MinBane

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Archive for the tag “HR”

Opinion: Have Kagame put a spell on the West?

You can wonder if the sins of old haunts the West, if the support and the strategies that worked back-in-the-day is now a lost tale. The hope for change and for a different outcome is gone. President Paul Kagame will run indefinitely and never step down. I don’t know if the West feel in debt for the crisis it didn’t prevent and didn’t manage properly in 1994. Where Kagame together with the rebel-militia supported by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni entered Rwanda. They had already been apart of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and the new government under National Resistance Movement (NRM). Kagame has done the same with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and made it into a party with the Rwandan Partriotic Front (RPF). Just after the model in Uganda.

Therefore, what you see in Rwanda is similar to what you have seen in Uganda. However, there are difference, that is why the chilling relationship between the neighbors. Kagame has worked closely with Uganda, they have sent armies together in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have worked together to support the M-23 there too. They have been weapon brothers and brothers in arms. Still, the West let them both go. It is weird, but that is where we are. Both Museveni and Kagame can do whatever and get away it.

Kagame is either detaining or killing his enemies. He is doing it just like the Russian do. Rwandans has been poisoned in the United Kingdom, strange fatal accidents in South Africa, even in exile there are dangers if you have crossed Kagame. No-one is hidden from him and if they did him bad or even questioned him. He will find you and make sure you pay. Everyone can be touched and everyone can be taken.

Kagame has total control, nothing that he doesn’t have a stake in, there are clear that the state is part of all society. If there a dissidents or people questioning him, even if they are challenging him in public. They will be tarnished and detained, their family enterprises will be seized. There is no mercy and he never shows that to anyone.

That is maybe why the Western media, NGOs and States in general are walking on needles, they need the minerals he is thieving from the Kivu provinces and therefore, let him off the hook for the support of militias within the DRC. Let him of the hook for the human rights violations, for the killings of opposition and for the totalitarian activities. Where no one but his will matters. Kagame is the king and the sun first shines on him.

We should be worried, because he doesn’t lack use of violence and harassment, he hurts and kills. He might be successful to a certain extent, but we should be worried about the efforts and his involvement across the border. There are even claims of his use of spies and such in Burundi. Clearly, that could be the truth, since he has used all sort of manipulation and militias to get funding from abroad. Therefore, it is weird he is a donor friendly person, but also someone who has no issues with silencing his enemies. That should be worrying and that should cut him off the gravy-train, also sanction the companies that are importing his conflict minerals. Peace.

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Opinion: You know that Kagame didn’t really win with 98,66% when he has to intimidate Rwigara!

I know I will shot-out of the gates and say that Paul Kagame, who won with 98,66 % in the Presidential Election in August 2017. Didn’t really win by that margin and have that sort of support. For some this might be controversial, others saying I’m hater. I will take that any part of the day and close my eyes in content. Kagame didn’t win by that margin and he didn’t have that massive support.

For the simple reason, ever since the election he has had to silence Diana Rwigara and her family. Latest stint was in Court this week. She has been arrested on unknown locations and been taken away from home. Why is Kagame so afraid of Rwigara? Well, he is afraid of being questioned and having real opposition. That is because Kagame does whatever he can to have none. The ones who has been is either in exile, detained or gotten the arrested for treason against the state. That means they don’t have loyalty to Kagame or his almighty Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

If the President was a legitimate executive and head of state, he wouldn’t have cared about the candidacy of Rwigara. She wouldn’t have the party-organization or even the structure to compete. It would be like Jill Steins Campaign in 2016 in the United States. She would be a part of the race, but all the eyes would be on Clinton and Trump. It’s not like Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has a size, neither independent Phillippe Mpayimana. If the playing-field between the candidates was fair, they would have gained more popularity, but they are just needed props into the sham of an election.

That Forces Democratiques Unifiees (FDU-Inkingi) is not involved and other parties are not in the elections. Proves my point, that the mere sacrifice of Kagame to run again. Is mere a sham and his own rule is not on popularity, but on fear and oppression. If he was democratic he wouldn’t fear Rwigara and throw phony charges her way. He wouldn’t make a mockery of her family and associates. But he has too, because his popularity isn’t as soaring as he tries to make believe.

President Kagame, don’t have stomach or the bravery to play fair, because he came with the guns and will be like many before him. Only leave by the gun. He is like Rwandan answer to Museveni. If you have real competition, they either end in exile or they are treasonous against the state. Just ask the Ugandan opposition about their toils and intimidation.

