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Rwanda’s Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza speaks to Women’s International News Gathering Service

August 18, 2010

by Ann Garrison

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, called by many President Paul Kagame’s leading challenger, remains under house arrest in Kigali, Rwanda.
Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi Party leader, peace and social justice activist Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, spoke to Ann Garrison for Womens’ International News Gathering Service (WINGS) in July 2010, near the close of Rwanda’s 2010 presidential election year, which was really an election stage play complete with election observers from the U.S. and the U.K. Incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame was “re-elected” on Aug. 9, receiving 93 percent of the vote, an implausible victory in any pluralist democracy, though 3 percent less than the 96 percent he received in Rwanda’s 2003 presidential election.

On Aug. 13, President Barack Obama’s National Security Council issued a statement expressing concern about disturbing events leading up to the polls, including human rights abuse, suppression of the press and the exclusion of the opposition. NSC spokesman Mike Hammer wrote: “Democracy is about more than holding elections. 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 statement, notably, did not congratulate President Paul Kagame on his re-election.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame
Human rights activists and Africa advocates, including the Africa Faith and Justice Network and Friends of the Congo, have called for sustained attention on Rwanda, suspension of all military aid and a freeze on $240 million worth of non-military aid until Kagame releases all political prisoners, lifts bans on the press and opens political space. All the issues that Victoire and I discussed in July and throughout this year remain, including:

  • political opponents still missing, in prison, or, like Victoire Ingabire, still indicted under Rwanda’s repressive laws against speech crime
  • no response to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and opposition calls for investigation of recent political assassinations
  • suppression of the press;
  • extreme rural poverty and increasing inequality between the majority rural population and a privileged urban elite;
  • mono-cropping that exhausts the soil and leaves Rwandans hungry for the sake of agricultural exports enriching the elite;
  • biofuels crops planted on scarce Rwandan agricultural land by a California-based multinational, despite widespread hunger;
  • natural gas extraction in Lake Kivu, endangering the populations on both the Rwanda and Congo sides of the lake;
  • refugees in Rwanda’s neighbors, DR Congo and Uganda, who are an excuse for military incursion by the Rwandan Defense Force.

On Aug. 17, less than one week after Rwanda’s dubious poll results, the Rwandan government issued new security directives in the city of Kigali, requiring that everyone entering a hotel be searched, that hotels be equipped with detectors in one week, that all bars be equipped with power generators to keep lights on in the event of a blackout and that no one drive through the streets with tinted car window glass. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and the FDU issued a statement, saying that the atmosphere remains tense and called on the international community to “stay with Rwanda.”

Listen to the broadcast

Transcript

WINGS host Frieda Werden: Rwanda’s Aug. 9, 2010, presidential election had a foregone conclusion: another term for Paul Kagame, the U.S.-backed Tutsi general who led the takeover of 1994. One of Kagame’s most prominent opponents is Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who chairs the United Democratic Forces. She speaks with Ann Garrison in today’s edition of WINGS. [musical interlude]

Welcome to WINGS, a series of news and current affairs programs by and about women around the world, produced and distributed by the Womens’ International News Gathering Service.

Ann Garrison: In January this year, 2010, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza returned to her native Rwanda, an East African nation of 10 million people. She had been in Europe for 16 years, where she earned degrees in business and commercial law, worked for an international accounting firm, married and had three children, and became the exile leader of the Unified Democratic Forces, a coalition of Rwandan political parties.

Rwanda Trading Co. workers sort coffee beans for sale to Starbucks, Folgers and other buyers in the West. The students who toured the private factory and took this photo as part of ONE Campus Challenge, a friendly competition to determine which university's student body has the most effective global poverty-fighting campaign, were impressed with what they were told about the coffee farmers’ earnings. They apparently didn’t learn that farm families encouraged to use their small landholdings only for cash crops rather than food often go hungry. – Photo: One.org
She returned to contest Rwanda’s 2010 presidential election, to run against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Many observers believe that she would have been the leading candidate had she been able to officially enter the race. Instead, she was arrested and forbidden to leave Kigali City to speak to the majority of Rwandans, 90 percent of whom are rural subsistence farmers suffering extreme poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, high infant mortality and low life expectancy.

