The Rwandan political opposition platform totally rejects the imposition of one narrative of Rwanda on the world by the repressive Rwandan regime. We condemn the dirty tactics it is using to obstruct the initiative of “Jambo ASBL” to be heard by Belgian lawmakers as part of the consultative process to enact a bill that amends Belgian laws to criminalise negation of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. In doing so the regime is pushing too far its repression across borders.
Freedom House report 2016 considers Rwanda a non-free country with 8/40 score in terms of political rights and civil rights, and 46th out of the 54 African countries. Reporters without Borders index 2017 ranks Rwanda as 159 out of 180 countries surveyed. The complacent attitude of the international community towards this has now emboldened the regime to the point that it wants to intervene in law making processes in other countries such as Belgium by selecting the people that it should consult. The world has looked on when the regime has called labelled as genocide deniers or apologetics of genocidaires anyone challenging the imposed narrative, including academics like Prof. Filip Reyntjens, Prof Tim Longman, Susan Thomson and Human rights organisations such Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch.
The Rwandan opposition political platform condemns the cynical use of a national tragedy, genocide against Tutsi, to play on the conscience of the world to silence dissent, crush critics and devastate its neighbour in a conflict that has left more people dead than any war since the Second World War (Ian Birrell) ”.
It is quite repugnant that the government of Rwanda would highjack the association of Tutsi survivors, after purging it of its liberal leaders, and other people who work as soldiers of fortune and to use them in all dirty tactics including using the survivors of genocide against Tutsi to twist a knife in the hearts of Hutu orphans whose parents were killed by the current regime or are unjustly held in its prisons. Labelling Jambo Asbl members as “toxic stain”, “a negationism platform”, with a “supremacist ideology”, sons and daughters of genocidaires is a process of dehumanizing them and excluding from moral consideration and therefor can be “killed, oppressed, and enslaved them with impunity”, a process that researchers say lead to genocide. It is an incitement to hatred against these young men and women. This should be condemned.
The young people of ASBL Jambo are part of a liberal minded youth that want to take Rwandans out of the box to the open world and to contribute to a better understanding of the Rwandan history. Jambo asbl has been working hard to offer space to forgotten victims with a real respect to those recognised such as Genocide against Tutsi ones. Through this work participants share their individual drama. This helps to make everyone be tolerant to others. Any sensible government would want to hear their understanding of their vision of Rwanda.
As the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai in his June 2014 address to the Human Rights Council, pointed out that “a society without room for critical voices to speak freely and peacefully is unsustainable” observing that “the fear of a new genocide cannot be invoked to impede fundamental freedoms in any society, which in fact are necessary to prevent conflicts and genocide”.
Anyone giving in to the cynical tactics of the RPF regime, is nurturing the development of structural violence that exposes Rwanda to the risk of renewed violence.
We call upon the world community and particularly the Belgian Parliament to ignore the tantrums of the Rwandan regime and Jambo ASBL” to let Jambo ASBL” be heard.
Done in London on February 21, 2018
Diplomacy Commission – P5-Platform