Rwigara case is proof that Kagame don’t have the popularity he subscribes. He don’t, if he did he would never step beneath his office and done this to his citizens. But he has too, because he don’t have their support. The only way he keeps the system intact is to spread fear and intimidation. That is why he is charging and shaming Rwigara for opposing him. Peace.

Opinion: President Kagame won with 98.66%, just like his predecessors Kayibanda and Habyarimana!

Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).

Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.

The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.

In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.

After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.

Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.

Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.

That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.

Reference:

African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html

Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/

Burundi – The fresh reports of torture from Amnesty and proof that it’s old habits from the regime in the country

Burundi Report Police

There was released a report on torture of citizens in Burundi in recent year from CSO Amnesty the 24th of August. This here has been described I will take the defining characters of this from that report, but also some older documentation to prove that this isn’t new actions from the Governmental and Security organizations in Burundi. In 2006 the Committee from International Service from Human Rights commented on the torture matters already then. After that I will look on what numbers and anti-torture project where the purpose was: “Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture”. And the projects are telling from the USAID in the same period. USAID had also a monitoring period that ended in 2007 that gives some interesting insights to the methods of torture. United Nations has made a review of the situation when it comes to torture as well in 2014. So that Amnesty International is telling stories that everybody who cares about Human Rights should read all of the personal stories. I have taken the big picture from the report that was delivered from the organization on the 24th of August 2015. Which also shows to the works of the UN and OHCHR and describing the matters and sadness of how the police and other units treats its citizens who demonstrate against the government. It should be stopped and international community should do something about it. Though it’s an issue that is continuation from 2006 and I am sure earlier then that while in war, an CNDD-FDD promised to lead with the USAID projects to shun this activities, but certainly hasn’t with the reports released recently. Read under the quotes and outtakes from a set of reports and some of the pieces from Amnesty.

Reports from 2005 and so on:

“The Committee criticised the lack of a definition of torture in Burundian domestic legislation. The delegation admitted that while Burundi officially endorses the definition contained in the Convention, their criminal code does not define torture, nor is torture as such criminalised. In practice, torture is treated as an ‘aggravating circumstance’ and pursued on the basis of ‘infliction of bodily harm’” (…)”Both country rapporteurs underlined that the legislation prohibiting torture must not only cover physical torture (which is the case as long as torture is prosecuted under the category of ‘bodily harm’), but needs to extend to psychological and mental torture. The Committee drew the delegation’s attention to the obligation States have to initiate investigations into cases of torture. Mr Camara said that given the lack of a domestic legal basis, prosecutors in Burundi did not have a clear incentive to investigate cases of torture” (…)”the National Intelligence Service (NIS). It is responsible for the collection of date in order to protect the state security of Burundi. It can also carry out police functions and arrest people. According to the State report, the NIS is one of the main institutions involved in cases of torture. The Committee repeatedly expressed concern about this situation. Mr Mariño said the NIS seemed to have a dual mandate and be responsible for political oppression; it needed to be reformed, monitored and made accountable to the judiciary. Mr Camara asked if NIS officers could be sanctioned by the PPS; the delegation confirmed this with reference to ongoing cases. The delegation agreed that the NIS had too many prerogatives and specifically asked for recommendations on how to curb its power” (…)”In reference to the prohibition of the use of evidence obtained through torture, the delegation referred to a supreme court judgement which prohibits such evidence from being used in court. However, a Committee member pointed out that this particular decision is ambiguous since it says that “a confession is not proof in itself, but merely a piece of evidence that must be corroborated by other evidence”. The Committee felt this could be construed so that evidence extracted through torture could be used if supported by other evidence (Human Rights Series, 2006).

Turning to concrete cases, some Committee members asked about further information on a massacre which had taken place at Gatumba. The delegation responded by saying that it had issued a report which attributed the responsibility for the massacre to members of the armed movement PALIPEHUTU-FNL” (Human Rights Monitor Series, 2006).

