Rwanda: Is there a future without Paul Kagame?

Nieuwspoort, June 4, 2013.
In 2017 new presidential elections are held in Rwanda. Paul Kagame cannot be re-elected for a third time. It’ll be agonizing times for the opposition. Crucial is the question: what happens with Rwanda if Paul Kagame is no longer head of state. Is Rwanda ready for a new leader and a new form of leadership? And if yes, which leader and which form of leadership? And can The Netherlands be of help?

Speakers will be Helen Hintjens, lector at the Institute of Social Studies,Alphons Muleefu researcher at the University of Tilburg, Paul Rusesabagina, ex-manager Hotel Milles Collines and Eurac, organization of NGO’s in Great Lakes Region. Also invited is the Rwandese ambassador in the Netherlands.
Lawyer Jan Hofdijk and Africa-journalist Anneke Verbraeken will try to manage the debate.
The Netherlands has a double face if it comes to Rwanda. It postponed financial aid, because of the Rwandan support of the rebels of M23, but also poured a lot of money and effort into Rwanda to improve the judicial system. One can ask if that money is well spent; there are questions about the independency of the judges for example. How important is an independent judicial system for the future of Rwanda?
The darling of the international community got tainted since the previous elections in 2010. There is criticism on the lack of political space. A UN-report, publicised autumn 2010 accused Rwanda of genocide in East-DRC; last year several reports were published concluding Rwanda was supporting the rebel group M23.  Rwanda is accused of theft of minerals, of theft of land (North-Kivu) and its president of dictatorial behaviour.
The proponents of Rwanda praise the economic growth, the political and social stability, the security and the amount of energy put in to the rebuilding of the country after the genocide in 1994.
Conclusions of the debate will be offered to the minister of International Trade and Development, the minister of Foreign Affairs and the minister of Justice.
Everybody who is interested is invited to participate.
Debate will be held in English. Registration is not necessary.
DATE: June 4, 2013
TIME: 17.00-19:30 hrs
PLACE: International Press Center, Nieuwspoort, Lange Poten 10, Den Haag