“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”Lao-Tseu Laozi

Ten years ago, the Rwandan Democratic Forces decided to pool together their efforts to force the Rwandan dictatorship to open the political space and to allow the Rwandan people enjoy their inalienable rights. Their determination and tenacity not to give in to blackmail and fear of paying the ultimate sacrifice are embodied by their leader Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who is incarcerated in the despicable Kigali maximum security prison. As a true disciple of Sun Tzu and Gandhi, Mrs. Ingabire and her followers in the FDU-Inkingi party, have always privileged non-violence in their struggle against dictatorship and have worked hard to build a platform of the Rwandan Democratic opposition and to make it an effective tool to fight against the dictatorship that oppresses the Rwandan people. The United Democratic Forces (FDU-Inkingi) were officially born on April 26, 2006. On this day we pay tribute to all Rwandans who are fighting for their fundamental and inalienable rights.

After ten years, today men and women who are determined and convinced that only perseverance will overcome the intransigence of the RPF regime, continue to march on relentlessly spreading the good news of a final victory. The river, is growing, extending its banks along the way and becoming more powerful with the creation of the opposition political platform composed of five political organisations, including Amahoro-PC, PDP-Imanzi, PS-Imberakuri and RNC-Ihuriro. The building is not yet complete, but the struggle continues.

The FDU-Inkingi party has decided to build its base in Rwanda and its leader took the lead and went to take the bull by its horns on its territory. The rallying cry is “Do not be afraid.” Mrs. Ingabire preached the tactics of nonviolence. Even though the most incredulous people have remained sceptical about the courage of a woman determined to challenge the dictatorship head on, the river is still moving to its final destination and has become unstoppable.

Despite repeated obstructive manoeuvers initiated by the RPF state party, the FDU-Inkingi has become a de facto political party in Rwanda and a political reality on the Rwandan political landscape. The dictatorship which prevails in Rwanda and is embodied by General Paul Kagame, has spared nothing to nip in the bud this nascent force for democratic change. The first attempt in such a move was to detain the person who has now become the “Rwandan Mandela” and was found guilty for expressing views that are different from those of the regime and for publicly offering alternative solutions to the Rwandan political and economic crisis. The move was followed by the persecution and imprisonment of members of the FDU-Inkingi, including the Secretary General, Sylvain Sibomana and many others. Members of the FDU-Inkingi party are regularly arrested, tortured then released.

Despite recent threats announcing that the RPF forces and militias would shoot in broad daylight members and supporters of the FDU-Inkingi party as well as members of other political parties of the opposition, the roots of the determination of the Rwandan people to fight for their fundamental and inalienable rights are digging deeper.  Calls for a real democratization of the country and the sovereignty of the Rwandan people, the fight against exclusion and ethnicization of the Rwandan society, the fight against the discriminatory nature of commemorations and discriminatory mourning that traumatize rather than heal wounds, the fight for fairness and impartial justice, are now irreversible.

Convinced about the vital role of the opposition in a democracy, the FDU-Inkingi party is determined to take the fight to its victorious level by all means that are granted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The FDU-Inkingi party still believes in a peaceful political solution to the Rwandan political crisis, even though it understands the impatience of those people who, given the bellicose rhetoric of the current regime, might be tempted to try other pathways.

Done in Brussels on April 26, 2016.

Bukeye Joseph


2nd Vice President

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