What USAID has worked on a long while and had programs with:

“IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Search for Common Ground (SF CG), Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), Ligue ITE KA, Association pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (APROD H)

FUNDING PERIOD: March 2003–September 2005

AMOUNT: $1,700,000

PURPOSE: Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture” (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Trauma healing: Eighteen Healing Memory Group activities (785 participants) held to provide psychological healing for victims. 372 victims of torture received psychological support and 567 received medical services; 289 referred to partners; 750 transported to medical facilities (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Social Reintegration: Twenty-seven victims associations created. Thirteen ongoing series of monthly healing sessions/retreats with 1,636 participants (Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

Funding/Year 2002 2004 2005 Total
USD In:  Thousands of Dollars 1,200 500 1,200 2,900

(Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

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USAID has continued to follow up the country and reports on Torture between October 2007 – September 2011. Here is their findings and what they have received of information on the matter: “Human rights. The project worked to strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations, particularly those focused on women, to advocate for gender-based violence, victims of torture, and conflict management. By launching campaigns and engaging in effective discourse with the government and the media, civil society groups were able to open up about the sensitive and often dangerous nature of supporting human rights, which led to increased awareness and understanding” (…)”Victims of torture. In Burundi, torture continues to be practiced and victims have had little recourse because those in positions of authority, such as public security agents, presidential police, soldiers, local government officials, and rebel groups have all practiced torture without being held accountable for their actions. Through its activities, the project has been able to help Burundians open up a public dialogue and raise awareness about the problem of torture, a subject that over the years had become taboo in many parts of society” (…)”Victims of torture consortium. One organization cannot influence change alone, and working in the anti-corruption or human rights arena can be dangerous. Thus to strengthen advocacy against torture in Burundi, the project convened civil society organizations working in human rights and torture to start a dialogue on what is needed in this area and propose the idea of creating a consortium. The project worked via the consortium structure to coordinate these various and extensive activities. At subsequent meetings, the number of civil society organizations more than doubled and by the time the consortium, Consortium Action Contre la Torture (CACT), was incorporated it represented most of Burundian civil society working in human rights, with 26 organizations and government entities. The consortium, designed to coordinate advocacy for the eradication of torture in Burundi, identified priorities for reform when the consortium was first formed” (…)”Victims of torture grants. The project allocated 18 grants to civil society organizations in Year 2; eight of them provided medical and legal assistance to 453 victims of torture. The project provided medical, psychosocial healing, and legal and judicial assistance. The grants were provided to organizations with previous experience in this area, and they were able to work in cooperation with other grantees as well as in the consortium against torture. The most pressing need for a victim of torture is medical assistance. Many victims are debilitated or prevented from working due to the injuries, and others live with the physical scars and residual pain. The assistance consisted of providing victims medicine, hospitalization, and specialized care. Seven grantees provided medical assistance to victims in various provinces. One example of the medical services provided by grantees is the work done by ACAT, an organization that carried out medical services in 26 communes” (…)”In addition to being physically traumatic, torture is also emotionally and psychologically traumatic. Even if physical scars heal, there are lasting psychological effects. The project created a support group that fostered an atmosphere of empathy, affection, and security that victims greatly appreciated — especially significant because most victims never dared to speak about their experiences” (…)”In Year 4, project grantee ABDP-DRS advocated for the use of alternative sentencing to imprisonment in accordance with a law of 2009. By meeting with decision-makers, including prison authorities, police, and judges to present data from a survey, ABDP-DRS was able to provide information on alternative sentencing. It also organized prison visits so that police and judges could see the current conditions of the prisons to which they were sentencing perpetrators. Action Chrétien Contre la Torture (ACAT) also received a grant to continue advocating decision-makers and judiciary actors. ACAT equipped judges, judiciary police, and prison officers with information gained during site visits of detention centers in 11 provinces to evaluate the torture cases, living conditions for detainees, and the application of the penal code regarding torture” (Burundi Policy Final Reform, 2007).

When we see earlier what the UN has scaled on the State of torture in the State of the Burundi. The UN commented this on the issues that were at hand in 2014:

Legislative measures for the prevention of torture

  1. While noting that an absolute prohibition of torture is established in the Constitution, the Committee is concerned at the numerous shortcomings of the organization and command structure of the country’s security services, particularly the Burundian National Police (Police nationale du Burundi) and the National Intelligence Service (Service national de renseignement). These services are still governed by presidential decrees, whereas the Constitution provides that they be governed by the necessary legal framework. While noting that article 31 of the State party’s Criminal Code establishes that an order from a superior officer cannot be used as an argument by the defence in a case of torture, the Committee remains concerned about the effective implementation of that provision (arts. 2, 6 and 16)” (United Nations, 2014).

