanda, to deny Rwandan citizens that composed the team of Father Thomas Nahimana the leader of ISHEMA Party and candidate in presidential elections scheduled to take place in August 2017; it has been clear that on November 23, 2016, the Government of Rwanda issued an order pressuring airline companies not to allow Father Thomas Nahimana and his team boarding any flight to Kigali and that, as a consequence, they have been disembarked from Kigali-bound flights, respectively, on November 23, 2016, in Nairobi (Kenya) and on January 23, 2017, in Brussels (Belgium) ;
- Rigged the presidential elections of 2003 and 2010 in order to hand Paul Kagame the victory while, in reality, knowingly that he lost elections;
- Has, through a maliciously maneuvered referendum, overseen the constitutional reform of December 2015 regarding article 101 of the 2003 Constitution, that clearly stipulated that “no head of state should be allowed to serve for more than two presidential terms of 7 years each”, with the sole purpose of clearing a way for Paul Kagame to hold on power until death;
- Arrests, kills (André RWISEREKA) or exiles the leaders of opposition political parties, journalists, members of civil society thriving for respect of human rights;
- Has detained and sentenced to life imprisonment Mr. Déogratias MUSHAYIDI for the only “crime” of campaigning for positive change in the governance of his country;
- Has arbitrary detained and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment Mrs. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA who returned to Rwanda in 2010 for having shown the intention of registering her political party and the interest in contributing to the betterment of the governance of her country;
- Has arbitrary detained Mr. Théoneste NIYITEGEKA, kept Mr. Bernard NTAGANDA in custody for four years and has imprisoned many others for the single reason that they wanted to get involved in the political life of their country;
- Has prevented the judiciary from operating independently, transforming the courts of law into tools to imprison a huge number of Rwandans, including those being detained without any due legal procedure, those whose with files made of fabricated lies, and inmates who are still held in prison far beyond the term of their sentences;
- Uses security forces in shameful actions of torturing, beating, killing or detaining innocent citizens in underground chambers and other unknown places, therefore, inaccessible to the families of the victims;
- Has several times conducted military attacks against unarmed Rwandan refugees, with the intent to exterminate a great number of Rwandan citizens in the Congolese forests;
- Maintains its plans to follow the Rwandan refugees and asylum-seekers in their host countries, to destabilize them, sabotaging their security and killing some of them in tragic circumstances (Colonel Patrick KAREGEYA);
- Has dispatched soldiers in every corner of the country to cause fear and anxiety among citizens, through its sustained acts of state-sponsored terrorism;
- Promotes policies aimed at deliberately impoverishing the people and subjecting them to food insecurity, through demolishing their houses, seizure and confiscation of their land, destroying their crops and ordering them to grow a single crop which does not reflect on their specific needs and interests, and coercively grouping them into cooperatives that do not address their concerns but aim to exploit them;
- Has played a big role in provoking the hunger nationally known as « Nzaramba », and, unfortunately, instead of devising policies that would alleviate the suffering of the families whose members are dying because of lack of food, has sought to keep it out of the radars and camera of international community and gloating over citizens’ hardship by claiming that it has brought about development as never seen before;
- Has promoted discrimination in the handling employment and education scholarship applications; segregation in the caring for orphans and widows as well as in the delivery of the routine social and administrative services to the people;
- Has monopolized all profitable entrepreneurship, beating and shooting in broad daylight at lower-class citizens, who it refers to as ABAZUNGUZAYI (street vendors) trying to sell portable articles with the aim of earning daily bread for their families;
- Misappropriates public assets, and wastes the country’s finances by allowing the President of the Republic embezzling states funds to acquire privately-owned jets, and renting these jets and his other property holdings to the Government of Rwanda at exorbitant costs, for his personal and clique’s own interests;
- Provokes wars, conflicts and insecurity in neighboring countries, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, which is against short, mid and long-term interests of Rwanda, now labeled as a country led by warmongers that stand as a real threat to peace and security in the Africa’s Great Lakes Region; the citizens of Rwanda are already suffering from the consequences of these diplomatic flaws and deficiencies;
- Has committed other several crimes not listed here;
II. WE TAKE NOTE THAT:
- This Government of Paul Kagame has lost all legitimacy and legality in the eyes of the Rwandan citizens because it does not serve their interests and, on contrary, stands as a serious threat to their security and welfare in numerous ways;
- The people of Rwanda need a way of overcoming fear, organizing a civil resistance, and demonstrate that their rights are different from the enslavement in which they are forced by this dictatorial Government of Paul Kagame;
- The international community and nations friends of Rwanda wish to distance themselves from this Government of violence-promoting leaders that arrogantly violates the Constitution and other laws of Rwanda, tortures, kills citizens it has the duty to protect, and disregards international treaties and agreements to which it is signatory;
- From this February 20, 2017, we too consider the Government of Paul Kagame as a Government that is illegitimate and undesirable by the people.