Three months after her return, in a speech commemorating the victims of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, President Paul Kagame referred to her as a political hooligan but refused to speak her name:

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (recorded on April 7, 2010): “Some people want to encourage political hooliganism. Some people just come from nowhere, useless people. I see every time in the pictures, you know, some lady, who had her deputy, a genocide criminal, her deputy, talking about, you know, “You know there is Rwanda genocide, but there is another” – so that is politics. And the world says “the opposition leader!” Well, I know those who say it and who support that. They know it is wrong, but it is an expression of contempt these people have for Rwandans and for Africans, that they think Africans deserve to be led by these hooligans. And that’s – to that we say no, a big no. And if anybody wants a fight there, we will give them a fight.”

Ann: Kagame has indeed, since that statement, given Victoire and all his other serious political opponents a big fight, though few would call it a fair one. On June 24, Rwandan police surrounded the house Victoire had been renting in Kigali and threw up roadblocks to prevent her exit or entry. On the same day, police arrested another presidential candidate, Bernard Ntaganda, several of Ntaganda’s party members disappeared, and police arrested dozens of opposition party members who were attempting to protest their exclusion from the presidential election, which was, by then, only six weeks away. Also on the same day, Umuvugizi journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was gunned down in front of his home in Kigali after he reported that Rwandan President Paul Kagame had ordered the assassination attempt on an exiled Rwandan general in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reports of arrest, torture and even assassination of opposition politicians and press critical of Kagame have continued since.

On July 11, Victoire Ingabire spoke to WINGS from Kigali, despite the state’s warning that she might be arrested again if she continues to speak to the press. She speaks Dutch, French and her native Kinyarwanda language and, in recent months, she has learned English so as to speak to citizens of the U.S. and the U.K., the powers that have been dominant in the region since the Rwanda genocide.

Ann: Welcome, Victoire, and thank you for agreeing to speak to WINGS, despite the danger that it puts you in.

Victoire: You are welcome and thank you for your interest for the plight of Rwanda people.

Ann: Can you describe the state of your party, the FDU-Inkingi Party, and the opposition parties today? How many remain under arrest? How many have been freed? How many are missing?

Victoire: So far, only two members of opposition arrested on 24 June remain in detention. You know that Bernard Ntaganda, the founder and president of PS Imberakuri [political party] is still in jail. And Alice Muhirwa, who is the treasurer of FDU-Inkingi, you know that she is now still recovering from torture meted against her by police during her detention. And Mr. Luswanga Toba, the secretary of Mr. Ntaganda, who disappeared on 20 June – even till today, we don’t know where he is.

And there are also seven members of PS Imberakuri – we don’t know where they are. And people complained to the court about torture and showed the scars and the other evidence of torture. But the ruling of the judge eluded this issue. It is a kind of blank check to the police to go on torturing people. And I was also shocked to hear that the police tried to corner them into giving false evidence against Bernard Ntaganda and myself.

Ann: Are Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International present?

Victoire: The office of Amnesty International is based in Kampala; they are not every day in Rwanda. And you know that the government of Kagame refused the visa to the person of Human Rights. We don’t have any permanent office for Human Rights or Amnesty International.

Ann: I spoke to Frank Habineza, chair of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and the African Greens Federation, who said that there are now highly armed military foot patrols with their fingers on the triggers at almost all small roads and paths in the city of Kigali and at road blocks in some places. Is that what you see happening? And if so, how are you encouraging Rwandans to respond?

Victoire: Yes, there is a heavy deployment of security personnel. I encourage Rwandese people to fight for their rights but not to respond to the provocation because it would be playing the game of the regime.

Ann: They want to provoke the population into responding violently so that they can respond violently themselves?

Victoire: Of course. This is why I ask the Rwandese people, “Don’t respond to the provocation.”

Ann: And how would you like the rest of the world to be responding to this now? How would you like the so-called international community to respond?

Victoire: You know, I have called the international community, especially the countries backing the current regime, to realize that they are not doing a service to the people of Rwanda by supporting an uncompromising regime. It is in nobody’s interest to keep on the current standoff.

Ann: Now with regard to your own arrest, indictment and trial. You’re accused of disputing the official history of the Rwanda genocide, which is that extremist Hutus planned genocide against the Tutsis and then killed a million Tutsis within 100 days in 1994, though the phrase is often “Tutsis and moderate Hutus.” How do you understand the Rwanda genocide of 1994 and what would you most like the world to understand about it?