The United Nations continues with this:

“The absolute prohibition of torture” (…)”The State party should, as a matter of urgency, take steps to incorporate provisions into its Military Criminal Code that establish that acts of torture and ill-treatment committed by military personnel constitute an offence, that such offences are not subject to any statute of limitations and that the sentences for such offences are irreducible. The provisions to be incorporated into the Code should also establish appropriate penalties” (…) “The Committee is alarmed by credible, corroborative and persistent reports of a large number of acts of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by members of the Burundian National Police and the National Intelligence Service. It is concerned about the slow pace and limited scope of the investigations and judicial proceedings that have been opened in this connection, which would appear to corroborate claims that the perpetrators of these acts enjoy impunity. The Committee also finds it regrettable that no information about cases that have gone to trial or the outcome of those trials has been forthcoming. It is also concerned at the absence of protection for victims and witnesses, who are subject to reprisals (arts. 2, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 14)” (…)”The Committee is alarmed at the appalling conditions of detention in places of deprivation of liberty. It deplores, in particular: the high levels of prison overcrowding; the failure to separate male prisoners from female prisoners, adults from minors and persons awaiting trial from those already sentenced; the shortage of beds and sleeping space; the poor sanitary conditions; the dilapidated state of the facilities; prisoners’ inadequate and unbalanced diet; and the lack of health care. It further deplores the death of 263 inmates, inter-prisoner violence and the sexual violence against women and minors perpetrated by other inmates and guards. Lastly, the Committee is concerned about the continuing practice, in the State party, of detaining patients in hospital for non-payment of fees” (…)”While taking note of the fact that article 289 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the compensation of victims of torture, the Committee expresses its concern at the failure to apply this provision, in violation of article 14 of the Convention” (…) “The restrictions on the right of assembly and demonstration imposed by law enforcement bodies and reports of cases involving the violent suppression of demonstrations resulting in the excessive use of force by the authorities, for example during the protests of March 2014” (…)“The serious human rights violations perpetrated by a youth group (referred to as the Imbonerakure) with close ties to the Government, including: the harassment of political opponents; the disruption of public meetings, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrests and arbitrary detention and other acts of violence; and the use of so-called “amicable” arrangements for settling disputes. The Committee is deeply concerned by reports that the Government is providing this group with weapons and training” (United Nations, 2014).

brigade_de_recherche_et_dintervention_judiciaire

Amnesty has in recent reports on how the torture has been from May 2015:

“Both the SNR and the Burundian National Police (PNB) are responsible for torture and other ill-treatment. Former detainees described being beaten with branches, iron bars, and police batons; and being stomped on, threatened with death, denied medical care, and verbally abused. In one particularly horrific case, a five-litre container full of sand was hung from a man’s testicles, causing enormous pain and swelling, and then the man was made to sit in a shallow layer of what he believed was battery acid, burning his skin severely” (…) “In and after the demonstration in April 2015 this has happen: “The police response to the demonstrations was marked by a pattern of serious violations, including of the right to life, freedom of association and peaceful assembly. They used excessive and disproportionate force, including lethal force, against protesters, at times shooting unarmed demonstrators running away from them. Even where children were present during demonstrations, police still failed to exercise restraint, and used tear gas and live ammunition” (…)”The cases of torture and other ill-treatment under SNR detention documented here all took place at the SNR compound near Bujumbura’s cathedral” (…)”In early June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi told Amnesty International they had documented nearly 50 cases of torture and other ill-treatment. On 7 July, the UN Secretary General’s report on the electoral observation mission in Burundi stated that “some 307 people have been arrested, including 14 minors. Most of those arrested have been subjected to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by security officers (mainly police and intelligence agents)” (…)”According to information received from lawyers, when individuals previously held by the SNR have alleged torture before court, the evidence obtained under such circumstances did not appear to have been declared invalid in spite of clear provisions in the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure. To date, there is no investigation and nobody has been arrested for torture at the SNR” (…) “However, the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure makes provision for a detainee to remain silent if his lawyer is not present and for a detainee to communicate freely with his lawyer.16 A leading Burundian human rights organization, the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained People (APRODH), is no longer granted access to the SNR’s compound. At least one detainee says that he signed a document under duress” (…)”A man held at the SNR was also told by other detainees that the Imbonerakure had given information to the police for their capture” (…)”several testimonies of torture and other ill-treatment at a place known as Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura. According to a policeman and UN human rights monitors, Chez Ndadaye is an operational command centre for the police.36 It is known as Chez Ndadaye because the presidential palace that housed President Melchior Ndadaye, the country’s first democratically elected president and first Hutu president, once stood there” (…)”According to the first policeman and two victims, demonstrators were not kept overnight at Chez Ndadaye, but were beaten there before being transferred to the judicial police and/or police stations” (…)”The OHCHR carried out a planned visit to Chez Ndadaye on 12 June 2015, but did not observe any torture or beatings at the time” (…)”One policeman told Amnesty International some policemen are frustrated by the situation. He explained: “Several policemen are not happy about what takes place at Chez Ndadaye and have complained to their superiors. Most of the perpetrators are those who were previously in the bush (ex-FDD). They beat protestors. Maybe around 10 people came through Chez Ndadaye every day. Police used their batons and electric wires to beat them. They’d say ‘you who are against Nkurunziza, you are wasting your time, he’ll be president forever’,” (Amnesty, 2015).

