Press Release(PDF)

During this period that Rwandans are mourning over genocide against the Tutsi, it is quite tragic and irresponsible that in this emotionally charged atmosphere, the RPF top brass led by General Kabarebe James and Dr Bizimana Jean Damascène would be drumming up hatred against members of the opposition and in particular the President of FDU-Inkingi, Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. She is accused among other things of harbouring genocide ideology, insinuating against Tutsi. Such false accusation from the top leadership of RPF at this point in time, not only puts our leader at serious risk of violence from unsuspecting Tutsi survivors of genocide but is also a general incitement to hatred of members of her party and of other members of the political opposition.

General Kabarebe and Dr. Bizimana, in a non-uncertain term stated in Kinyarwanda that any political openness (accepting new political parties and freedom of expression) would be tantamount to creating a loophole through which genocidal ideology would enter. In their statements they mentioned the names of opposition politicians, including Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza as individuals harbouring genocide ideology.

It is an open secret that the two men fear losing power and associated privileges as well as being exposed to public accountability for what they have done. However, if there was rule of law and equitable justice the two men could be charged under article 93 (3) of the penal code for “incitement to commit genocide directed against a group for its political opinion or at very least charged incitement to hatred or else under charged under article 94 (8) of the penal code for crimes against humanity which includes persecution against a person on political, ethnic, religious grounds or any other form of discrimination”.

The pronouncements of Bizimana and Kabarebe constitute what experts could consider a process of preparing minds for violence against a group. The first step is to divide the people into social groups: the good and the bad guys. The second step is to dehumanise the pariah group by labelling it as interahamwe, genocidaires, genocide deniers, harbouring genocidal ideology. One labelled as such they are considered as potential or actual killers. In so doing the group is excluded from moral consideration justifying political, social and economic exclusion and violence against it. In times of open conflict, the group easily become targets of aggression and even large-scale massacre. In fact a statistical assessments of the risk of an onset of state-led mass killing identify Rwanda as one of the 25 countries worldwide currently most vulnerable to this kind of catastrophe. The conclusions are forecasts from three models about the origins of mass atrocities.

The position of FDU-Inkingi has been very clear about genocide against the Tutsi and has condemned it unreservedly. Its leader Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, joined other Rwandans in her village (umudugudu) to remember those who died in the genocide and to say never again. When FDU-Inkingi calls for justice to all, including the Hutu community, the intention is not to downplay genocide against Tutsi or to equate war crimes with genocide.

It simply means that all victims, regardless of their affiliation, regardless of the nature of the crime committed against them, and regardless of the affiliation of the perpetrator, must have equal opportunity to seek redress for the wrongs done them.

The two men know too well that Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt her entire life, as a normal citizen, in her career in the public service and in the voluntary sector, as a politician and even in prison that she is at home with everyone irrespective of colour, creed and ethnicity. The political programme of FDU-Inkingi is known to the two men of bad faith.

We call upon President Paul Kagame to rein on his men who are putting the country on the brink of state sponsored large-scale massacres. The government will have to take responsibility for any negative consequences of the incitement to hatred preached by General Kabarebe and Dr Bizimana.

We call the international community to call upon President Kagame to stop his men from inciting the population to hatred and violence against those who have a different political programme.

Done in Rouen on 20, April 2019.

Théophile Mpozembizi

Commissioner of the FDU-Inkingi in charge of Information and Communication

[email protected]; [email protected]