Victoire: First, you have to know that my party and I have never denied the genocide by the U.N. understanding because the Resolution 955 from U.N. says that in Rwanda was genocide against the Rwandan people. And that was, like you say, there was genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. We don’t have to forget that. Yes, there was genocide and all people involved should be brought to the court.

The caption for this photo, appearing in the July-August issue of Foreign Policy, is written by Elizabeth Dickinson: “Rwandan soldiers return home after operations in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they participated in joint operations against rebel militias there. The country's president, Paul Kagame, himself a former soldier, has helped supercharge the Rwandan economy following the 1994 genocide. Many worry that political repression is setting in, however, as Kagame consolidates power.” – Photo: Lionel Healing, AFP/Getty Images
But before, during and after the genocide, other Rwanda’s people were killed. Hutus and Tutsis were killed. Is this denying genocide? I don’t feel so. We have to remember that before and after the genocide against the Tutsis, there was also crime against humanity.

Ann: One thing seems especially important to understand here: You were saying that the massacres did not end at the end of the famous hundred days, that the killing continued after that, and both Hutus and Tutsis were killed. Is that right?

Victoire: Of course, of course. The killing was not stopped after 100 days from April to July. After this period, there were many killings. And RPF took the power in July 1994, and after they took power, the killing was going ahead until 1997, when they killed the people in the Congo.

Ann: And you say these were both Hutus and Tutsis who were perceived to be enemies of the government?

Victoire: Yes, of course, there were Hutus and Tutsis, because RPF, when they came in the country, they considered the Tutsis in Rwanda as the enemy who accepted to collaborate with the Hutu government. The RPF, they killed also Tutsis; they did not kill only Hutus, but they killed also Tutsis, like the extremist Hutus killed the Hutus and killed the Tutsis.

Ann: So they killed the Tutsis who had been left behind when they left for Uganda.

Victoire: Yes, yes. For the RPF, the Tutsis who stayed in the country, who worked together with the Hutu government – they saw them as the collaborators of this Hutuist regime. And, they considered – most of them were considered as the enemy.

Ann: OK, now with regard to your trial, you found another lawyer, a Rwandan lawyer, Theogene Muhayeyezu. Then he was arrested; now he’s been released. This is all after Minnesota Law Professor Peter Erlinder came to defend you; he was arrested, he was released and then he was unable to defend you because he is accused himself. Is Theogene Muhayeyezu going to be able to defend you despite having been arrested himself?

Victoire: Yes, the government is trying by all means to isolate me and make sure that I don’t have any lawyers. By so doing, the government hopes to overcome the weakness of the case.

Ann: So is he going to be able to defend you?

Victoire: Yes, yes, because the judge finds that there was one police who saw him and said, “You have to arrest this man because he is the lawyer of Victoire.” He was arrested only because he was my lawyer. And now he is freed, so he can go ahead with his job as my lawyer.

Ann: Are there current dates scheduled for your trial?

Victoire: Not at all. The chief prosecutor said on BBC that he’s still waiting for information from foreign countries. If he was not ready, was not it to bar me from contesting the presidential election?

Ann: Have any of the international legal and human rights organizations that protested Professor Erlinder’s arrest protested your arrest for the same alleged speech crime?

Victoire: Yes, yes, they did. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and some individuals did. So did defense lawyers also from the ICTR; they did also.

Ann: Few educated Rwandans with internet access seem to doubt that you were arrested so that the Kagame regime could exclude you from the election, by saying that you cannot contest so long as you are on trial. Do you think that the majority of Rwandans, who are rural subsistence farmers, perceive that this is not a real election?

Victoire: Of course. Although my party has not yet been registered, I have sympathies all over the country. Rural farmers you are talking about are not duped about the coming election.

The U.S. and European volunteers who traveled to Rwanda to renovate this school, which had been neglected by the government, wrote: “Presently, 597 children are enrolled at the Ntenyo Primary School but there has been a significant decrease in actual attendance because the school’s facilities have severely deteriorated and are not up to government standard. For all of the 597 children at the school there are nine teachers for six classrooms [over 66 children per teacher] with nothing more than a few blackboards, limited benches and scant basic materials. This is clearly not an ideal learning environment. It significantly decreases the chances of children being able to continue their education into high school.” – Photo: Sanejo.org
They are not happy about their dire situation; they are not happy about the way the government handles the refugees issue because the victims are members of their family or neighbors; they are not happy to be denied their rights; they are not happy about administrative harassing, arrest, detention and gacaca. [Rwanda’s gacaca courts are described as an experimental form of community justice to prosecute prisoners accused of genocide and war crimes. – ed.] They want change the same way urban Rwandans do.

