The Rwandan opposition political platform has learnt that President Kagame, has proposed a temporary suspension of South Africa from all institutions of the African Union for not having enough to prevent violence against black African immigrants living in South Africa.
The Rwandan opposition political platform would like to condemn the violence meted against innocent African immigrants in South Africa by lawless gangs in some towns in South Africa, leading to loss of 11 lives according to Police and to destruction of a lot of properties. It commends government officials and organisations and indeed the overwhelming majority of South Africans that have equally condemned these attacks that tarnish the image of South Africa and Africa in general. We appeal to the South African Government to take all necessary measures to prevent it happening again because it tarnishes not only the image of South Africa but of Africa in general, for South Africa is rightly seen as a role model for the rest of Africa as a beacon of democracy, in particular with regard to the independence of the judiciary and of parliament and to national reconciliation. We thank South Africa government for the protection that it has provided to thousands of Rwandan refugees in South Africa.
On the other hand, we believe very strongly that the Rwandan President Kagame has no moral authority to suggest the expulsion of South Africa from the African Union because of these acts of lawlessness, when he knows well that, as opposed to state sponsored terrorism that has caused millions of deaths in Rwanda and in the Great Lakes Region. He needs to be reminded that he became chair of the African Union despite a pathetic record of being responsible for the death of millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi and in his own country. We can only mention a few cases:
- By ordering a terrorist act of shooting down of a plane carrying two serving Heads of State of Burundi and Rwanda, Ntaryamira and Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, he triggered genocide against tutsi in Rwanda, his army killed thousands of Hutu and regional destabilisation for the last 25 years making the potentially richest region in Africa, the poorest except for the shining city of Kigali, well developed to serve as a gateway for the looting minerals from the DRC. President Kagame sponsors and highly paid public relations firms blocked all attempts to set up an international commission of enquiry to establish the perpetrator of the terrorist as recommended by the UN Special rapporteur on Rwanda in 1994 and the report (2000) of the “international panel of eminent personalities to investigate the genocide in Rwanda and the surrounding events” created by the Organization of African unity.
- The two invasions of the Democratic Republic of Rwanda through two (1996 and 1998) triggered what came to be called the 1st African World War that war that have destabilised that country causing an estimated 6 million lives , some political scientist have called for the indictment of President Kagame .
- Members of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo presented a report on the 21st June 2012 detailing the role of the government of Rwanda in the recruitment of Rwandan youth and demobilized ex-combatants as well as Congolese refugees for the murderous armed group M23. The delivery of weapons and ammunition to M23, mobilization and lobbying of Congolese political and financial leaders for the benefit of M23, direct Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) interventions into Congolese territory to reinforce M23, Support to several other armed groups as well as FARDC mutineers in the Eastern Congo.
- A panel of six independent experts, in a confidential report to the United Nations Security Council accused Rwanda of providing training, financing and logistical support through early 2016 for Burundian combatants crossing from Rwanda to DRC, seeking to oust Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza. Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, stated before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that “recruitment of Burundian refugees – including children – may have occurred in Rwanda in the past year, with training provided to facilitate their participation in armed groups seeking to overthrow through violent means the Government of Burundi”
- In the final Report (Document S/2002/1146) of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Monday 28th October 2003 the UN panel chairperson Safiatou Ba-N’Daw said that “the plunder of natural resources in the DRC had become the motive and engine of the war that has cost more than 3 million lives and the Rwanda”. It accused among others high-ranking military and government officials, including relatives of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
- On October 1, 2010 UN Human Rights Commission published (UN Mapping report ) which accused the Rwandan army of having killed 200, 000 Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic pointing out that “the systematic and widespread attacks described in this report, which targeted very large numbers of Rwandan Hutu refugees and members of the Congolese Hutu civilian population, resulting in their death, reveal a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified as crimes of genocide”.
- Rwanda government has stopped free movement of people and goods on its borders with Burundi and Uganda contrary to the spirit of the African Union and the East African community treaty.
- The Rwandan government has been violating the sovereignty of other countries by carrying out assassinations of Rwandan regime critics living in those countries including in South Africa and Uganda.
- The Rwandan government ignored the ruling of the African Court for Human and People’s rights of November 24th, 2017 “to take all necessary measures to restore the rights of the Applicant (Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza) and to submit to the Court a report on the measures taken within six (6) months. It is almost 2 years now.
- Human Rights Watch a credible human rights organisation report 2017 stated that “State security forces in Rwanda have summarily killed at least 37 suspected petty offenders and forcibly disappeared four others since April 2016-2017. Most victims were accused of stealing items such as bananas, a cow, or a motorcycle. Others were suspected of smuggling marijuana, illegally crossing the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or of using illegal fishing nets. This violates African charter on human and people’s rights.
- On 22nd February 2018, Rwandan police officers shot live rounds at a crowd of hundreds of refugees who were protesting the reduction of humanitarian assistance at Kibiza Refugee Camp. 11 refugees died and several were injured.
- Rwanda signed a business deal with Israel government to take 40,000 failed African asylum seekers at a cost of $5,000 per head. The deal was stopped after public outcry especially from Human Rights organisations. The Rwandan government had already made $20, million. According to UNHCR for Rwanda had received only 4000 deported asylum seekers between 2013- 2017 and only 7 had remained in Rwanda. This has been considered that human trafficking involving Africans.
What is quite clear to everyone is that as the commonwealth Human Rights Initiative pointed out in 2009, and Unfortunately, as the distinguished scholar of constitutional law, human rights and democracy Prof Ghai who led a Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative delegation to Rwanda in 2009, pointed out the “Excellent public relations machinery has succeeded in hiding the exclusionary and repressive nature of the regime“.
We also once again like to remind the public and the international community that President Kagame has a case to answer for the wrongs done to the people of the Great Lakes region, to appeal to his sponsors to call it a day and to Africans who have been deceived that President Kagame as role model for African leadership to re-examine their stand.
Done in Brussels on September 23, 2019
Chair Diplomacy Commission – P5-Platform