A call for rejecting the legitimacy of Rwandan election. (Paul Rusesabagina)


August 9, 2010


President Barack Obama United States of America

President Herman Van Rompuy European Union

Prime Minister David Cameron United Kingdom



Subject: A call for rejecting the legitimacy of Rwandan Presidential election of August 9, 2010


Dear President Obama, Dear President Van Rompuy, Dear Prime Minister Cameron,

In my capacity as President of both Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) and the Initiative for a Highly Inclusive interRwandan Dialogue for peace, justice and reconciliation (DIRHI), I am writing this letter to your Excellencies to formally request that you withhold official endorsement of the legitimacy of the Rwandan Presidential election which will be held today August 9, 2010 in total absence of democracy and irregularity.

The governments of the United Stated of America and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union have been not only the primary political and diplomatic backers but also the unconditional funding powers of the RPF regime of President Paul Kagame since coming to power in July 1994. Since Rwanda operates on a budget that is 60% funded by foreign aid which primarily comes from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, you have the power to insure that this aid package which is part of tax payer money contributed by your citizens is used for the benefit of all Rwandans and to uphold and strengthen democratic values in Rwanda rather than serve the interests of a small RPF clique in power and entrench its dictatorship. In other words, you have a big share of responsibility in the suffering the RPF government has inflicted upon the Rwandan population over the last 16 years without being brought to account. The good news is that you have also the power to change that trend today, and demand that President Kagame play by democratic rules or loose your funding. That is the reason why I chose to write to the three of you. Rwanda currently is hanging in the balance, and failure to act now may lead to another Rwandan tragedy of genocidal proportions, and you will have been prewarned.

Excellencies, you are aware that Rwanda’s Presidential ballot today is unfolding against a backdrop of terror, coercion and intimidation, disappearances, imprisonments and assassinations, and that President Kagame will face a token opposition represented by figurehead candidates while real opponents have been excluded. You are also aware that President Kagame is a man widely suspected of having played a role in triggering the Rwandan genocide and of having murdered millions of people in the last two decades both in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. President Kagame is also under international arrest warrants from the French and Spanish justice systems for having killed innocent citizens of those two countries. Therefore, you know President Kagame should be brought to justice for his alleged crimes, and currently has no moral authority to stand in this election.

For all intents and purposes, here’s a quick rundown of what has been happening in Rwanda not only in the recent past but also in the last few months: from arbitrary arrests to kangaroo Gacaca courts, to mass imprisonments and secret deportations of youth to the isolated Iwawa island, to unsolved disappearances, to the unlawful persecution and exclusion from participation of many political parties in tomorrow’s upcoming presidential election, to the recent suspension of independent Umuseso and Umuvugizi newspapers, to the ongoing repeat imprisonment of Ms. Agnes Uwimana, editor of Umurabyo independent newspaper, of Bernard Ntaganda, President of the PSImberakuri party and house arrest of Ms. Victoire Ingabire, chair of the FDUInkingi party, to the abduction and imprisonment of Déogratias Mushayidi, President of the PDPImanzi party, to the recent gruesome decapitation of opposition figures Denis Ntare Semadwinga, former chief of staff of General Laurent Nkunda in Gisenyi on June 20, 2010, and André Kagwa Rwisereka, Vice President of the Green Party in Butare on July 14, 2010, to the recent killing of independent journalist Jean Léonard Rugamabage of Umuvugizi newspaper on June 24, 2010 in Kigali, to the attempted assassination of General Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa on July 17, 2010, to the recent wave of arrests in the army, to the brazen interference and intimidation of the U.N.‘s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) defense lawyers, especially the jailing of American lawyer Peter Erlinder for three weeks in MayJune in Kigali and the killing of Tanzanian lawyer Jwani Mwaikusa in Dar es Salaam on July 13, 2010, to the impoverishment of the population in rural areas, to the rampant ethnic discrimination in schools, businesses, administration and the army, to widespread corruption and poor governance as evidenced by the RPF ruling party’s stranglehold monopoly of all wealth production institutions, companies and channels, to the shocking selfenrichment of the ruling class, and to the scandalous plunder of Congolese mineral resources and the mass killing of Congolese people, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that today’s election is taking place under even minimally acceptable conditions.

That is why I question the wisdom of the European Union in providing millions to fund this election while at the same time refusing to send in a group of neutral observers to sanction the election, which seems like a tacit acknowledgement that Kagame’s victory is a foregone conclusion.

International Network for Truth and Reconciliation in Central Africa

Imishyikiranohuriro NyaRwanda • Dialogue InterRwandais • InterRwandan Dialogue

That is why I question the U.S and U.K.’s moral leadership in their continued support of Kagame, especially in not objecting to his nomination as cochair of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. I want to take this opportunity to thank Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for having the courage, moral strength and leadership in distancing himself from President Paul Kagame and refusing to shake his hands on July 16, 2010 in Madrid.