Ann: How do you think they will react to the coming election? Do you think that they will go ahead and vote for the only real candidate? Do you think they will try not to vote? Do you think they’ll be forced to vote? What do you think will happen to them on Aug. 9?

Victoire: Of course we know that will be the problem, but we’ll campaign to ask the population, “Don’t vote because you don’t have choice.” Why they will spend time to go to the vote? Of course they fear intimidation.

Ann: And do you think there are likely to be reprisals against those who don’t vote?

Victoire: We know that the government, the military or the police will use violence against them but, as I say, we have to fight for our rights. There is no reason to vote if you don’t have the choice.

Ann: And what about the election observers who were supposed to come? The EU decided not to send election observers. They gave 5.3 million euro to this National Electoral Commission, even though there’s no real election pending. And now the U.S. and the U.K., actually the Commonwealth, are planning to send observers. Do you want them to come?

Victoire: My question is why they will come, if they know. Everybody knows that Kagame will be elected; he will be the next president for next seven years. Everybody knows it. Why U.K. and U.S. will send the observers if they know that there will be not really the free election in Rwanda. Why they send money? What they do, they [do] not help Rwandese people. This is why I ask them, “Don’t come,” because there is no election in Rwanda. And I don’t see why people would spend time, money and coming here for masquerade election.

Ann: Well, this is a very extreme situation, but I know you haven’t had much chance to talk about your issues because you keep being forced to talk about ethnicity and the history of the genocide. Let’s step back from the current danger and talk about your vision for Rwanda.

In a recent study, Dr. Ann Ansoms of the University of Antwerp reported that 90 percent of Rwandans are rural subsistence farmers who speak only their native Kinyarwanda language and that the majority live in poverty and that the poverty has increased since the 1994 Rwanda genocide, despite all the claims about Rwanda being a development miracle. She reports export mono-crops produced on land concentrated in a few hands, Kagame virtually abandoning the rural population to build a shimmering modern city, Kigali, and educate a privileged technical elite.

The Rusesabagina Foundation says, quote, that “one third of Rwanda’s population suffers from malnutrition, that life expectancy is only 44 years, and that wealth and power is all concentrated in the cities, leaving 92 percent of the poor in underrepresented rural areas.” Does that sound like an accurate picture of Rwanda to you and what do you think needs to be done?

Victoire: The most urgent action is to review agriculture policy and enhance forest management. The rural population in Rwanda has been neglected for the last 16 years and, instead of the Singapore model of development, which gives the lion’s share to an urban privileged elite, I would invest in agriculture, I would invest in rural roads and health network, I would review the land management and I would give priority to the subsistence food crop, rather than cash crops which benefit mostly to traders from urban areas.

Ann: OK, we’ve touched on this a number of times, that the vast majority of Rwandans eat what they’re able to grow on their land. But this is so fundamental to what most Rwandans experience that I’m going to ask you to make it very simple.

Victoire: For example, ask people to cultivate only maize – if you ask them to cultivate only maize for export – but what they will eat? This is why I will give priority to enough food for my people.

With high hopes, Rwandan women plant jatropha, promoted as a miracle biofuel crop that would thrive on marginal land, thus not displacing food crops. Yields on less fertile land, however, have proven meager. – Photo: ProjectRwanda.org
Ann: And what about this jatropha biofuels planting project? This was undertaken, I know, by Eco-Fuel Global, a multinational corporation headquartered just across San Francisco Bay from where I’m speaking to you, in Walnut Creek. And before returning to Rwanda, you and your party published a very critical essay about the government’s decision to engage with Eco-Fuel Global to plant fuel crops for export, despite widespread hunger and a shortage of land for food crops.

Victoire: Yes, this is an example of the lack of vision by the current regime. How you can complain about food shortage and give land for biofuel plants? And now the people there, they fight against this project. Everybody knows that in many countries in Africa, like Mozambique, these projects have been turned down, but they are welcome in Rwanda. I cannot understand it.

Ann: Biofuels planting has been turned down in Mozambique?

