a campain for
freedom and liberty for . . .
a sustainable future
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2017... a defining moment
2017 is a defining year for our country, Rwanda. General Paul Kagame, will evidently be seeking to prolong his 23 year rule by at least another 7 years. Despite the tainted history that has been propagated by the RPF machinery for much of the last 21 years, president Kagame's rule has been characterised by a rule of terror, lack of freedoms for Rwandans to express themselves, and more recently, a systematic abuse of State power through which the majority of citizens have been forced to rubber stamp a constitutional amendment to allow Paul Kagame to seek re-election and continue to do so indefinitely. Notwithstanding the fact that the people of Rwanda are already aware of the illegitimacy of the 2010 and 2003 elections, we cannot and will not accept the continued abuse of power that will result in continued denial of the right of the Rwandan people to choose our leaders and to determine our destiny.
Do the people of Rwanda want NO presidential term limits?
The people of Rwanda have been forced into a charade of signing petitions for the removal of term limits as provided for by the Rwandan constitution. The majority of the population is being approached by security personnel and government agents in their homes and places of work, being required to sign indicating that they want president Kagame to continue as life president.
Despite the fact that the people of Rwanda have been succumbed to a life of terror under the RPF regime and the leadership of General Kagame. Government propaganda has been selling the idea of an all-out almost unanimous support for this constitutional change, a premise we vehemently deny and advocate against. All this is happening in an environment of fear and terror, one that must change.
Democracy in Rwanda is a myth. Most foreign visitors to Rwanda are mistakenly made to believe that there is democratic rule and institutions in Rwanda because Rwandans are afraid to express their true thoughts and feelings about 'what life is really like' in Rwanda. One common observation by visitors to Rwanda is that Rwandan people are tight-lipped to talk about politics in Rwanda, or to express any negative view about the governance and leadership of the country. However, some persistent international observers are becoming aware of this reality, and are increasingly becoming vocal about it despite threats to their lives from the government of Rwanda.
We are tired of military rule
Since 1973, our country Rwanda has been ruled by military strong men. Rwandans, like all peoples, do not need to be ruled by the gun and deserve to determine their destinies without the threat of retribution. We are advocating for a country that has civilian rule, where the army serves the civilian population and does not terrorise them. For generations, the sight of a soldier patrolling the streets and villages of Rwanda is one that strikes fear in the hearts of many individuals. Today, the Rwandan army is used to not only terrorise descent within Rwanda, but to cause terror in the neighbouring countries of DRC and Burundi. The army has become a tool for personal greed and campaigns of terror at the order of president Kagame and his few handlers. Rwandan military intelligence agents are being used to silence opposition voices by way of abduction and assassination. We are advocating for a future in Rwanda where the people of Rwanda do not live in fear of their army and leaders.
We believe that our country's future is dependant on a truly democratic society with strong institutions - not strong men. However, due to the lack of freedoms of the individual and the press, lack of effective political opposition and the oppression of any attempt at the above, we believe that the fabric of our society is being destroyed and we want to address this immediately. We make the following demands of the regime in Kigali and demand that such are met before the scheduled presidential elections of 2017. We believe that the failure to meet these will legitimise the people of Rwanda in rejecting the regime and its institutions. We demand that the regime must:
Halt the process to alter the constitution allowing unlimited presidential office terms.
Ensure that a candidate to replace President Paul Kagame is found and announced by the rulling party RPF.
Give an assurance that other parties, including those in exile can begin the process of registering in Rwanda and submitting candidates WITHOUT restriction from RPF.
Open up the political space to Rwandans of all dispositions to be engaged in the political debate in Rwanda.
Release all political prisoners (notably Victoire Ingabire, Deogratias Mushaidi, Theoneste Niyitegeka, and others).
Acknowledge that the genocide and massacres in 1994 resulted in victims from all ethnic tribes - Hutus, Tutsis and Twas and therefore allow remembrance of all that lost their lives and mourning for all Rwandans that lost loved ones.
Continue to administer justice to all who were culpable in our violent past, including RPA soldiers and individuals who have to date enjoyed impunity and have not answered for their crimes.
Make a formal apology to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo for all complicity resulting in massacres of their people, and those responsible brought to justice.
Make a declaration assuring Rwandans at home and abroad that all government sponsored retribution against opposition figures will cease.
Stop meddling in the domestic affairs of Burundi, DRC and Tanzania by funding proxy insurgencies, making threats, funding political parties and individuals and carrying out extra-judicial assassinations.
Allow for all media houses, including banned foreign-based media to operate freely in Rwanda.
Address the culture of Rwandan Media Self-Censorship.
Stop harassing Rwandan and foreign journalists, activists and all individuals who criticise the Rwandan regime.
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Rwandans demand for Change in 2017