FDU-Inkingi, an opposition party to the RPF dictatorial regime, has been following with sadness the violent events that the inhabitants of Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro (the so-called ”Bannyahe” neighbourhoods) have been experiencing for the last 5 years. These inhabitants are victims of a State which, instead of protecting them, attacks them and wants to forcibly evict them from their homes and properties without fair or agreed compensation. It is thus depriving them of their economic rights as recognised in Articles 17 and 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Expropriation Law in Rwanda aligns with international law and best practices, which essentially states that:
- “fair” or “just” compensation must be paid to both nationals and non-nationals who are expropriated; and
- States must establish and follow clear and transparent procedures that apply equally to all.
Rwandan law is therefore clear on expropriation, but the Rwandan regime makes a mockery of the law and prefers expulsions manu militari.
This forcing is accompanied by lies and other contemptuous attitudes on the part of state agents, violence from the police and other security forces, and the absence of explanations and/or human considerations for the families affected by forced removal from their homes.
The discourse of the Rwandan authorities in this case is very incoherent and totally inconsistent. Sometimes the Rwandan authorities use the pretext that the area is supposedly dangerous in the event of climatic disasters to justify these practices of extortion, practices worthy of another age. However this area has been inhabited for several decades without ever having been flooded.
Sometimes the same Rwandan authorities use the notion of public interest as a pretext, which is very vaguely interpreted to allow people close to power to grab land. In this case, the land in question is said to be intended for a private investor close to the clique in power. The investor is believed to be Mr Denis Karera, brother of the former Minister of Justice and current Rwandan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Johnston Busingye, who was involved in the kidnapping of Paul Rusesabagina. This goes further to explain the incompetence and/or complicity of all State structures, including the judicial system, in the failure to resolve the problem of the residents of Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro.
Other sources suggest that the land is to be used for the extension of the ‘Green Hills’ school owned by RPF dignitaries. First Lady Jeanette Kagame is a co-founder of the Green Hills Academy. The involvement of these personalities suggests that the state is acting on behalf of private interests.
Due to these external influences, combined with a clear denial of justice that goes as far as ignoring judicial decisions already made or expected to be made, the case had dragged on for years leaving the families concerned in total despair.
The FDU-Inkingi condemns this situation of oppression and despicable conditions that the government has subjected its citizens for the last 5 years. It also condemns the nasty and cynical attitude that has characterised some of the officials who have been engaged in working with the residents of Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro to resolve the problem.
The FDU-Inkingi calls on all concerned public authorities to put an end to all forms of physical, verbal, and psychological violence against the population of Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro. All the owners must be compensated in accordance with the laws in force. Those arrested in this case should be released.
The FDU-Inkingi stands on the side of the suffering population and asks the Rwandan population to stand in solidarity with the Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro neighbourhoods and to give them support and comfort. The FDU-Inkingi supports the inhabitants of these neighbourhoods who are fighting for their rights for they deserve our support and our help.
The FDU-Inkingi call on the international community, in particular friendly countries, donors and countries of the sub-region, to put pressure on President Kagame and his party-state – the RPF – to act in the interest of the people they are in charge of, and to stop and put an end to the terrorist violence of which the population is a victim throughout the country, exemplified in the treatment of the people in the neighbourhoods of Kangondo I & II and Kibiraro.
The FDU-Inkingi considers that the RPF regime has failed in its mission to protect its population, that it is entirely responsible for the system of violence and permanent fear that it is inflicting on the Rwandan population and that it will have to assume all the consequences.
Done in Toulouse, 18 September 2022
Pierre Célestin RWALINDA,
FDU-Inkingi Secretary General