Victoire: Turned down in Mozambique, in Burkina Faso, in many countries in Africa.

Ann: What about the natural gas in Lake Kivu? There’s said to be $20 billion worth of natural gas in Lake Kivu, but the lake is very dangerously C02 dense. If it’s drilled carelessly, it could explode C02 and asphyxiate people on either side.

Victoire: Yes, we know that it’s dangerous to exploit the gas in Lake Kivu, but we know also that there are some companies outside who can exploit this gas without danger. This is why we say, the project we have now, we have to stop it and look if we can find a company who can exploit this gas without danger to the population who live in the area of Kivu.

Ann: As i understand it, there is a plan for drawing off the C02 so that the natural gas can be drilled, but the Kagame regime has said they’re not responsible for that; they don’t have to bother.

Victoire: This shows that the government of Kagame doesn’t have any responsibility about the people. Of course Rwanda needs money, but if we have a project where we can get money, but it is dangerous for your people, you have to choose. And the government of Kagame chose the money.

Natural gas extraction from Lake Kivu. – Photo: Xan Rice, The Guardian
It is the duty to protect people before you find money. If you have money but your people are killed, what you will do with this money?

Ann: Lake Kivu often seems like a metaphor for Rwanda, because the C02 is so dangerously dense that it needs to be drawn off before there’s a lethal explosion, perhaps like the political tension in Rwanda needs to be released by reconciliation?

Victoire: Reconciliation. Mmm-hmm, go ahead.

Ann: You have a plan for a truth and reconciliation commission, don’t you?

Victoire: Yes, of course. I take the example of South Africa, where there is a commission about truth and reconciliation and this commission helped people not to revenge, but to talk about what happened, who was involved, what really happened and how together we can go ahead. And that’s what we need in Rwanda.

But we have to let the people be free to talk about what they saw, what happened with them, to talk with the killers, to accept, to give forgiveness. But you cannot push people to give forgiveness, and you cannot push the people, [telling them] don’t talk about the crime committed by the neighbor against the family that they lose.

Ann: One of your supporters in the United States told me that an important part of the healing process is that Hutus need to be able to mourn and bury their dead, which they can’t do publicly because the official version of the genocide doesn’t allow them to acknowledge their loss.

Victoire: Yes, there are many people in Rwanda who see Hutus as killers. For them, Hutus, they are killers. But that is not true. Everybody knows that not all Hutus were involved in the killing of the Tutsis. We cannot take this picture that the Hutus, they are killers, and the Tutsis, they are victims. That is not true.

The large lake shown in this map of Rwanda is Lake Kivu, shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are extremists by both ethnic groups. There are extremists in the Tutsis group. There are extremists in the Hutus group; they were involved in the killing of the people. And these extremists have to be brought to the court. And some members of RPF killed people, and that is the problem that the Kagame regime cannot resolve.

Ann: OK, let’s talk about politics and the press for a moment. The independent Kinyarwanda language newspapers Umuseso and Umuvugizi have both been shut down. The editors have fled to Uganda and now the editor and staff of Umurabyo have been arrested and imprisoned. On June 24, Umuvugizi journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was gunned down in the streets of Kigali outside his home.

This leaves only the state controlled media outlets and perhaps the Rwanda News Agency, which seems to be under a lot of state pressure. The police were calling you in for interrogation several times a week before they finally arrested you and forbade you to leave the city of Kigali. So, without independent press and without freedom to travel, have you had any way to make contact with the rural population who are the majority of Rwandans?

Victoire: Yes, we know the agenda of the government is to sever links between me and the population. Despite government harassment, the party had managed to gather the number of signatures we need. I was ready to register my political party. People all over the country know my fight for change and want to hear more from me, but I have been denied any contact via public or private media. But the Rwanda people should know that so long as I breathe, I will keep on my combat.

Ann: I’ve heard that Rwanda has quite an oral tradition, that even if there isn’t any published media that the word travels from village to village.

Victoire: Of course. They can hear the radio. There are different Rwandese radios in the country, but we use BBC and Voice of America because we cannot use the public or private radios. But the majority of Rwandese people, they cannot read. You tell your story to your neighbor and your neighbor tells the story to the other, and in two days the whole country is informed about it. It is why, if I don’t have access to the media but we have representation in different areas in the country and we give them the information, in two days, the whole country knows the information we need to give to the population.

