Rwanda National Congress (RNC) is a well-established opposition political organization in exile. The organization was created on 12th of December 2010 in Bethesda, Maryland in the United states, to establish democracy by spearheading a peaceful struggle to end the current dictatorship in Rwanda and ensure peace for all Rwandans. We envisage a new Rwanda infused with freedom, unity, peace and prosperity for all, without discrimination. We must point out that President Kagame bears personal responsibility for some extremely serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, that have been committed against innocent civilians in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). Institutions of state harass political opponents and stifle dissenting opinions. President Paul Kagame has exploited the genocide tragedy to blackmail and hold the international community hostage thriving on a false narrative that since “he stopped genocide”, nobody should question his human rights abuses and democratic credentials.
II. The Government of Rwanda Propaganda in the media
On 6 December 2010 the Rwandan intelligence-owned newspaper, The New Times, carried a headline “UN report pins Kayumba, Karegeya on FDRL’. The truth emerged in the United Nations expert interim report published on June 7, 2011 and presented to the United Nations Sanctions Committee. The UN Panel of experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) rejected Rwandan Government propaganda and stated, inter alia, “would like to clarify that, contrary to reports in the Rwandan press, the Group’s final report in November 2010 did not document any substantial links with, or material support to, FDLR by the Rwandan dissidents Colonel Patrick Karegeya and Lieutenant General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa aside from a potential emissary who may have visited armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2010 (S/2010/596, para. 166).
On 22 June 2011 the same newspaper, quoting Theos Badege - then spokesperson of Rwanda National Police- reported that security organs had arrested some leaders of a new armed group operating in different parts of Eastern DRC. The police spokesperson claimed that investigations had shown a “strong link” between the new armed group and Kayumba’s “terror activities”. That the arrested rebel leaders testified to receiving orders and material support from Kayumba and Emmanuel Habyarimana through Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Convention National des Republicains (CNR), respectively, to conduct terror activities in Rwanda.
On Thursday 23 June 2011 the same newspaper reported that Kayumba and Habyarimana sent money through Western Union and MoneyGram money transfer services to the arrested group. The same article alleged that Col. Gaheza had telephone conversation with Kayumba, Habyarimana and Paul Rusesabagina. The author of the news article highlighted that Col Gaheza, who was said to be in police custody, told reporters that he headed an armed group called Front Nationaliste pour la Democratie et la Reconciliation au Rwanda (FRONADER). Both Sibomana and Col. Gaheza were allegedly arrested on June 13, the day they infiltrated Rwanda, through the Kagitumba border post.
On December 2nd, 2017, the standard newspaper (standardmedia.co.ke) in its online publication, published an article titled “Sources reveal a rebel recruitment drive in Uganda to destabilise Rwanda”. On December 12, 2017 the same newspaper published another article titled “Uganda’s police arrest 40 Rwanda National Congress recruits headed for DRC camps”. These articles were also published in Rwanda newspapers owned and operated by the government of Rwanda. Our sources have linked the articles to Rwanda Intelligence services. Rwanda National Congress (RNC) has dismissed the reports as baseless.
III. The Truth of the Matter
The case of Col Gaheza and others was a fiction by the Rwandan security services and was merely stage managed to tarnish the names of Paul Rusesabagina, Gen Emmanuel Habyalimana and Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa for standing against the dictatorship in Kigali. The current allegations against the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) should be held in contempt in the same light. For the record the very much publicised Col Gaheza case was never finalized and Gaheza was released without any conviction. It is not unusual for President Kagame to set fictitious “terrorist groups” to justify assassinations, harassment and/or imprisonment of opposition leaders. National resources, both human and material, have been employed to “create” bogus rebel movements and fabricate fake witnesses against people who are committed to political reform in the country.
In Rwanda rebel groups is a sham story with one major purpose of demonizing RNC and other opposition leaders. These false allegations are the infamous trademark for President Kagame’s security services to incriminate all political opponents. The false allegations are an illegal and unethical political survival strategy for the Kagame regime to justify crackdown on political dissents in the country and use the international community to victimise his opponents in exile. It is President Kagame’s infamous brand to link all his critics to the rebels in Congo and arm twist the United Nations to sanction opposition politicians for Kagame’s self-aggrandizement.
Kagame boasts of killing citizens in church gatherings and public rallies and he is currently trying to play victim of the people he has already liquidated or is paying heavily to have assassinated. However, he is haunted by his disgraceful assassination of late Col Patrick Karegeya and numerous attempts on Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa but like many narcissists and dictators tries to play reverse psychology to dupe and manipulate the international system. Today, Rwanda is a police state under the tutorship of a cruel despotic leader who has ruled the country by terrorizing, imprisoning, forced disappearance and liquidation of political opponents.
Rwanda National Congress (RNC) does not condone violence and crime. We oppose Kagame’s naïve policy of threatening neighbours particularly Uganda and Burundi and destabilizing the Congo (DRC).
Kagame’s political strategy is to associate FDLR with every person that stands against his dictatorship. This manoeuvre should be accorded the contempt it deserves. A smear campaign precedes assassination or imprisonment of President Kagame’s real or perceived political opponents. The smear campaign serves to demonize and humiliate Kagame’s victim in the eyes of a right thinking person in Rwanda and beyond. Generating and spreading unfounded rumours against Kagame’s opponents is a highly rewarding “career” among Kagame’s security service officers.
The government of Rwanda’s policy destabilization of neighbouring states under pretext of protecting the Tutsi community has the consequence to breed deep-seated hatred against the Tutsi in Rwanda and in the entire Great Lakes region of Africa. It is a core RNC conviction that the Tutsi as a community has nothing to gain from President Paul Kagame’s dictatorship.
IV. Envisaged Solutions
· The International Community should not give the government of Rwanda a blank check after the undemocratic amendment of the Rwandan constitution that allows President Kagame to contest for Presidency until 2034.
· RNC calls upon the Rwandan Government to open political space for all opposition parties.
· RNC demands the release of all political prisoners and condemn assassinations of opposition leaders in Rwanda and in the diaspora.
· RNC calls for dialogue between the Rwandan Government and its opposition as a way of fostering reconciliation and curtail the flow of refugees.
For comments or inquiry on this memo, you can reach the spokesperson of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) at the contact below
Jean Paul Turayishimye
Spokesperson, Rwanda National Congress