For all the reasons lined up in this letter and for the sake of peace, justice and democracy in Rwanda, I kindly request your Excellencies to not recognize Kagame’s preordained victory in today’s election, and from now going forward not welcome him among other heads of State in international gatherings as a duly elected representative of Rwanda, until he has agreed to an inclusive interRwandan dialogue and a peacefully negotiated settlement of the current crisis among Rwandans across the entire political spectrum, so that we can lay the foundations for a better, safer, stronger Rwanda tomorrow.


Paul Rusesabagina


Pope Benedict XVI, Rome Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, London Secretary General Ban Kimoon, United Nations José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain Jean Ping, African Union President U.N. Permanent Security Council Members (all) Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, U.S. Congress Harry Reid, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank Dominique StraussKahn, Managing Director, IMF Secretary General Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Executive Director Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Maja Daruwala, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative President and CEO Louise Arbour, International Crisis Group Media Outlets 


POST BUS 2847, 6030 AC NEDERWEERT – NEDERLAND TEL.: 0031630897180 EMAIL : dirhi2010@yahoo.fr, info@rwandadialogue.org WEBSITE : www.rwandadialogue.orgwww.veritasrwandaforum.org


Réseau International pour la Vérité et la Réconciliation en Afrique Centrale


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Une réponse à “A call for rejecting the legitimacy of Rwandan election. (Paul Rusesabagina)”

  1. Theo Dit :

    US expresses concern about Rwanda election
    14 Aug 2010 02:48:35 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (Reuters) – The United States expressed concern on Friday about « disturbing events » surrounding this week’s presidential election in Rwanda in which incumbent Paul Kagame drew 93 percent of the votes.

    The White House National Security Council said in a statement that progress has been in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

    « We remain concerned, however, about a series of disturbing events prior to the election, including the suspension of two newspapers, the expulsion of a human rights researcher, the barring of two opposition parties from taking part in the election, and the arrest of journalists, » National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement.

    The land-locked African country’s stability and prosperity will be difficult to sustain without broad political debate and open political participation, Hammer said.

    Critics say the Rwandan election campaign was marred by government repression. Human rights groups pointed to mounting violence during the run-up to the election after the fatal shooting of a local journalist and the killing of an opposition official who was found nearly beheaded in July. The government denied involvement.

    « Democracy is about more than holding elections, » Hammer added. « A democracy reflects the will of the people, where minority voices are heard and respected, where opposition candidates run on the issues without threat or intimidation, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected. »

    The White House statement does not congratulate Kagame for his re-election in Monday’s voting.

    Kagame’s nearest rival, Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo of the Social Democratic Party, won 5 percent of the vote, according to final election results released on Wednesday.

    « We have expressed our concerns to the government of Rwanda, and we hope the leadership will take steps toward more democratic governance, increased respect for minority and opposition views, and continued peace, » Hammer said.

    (Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by Will Dunham)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? Les Etats-Unis s’est dit préoccupé vendredi sur les événements dérangeants »entourant l’élection présidentielle de cette semaine au Rwanda en ce qui incombent Paul Kagame a attiré 93 pour cent des voix.

    La Maison Blanche, Conseil national de sécurité a déclaré dans un communiqué que des progrès ont été au Rwanda depuis le génocide de 1994 de 800.000 Tutsis et Hutus modérés.

    «Nous demeurons préoccupés, toutefois, sur une série d’événements inquiétants avant les élections, y compris la suspension de deux journaux, l’expulsion d’un chercheur droits de l’homme, l’interdiction de deux partis de l’opposition de prendre part à l’élection, et l’arrestation des journalistes, « porte-parole du Conseil national de sécurité a déclaré Mike Hammer dans un communiqué.

    La stabilité du pays sans littoral d’Afrique et de la prospérité sera difficile à maintenir sans débat politique large et ouvert, la participation politique, a déclaré Hammer.

    Les critiques disent que la campagne électorale rwandaise a été marquée par la répression gouvernementale. Droits de l’homme a fait à la violence des groupes de montage au cours de la période qui a précédé l’élection, après la fusillade mortelle d’un journaliste local et le meurtre d’un fonctionnaire de l’opposition qui a été trouvé près décapité en Juillet. Le gouvernement a nié toute implication.

    « La démocratie, c’est plus que la tenue d’élections », a ajouté Hammer. «Une démocratie qui reflète la volonté du peuple, où les voix des minorités soient entendues et respectées, où les candidats de l’opposition exécuter sur les questions sans menace ou intimidation, où la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse sont protégés. »

    La déclaration de la Maison Blanche n’a pas féliciter Kagame pour sa réélection au scrutin de lundi.

    rival le plus proche de Kagame, Jean Damascène Ntawukuliryayo du Parti social-démocrate, a remporté 5 pour cent des voix, selon les résultats définitifs des élections publié mercredi.

    «Nous avons exprimé nos préoccupations au gouvernement du Rwanda, et nous espérons que la direction prendra des mesures vers une gouvernance plus démocratique, un respect accru des minorités et des vues de l’opposition, et de la paix a continué, » a déclaré Hammer.

    (Reporting par Tom Doggett; édition par Will Dunham)


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