Aftermath:

I don’t really want to comment more on the issues. Because the reports on reports are really telling its own tale, I will not add much on it. Then it’s a sad story of real men and woman who is scared and hurt for their position in society. That the UN, USAID, OHCHR and Amnesty reports from 2006-2015 is telling a vivid stories and painful facts. Too many victims of the government and police of Burundi, they all deserve a voice, they all deserve justice and a society where this wouldn’t happen. Instead the Police and Government of Burundi is going after their own people without prosecution and trial. Putting them in shackles, pushing them in cells and hurting them in places like Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura and that is not the only house and police institution that is being used in a vile place. So no matter what people are being unjustified threaten and punished by the police and security forces in Burundi. There should be something the world could do to stop this systematic and unjust ways. Not just in writing and councils reviews of the United Nations, but in actual forum that can change the President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and the regime of the country. That is the issue and it’s not easy especially with the ways that the president got “elected” into the third term. Pierre Nkurunziza will always be remembered in a unique way and essentially with the shunned sworn-in celebration in mid-August 2015. An also for the reports of torture that the police and security organizations are doing as well in his presidency as well, which isn’t a beautiful view. Peace.

Reference:

AFR 16/2298/2015 – ‘“JUST TELL ME WHAT TO CONFESS TO”, TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT BY BURUNDI’S POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICE SINCE APRIL 2015’ (24.08.2015) – Amnesty International

CAT/C/BDI/CO/2 – ‘Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Burundi’, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee on Torture (12.12.2014) – United Nations

Human Rights Monitor Series – ‘COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE 37TH SESSION BURUNDI, INITIAL REPORT’ (2006), International Service for Human Rights

‘BURUNDI UNDER REVIEW BY UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING JUSTICE MATTERS’, Commonwealth Human Rights Intiative

USAID – ‘BURUNDI POLICY REFORM FINAL REPORT October 2007 – September 2011 (12.09.2011) – This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development. It was prepared by Chemonics International.

USAID – ‘VICTIMS OF TORTURE FUND PORTFOLIO SYNOPSIS 2005–2006’, Victims of Torture Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development

Press Release: The Elders call for credible and fair presidential elections in Burundi (09.07.2015)

Elders

With elections in Burundi approaching, The Elders call for a transparent process which will allow all political parties to “campaign without fear of intimidation” and ensure a fair election and stability for the country. 

The Elders call on the Government of Burundi to take the necessary measures to ensure that the forthcoming presidential election is a credible one that meets accepted standards in compliance with the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance. The Charter was signed by Burundi in June 2007 and has been adopted by many other African states.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General said:

“Only an inclusive, transparent and fair process can restore stability to Burundi. Failing this, the election will likely worsen, rather than resolve, the political crisis. It would certainly not confer the legitimacy needed to heal the deep divisions that now trouble the country.”

The Elders believe that the conditions under which the election is held will be critical to its success. The date should therefore be determined in a consensual manner by the parties.

To help create the necessary conditions, The Elders call for political dialogue to be resumed, political prisoners released, the media allowed to operate freely, and youth militia disarmed. All political parties must be permitted to campaign without fear of intimidation and international election observers given unimpeded access.

These are the basic prerequisites for a free and fair election and for establishing the legitimacy of any future government, and ensuring the stability and prosperity of the country.