III. DUE TO ALL THOSE FACTS,
We hereby announce to Rwandan citizens, neighbors of Rwanda and the international community the following:
- We declare a « Government of Rwanda operating in exile »
- We declare a National Council of Seniors
- We declare a National Youth Council
IV.DUTIES AND RESPONSABILITIES OF THIS GOVERNEMENT
- To stand ready to replace the illegitimate Government led by Paul Kagame.
- To advocate for and rescue Rwandan refugees and asylum seekers wherever they are.
- To advocate and sound alarm on behalf of the Rwandans who live inside the country under the oppression of the Government of Paul Kagame’s clique.
- To do everything possible to compel the Government of Kagame’s clique to halt all violent actions against the citizens and to remove all barriers that prevent Rwandan refugees from returning freely and peacefully.
- To request all countries partners of Rwanda to put pressure on Dictator Paul Kagame whose last presidential term according to the 2003 Constitution, comes to an end, so that he leaves the presidential race and allow other Rwandans who are ready and equipped to unite citizens and build a development model shared by all.
In case Dictator Paul Kagame will have chosen to be stubborn and continue to treat citizens with violence and terror:
- Call for sanctions by the international community against his illegitimate Government
- Encourage the people to organize, rise and put an end to the rule of Paul Kagame and his RPF clique through a non-violent Revolution.
V.The National Council of Seniors
- Its doors are open to all Rwandan citizens aged over 35 willingly committed to the cause.
- Has the mission to collect the contributions, ideas and constructive advices that can help the Government of the People operating in exile to lead Rwanda and Rwandans into the kind of governance they envision. It is an institutional framework within which the senior citizens of Rwanda may work together contribute to the governance of their country.
VI.The National Youth Council
- Its doors are open to all men and women under age 35 that have interest in playing a role in the positive changes they wish for their country, Rwanda.
- It is an institutional framework within which the youth of Rwanda consolidate their strength into a force that allow them contribute, as a group and to more meaningful degree, to the governance of their country in the years to come.
VII. THE APPOINTED CABINET MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNEMENT OF RWANDA IN EXILE ARE THE FOLLOWING:
1.President of the Republic: Rev Father Thomas NAHIMANA
2.Prime Minister: Mr. Abdallah AKISHURI
3.Deputy Prime Minister: Mrs. Nadine Claire KASINGE
4.Minister of Culture, Family, and Women’s Welfare: Mrs. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA represented by Mrs. Nadine Claire KASINGE
5.Minister of Foreign Affairs: Mrs. Immaculée KANSIIME UWIZEYE
6.Minister of Justice: Mr. Déogratias MUSHAYIDI represented by Mr. Vénant NKURUNZIZA.
7.Minister of Information: Mr. Chaste GAHUNDE
8.Minister of Interior and Local Development: Mr. Daniel NDUWIMANA
9.Minister of Finance and Commerce: Mrs. Marine UWIMANA
10.Minister of Education: Mrs. Chantal MUKAMANA MUTEGA
11.Minister in Charge of Refugee Protection and Suppression of the Causes of Asylum: Mrs. Virginie NAKURE
12.Minister of Infrastructure and Housing: Rev. Father Gaspard NTAKIRUTIMANA
13.Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Land: Mr. Jean Léonard SEBURANGA
14.Minister of Health and Social Welfare: Mrs. Spéciose MUJAWAYEZU
VIII. It has been formed the following commissions:
1.Commission of Foreign Affairs
2.Commission of Economy
3.Commission of Information
4.Commission of Security
IX. The appointed Government Spokespersons are the following:
- Mr. Chaste GAHUNDE
- Mrs. Immaculée KANSIIME UWIZEYE
- Mrs. Marine UWIMANA.
X. It has been appointed six councilors (6)
XI. The Government of Rwanda in exile will create other organs and appoint other authorities if need be.
XII. In the interest of all, and in order to bring about the positive changes that the people so badly need, we urge the undesirable Government led by Paul Kagame:
1. To urgently accept to hold talks with the Government of Rwanda in exile
- To open up both national borders and political space not later than March 23, 2017, to allow all Rwandans who wish to return do so peacefully, release all political prisoners, remove barriers so that the political parties committed to getting involved in the August 2017 elections be able to register.
In case no action is taken until March 23, 2017:
- To postpone the presidential elections that were to be held in August 2017 and reschedule them for August 2019 and move the parliamentarian vote to November 2019.
- To form a transitional government that will comprise the representatives of all political parties, with a 24-month mandate to prepare and oversee the presidential and parliamentarian elections to ensure they are free, fair and transparent.
- We recall that, save for the rumors that are being spread by the under informed, articles 101 and 172 of the Rwanda’s Constitution as reformed in December 2015 do not allow the incumbent president Paul Kagame to run for a third term.
Done in Paris on February 20, 2017
Minister of Information
Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda in Exile
Tél : +33643601311 / +33652110445