Ann: So they know who you are; they know what has been happening.

Victoire: Of course. They don’t need media to know who I am. Everybody knows who I am. Now all Rwandans in the country and outside, they know who is Victoire. And this is why the regime of Kagame does everything to prevent that I participate in the election, because they know that if I will participate, they will lose the election. Kagame will lose the election.

Ann: How would you change Rwanda’s relationship to its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 6 million war dead have been reported since 1996, largely consequent to Rwanda and Uganda’s invasions beginning in that year?

Rwandan Green Party Vice President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka
Victoire: The stumbling block is the refugees issue. For the last 16 years or so, the current regime has attempted to settle this refugee problem through military invasion. It is this problem which poisoned the relation between Rwanda and Congo – DRC – and Uganda. And we have to resolve this problem, not militarily, but through dialogue.

Ann: My internet telephonic connection with Victoire began to crack and became almost unintelligible at this point and I wasn’t able to reconnect and sustain a stable connection, but I had asked her whether there was anything else she’d like to say.

Victoire: [Ann reading:] I want to be a leader of all Rwandans seeking political change which can help us overcome ethnic division and embrace a new vision where people are judged on the basis of what they contribute to the welfare of their country and not which party, racial or ethnic group they belong to.

On July 14, amid escalating election violence and repression, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda Vice President Andre Kagwa Kwisereka was found beheaded, with a machete left nearby, in the wetlands of the Makula River in Rwanda's Butare Province, his grisly murder reminiscent of the Rwanda genocide, in which upwards of a million people were killed, many with machetes.
I dream of a Rwanda where people gather around ideas and not ethnicity, a country respected for its value and not its military might.

Ann: Rwanda is indeed the most formidable African military power in East and Central Africa, and the other opposition parties, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and the Parti Social Imberakuri, have joined Victoire in calling for a shift away from military expense and adventure.

After my conversation with her, on July 11, the vice president of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was found beheaded with a machete left near the body in southern Rwanda, and International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda defense lawyer Jwani Mwaikusa was gunned down in Dar es Salaam, where he lived and taught at the law school at the University of Dar es Salaam.

On July 24, Victoire reported that Rwandan police entered the courtyard of the house that she and her party staff had been renting in Kigali and beat and arrested two of her FDU-Inkingi Party members. She vowed to continue her struggle even after incumbent President Paul Kagame declared victory in what much of the world perceived as an election masquerade, complete with election observers from the U.S. and the Commonwealth.

For Women’s International News Gathering Service, this has been Ann Garrison interviewing Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Digital Journal, Examiner.com, OpEdNews, Global Research, Colored Opinions and her blog, Plutocracy Now. She can be reached at anniegarrison@gmail.com.

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67 thoughts on “Rwanda’s Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza speaks to Women’s International News Gathering Service

  1. Guest

    Ingabire says she wants to

    "overcome ethnic division and embrace a new vision where people are judged on the basis of what they contribute to the welfare of their country and not which party, racial or ethnic group they belong to."

    She "dreams of a Rwanda where people gather around ideas and not ethnicity, a country respected for its value and not its military might."

    Well that is the RPF's vision and they have demonstrated it. Rwandans do not need Ingabire (even if she had a shred of credibility) to implement this.

    Schools, health insurance, new roads, education, girinka, are the benefits of these things divided on "ethnic" lines? No. Who mentioned an ethnic agenda as soon as she entered the country? Whose assistant turned out (by his own admission) to be a killer? Ingabire's. Whose lawyer denies the Genocide? Ingabire.

    So what has Ingabire "contributed to the welfare of [the] country" in 16 years in self-imposed exile? Nothing.

    Reply
    1. Nzeyimana

      Kagame said :"some people come from nowhere ".I agree with what he said because our dear Guest is one of them. How comes that this would be guest does not see Ingabire' s contribution while our President makes her reccord straight ?
      1)This woman has no blood on her nails while others sleep and smell blood. Mr president points out her only and one problem which is having a deputy genocide criminal (Maybe Ntawangundi);
      2)She is the only woman that the president sees in pictures.Don' t ask me where and how he got Ingabire's pictures.
      Mr president puts it this way "I see EVERY TIME in the pictures, you know, some lady ,…" .And this usefull guest says that Ingabire contributed NOTHING . Shame on you Brother .