WikiLeaks – Rwanda in the 1970s and the Coup d’etat

coup-detat3

This here will be about the coup d’etat in Rwanda in 1973 and the aftermath after it. This information found on WikiLeaks is interesting. Also the way they described the matters and actions on the ground. The way the President Kayibanda lost his power and how the new President Habyarimana took over. Enjoy!

In the Kibuye area there has been huts burning, reports are up to 500 peoples have been killed. Some estimates less and that there has been killed 200 people. On the 9th of March President Gregoire Kayibanda was tired and irritated while meeting with Nuncio at Gitarama. The irritation comes from the envoy from Nyerere that is Nyakyk – that is insisting that all the Tutsi’s should return home. There been Second General Ntalikure that Nyakyk can watch over the countryside with a car to monitor the situation (WikiLeaks, 1973).

On the 23. March 1973 President Kayibanda comments on recent actions in the country.  He issued a statement on radio where he thanked the authorities for their actions. The president focused on that it needed discipline and disloyal acts will be punished. Also talk of Coup d’etat is pointless (WikiLeaks, 1973).

In May in 1973 the situation in Burundi escalated so much that Kayibanda sent minister of international cooperation departed from Kigali in 15th May on a plane to Goma and passing towards to Kinshasa. So that the Government of Rwanda can send a message to Mobutu that they fear for retaliation for the Rwanda refugee attack. Mobutu will understand Government of Rwanda’s innocence while Idi Amin in Uganda will promise to assist Burundi. The Belgian sent two Belgians to Northern Burundi and has reports of killings with arrows and machetes about 50 Tutsi’s and these insurgents are going to Ngozi. The Burundian Refugee Group has entered the country via Butare, this group is supposed to lead by former Burundi Gendarmarie officer (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Spokesman Mandrandele told that Mobutu had a message for Rwanda and Burundi. That Mobutu will mediate between President Kayibanda and President Micombero in the coming OAU. Also with the knowledge of knowing that Amin will intervene on Burundi’s side. Mobutu is clear that no international force should trespass on Zarian National Land or Air space (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Since 25th May the Rwandan radio responded to the attacks calling the Burundian population to liberate themselves. Also the Rwandan radio warned the Government of Burundi to do anything to Rwanda territory. The editorials that the Rwandan radio broadcasted lasted 20 minutes essays that was broadcasted from 25th until the 29th May. Papal Nuncio went to Europe after receiving information that Burundi had sent assassins to terminate him. He went the 24th May. There has also been reported that Perraudin a former secretary to Kayibanda has encouraged that Radio Burundi charged him with killing Tutsis in Rwanda (WikiLeaks, 1973).

The Government of Rwanda has dismissed early 5th July the National Guard. Former President Kayibanda is under “protection” and he is now ousted as chief of state. The General Habyarimana and a high command are running the government. At 1130 the diplomatic missions where invited to give a communique that the guards main point of this change of government was to prevent a “blood bath”. All is silent in Kigali though there is a presence of armed soldiers and especially around the houses of ministers (WikiLeaks, 1973).

The Church in Rwanda had issues with President Kayibanda so on 10. July 1973 the principal priest of Kabgayi (Gitrama) Archdiocese have accepted the guards takeover. This priest turned against the devoted catholic Kayibanda. This also happens with ethnic violence that happens last February and March. CRS Director a French man claims that 100% of the people is happy with the change (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Major Aloys Nsekalije told the German ambassador that in either one or two weeks the cabinet will be named. The German Ambassador Froewis said that the coup had to be planned in beforehand. Nsekalije is denying this accusation. Habyarimana said it happen because being fed up with the “radical” course of the government of Kayibanda. That was with ethnic violence, sending out foreigners, cronyism and inefficiency in actions. Nsekalije said also that the abolishment of the police also triggered the situation because Kayibanda saw this a measure to counter Habyarimana(WikiLeaks, 1973)

After the plan the Belgium mission to Burundi will quit by September 1973. Later the Belgium mission in Rwanda it will stop by the late 1974. Their primary reasons for this the Belgians feels that in both countries there is actively engaged in genocide. They also feel that they can’t be a part of the atrocities happing in both countries. The Belgian military is no longer advising any of the partners (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Now Court Martial has ended. Finally has the Military Court found former President Kayibanda and six former comrades has been also found guilty. They are former State Secretary Nyilibakwe, former Secretary General President Ntalikure, former Director General President Hodari, former Director President Gasamunyiga and Lieutenant Habimana. This sentencing are now before President Habyarimana, that will shortly making an announcement which also will be around the time for the one-year anniversary of the coup d’etat that was on the 5th July. The problem for President Habyarimana is that for some ex-president Kayibanda is seen as father of the country. And it would be seen and be seen by the outside world as a political crime if he execute the ex-president (WikiLeaks, 1974).

On the 5th July President Habyarimana the decision to act on the death sentence of former President Kayibanda. The spirit of the day is supposed to be “reflection and national reconciliation”. In the speech on the radio he introduced it as the second republic. The president also promised that political activities will be by 1978 (WikiLeaks, 1974).

How the Human rights situation in Rwanda after the Coup d’etat:

First to see the context is that the country is ruled with Authoritarian Social tradition and secondly is the issues of the revolution in 1959 – 1961 that ended the 400 year old feudal power structure. That has made changed to society in Rwanda. This has substituted the rule of the majority of the Hutu’s with the minority rule of the Tutsi. Tutsi’s are the losers, they lose their land and homes. Which forces the Tutsi’s into exile. One of the first actions that President Habyarimana took power after sentenced 30 former key members of the former regime. The Coup makers claimed that the former President Kayibanda made ethnic tensions in the country because of the massacres of the Hutu in Burundi in 1972. So now there are now no elections, but local community councils are chosen by a non-partisan vote. President Habyarimana is friends with Mobutu in Zaire and imitates his “Grand Chef” authoritarian style. Still he has a better relationship with Burundian counterpart Bagaza. They also will be a part of Human Rights international because this will open up to donors and aid dollars to the Government of Rwanda. Even though they do this still there are the legal standards in a modern sector. Like violations of prostitutes in Kigali that are rounded-up without due-process. Migrants from rural areas are uprooted from the capital and sent home. President Habyarimana has a five year plan to fix the food security and production in the country. Including in the health, housing, education in the rural areas where 97% of the peoples live. 19% of the budget of the Government of Rwanda goes to the Defense which is mostly to salaries to soldiers (WikiLeaks, 1977).

After three years of implementation of the Communal labor (Umuganda) ministry of plan has said it need more to meet the development needs. The works will focus on the works happening in the areas of hilly Gisenyi and Gikongoro prefectures. They also work for Kigali civil servants, on of the chief activities is to actually making brick manufacturing, fixing roads and coffee cultivation near the Kigali Airport. The minister said that this works was essential to the development of Rwanda. Burgomasters in the rural areas focus on persuasion for the workers then essential to encourage participating in the works. Rwandan Government has rewarded the Communal workers with cutting the work week of its employees from 49hours to 46,5 hours which includes 5 hours of communal labor. The Rwandan Coffee Board – OCIR is giving the producers of green coffee a greater price on it from 80 to 120 Francas a kilo. This is happening because the neighbors of the raise of prices in Zaire and Burundi. The fear from OCIR is that the bigger prices in the other countries they fear that the produce will migrate across the borders (WikiLeaks, 1977).

Reference:

WikiLeaks – ‘KAYIBANDA STATEMENT ON RECENT TROUBLES’ (26.03.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00189_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Ethnic troubles’ (12.03.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00142_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Burundi Situation’ (16.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00319_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWANDA SEEKS MOBUTU’ S MEDIATION’ (17.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KINSHA04108_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWANDAN RADIO ATTACKS BURUNDI’ (30.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00341_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWWNDA NATIONAL GUARD COUP’ (05.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973NAIROB04358_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Rwanda Coup’ (11.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00430_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Rwandan situation’ (17.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00439_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘DISCONTINUANCE OF BELGIAN MISSIONS’ (24.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973STATE145021_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘ANCIEN REGIME: COURT MARTIAL RECOMMENDS SEVEN DEATH SENTENCES INCLUDING FORMER PRES KAYIBANDA’ (02.07.1974) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974KIGALI00400_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘ANCIEN REGIME FIGURES: DEATH SENTENCES COMMUTED’ (05.07.1974) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974KIGALI00406_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘HUMAN RIGHTS: RWANDA ACTION PLAN’ (18.07.1977) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977KIGALI00879_c.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Trends in Rwanda’ (02.07.1977) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977KIGALI00671_c.html

Press Statement (13.03.2015): ‘Muzzling of Press freedom at the Ugandan Parliament’

 

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