      Reply
    2. dunia

      Rwanda needs citizen who have no blood in hands.. Ingabire is one of them. We need someone who can travel freely in other countries without fear of being arrested due to his past and present killings.

      someone who can bring TRUE reconcliation of rwandan people.

      Reply
    3. Joe

      Assuming that your dear RPF had reached so much achievements in terms of national reconciliation, can you tell us why, 16 years after its takeover, Rwandans are stil flocking in foreign countries seeking asylum? I hope that you will not preach the gospel of your minister , Musoni who alleged that those refugees are looking for greener pastures. Let him come and enjoy also those green pastures.
      Assuming that your government had overcome ethnic division, can you tell us why the same government can not allow the catholic church to mourn its bishops murdered by RPF troops in 1994, whereas Tutsis mourn every years their beloved ones? Can you tell us why people from Byumba can not mourn their relatives and friends who perished at the stadium, thanks to your visionary RPF troops?
      Yes Ingabire has a better agenda and in any case, it is up to the population de choose which political programm is better suited to their interests. Allow a level ground political contest and you will get the surprise of your life.

      Joe

      Reply
  2. jon

    This woman Ingabira the friend of genocidals is such a loser and deluded,her dream is pre 1994,your mama was a baby killer machine and your assistant is in jail now for killings…miss ingabira we will never go back pre 1994 and you will never be a president and pls dont try to re write the History about genocide which were carried by your mama,your assistant and your interahamwe/FDLR colleague.Ingabira we are not going to waste time with people like you,we are building our country full speed ahead …remember people were killed because they were TUTSI

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      @Jon You don't seem to have read or listened. She says that neither she nor her party have ever denied the genocide against the Tutsis, but she, like every major human rights investigating organization that has looked into this, also points to mass killings of Hutus. She also speaks of reprisal killings of Hutus well after the end of the famous 100 days.

      To comment credibly, you need to actually read or listen to the interview and engage.

      Reply
    2. dunia

      Saying that this woman,Ingabire is the friend of genocidals shows that you express the views of some rwanda government official in order to damage the image of this CLEAN woman, without blood in hands.
      Remember, most of high officials of RPF govenment have been involved in Rwanda genocide and they dont want anyone who is clean.
      Remember , most hutu have been killed by RPF government because they were Hutu as well and therefore South Arica example of reconsiliation is the only way, the truth to peace.
      I am telling you that the best way to govevern Rwanda is to involve its people or the majority of rwanda people.
      Ingabire has many qualities to govern Rwanda. She is clean as well and no blood on hands

      Reply
  3. flo

    Rwanda needs a new breath and it is thanks to people like Ingabire Victore it will be possible.

    As Kagame is a murderer for killing refugees in Congo, Rwanda and even abroad. His policy is well known, that of referring to all opponents as genocide deniers.

    Kagame killed Habyarimana and Ntaryamira presidents to seize power and must sooner or later answer for his own actions.

    He is not the one who freed the Rwandese, it is the one who caused much suffering to Rwandese inside the country and abroad.

    Reply
  4. rwandainfo

    Well said guest!!! I am sure if ingabire happened to take the reins of this country (God forbid) she would immediately put on her ethnic hat and history would repeat itself. tutsis would have to flee for their dearl lives back into refugee camps. Corruption would prevail. Insecurity would be appalling. Nepotism would be the norm. What has been achieved would take a nose dive. The likes of Ann Garisson would pitch camp in Rwanda masquarading as advisers (imagine a sexual pervert advising apresident of the republic)There would be no more confidence in government, he army, police by the people. In short, Rwanda would be in a state of anarchy.

    Reply
    1. Mesakamwe

      Nepotism is the Norm driven by racism paranoia and proudly implemented by RPF Tutsis. The lion share of the country resources , including the western funds for development and genocide survivors, tightly held with the iron group by the Tutsis from Uganda. There is no mighty army in Rwanda, there is a band of barbaric killers whose crimes have been long supported by the Anglo-Saxons axis in their wicked thirsty for wealth and control of mineral in the region. It no longer a secret to anybody, especially Rwandans and their friends about the racists nature of RPF and both cruel and criminal records of Kagame and its gang of punks long spared by UK & US from facing justice. Time has come for the RPF and its allies to embrace civilization and democracy and abandon their barbaric and despotic rule over Rwandans, if not, they are sticking resentment and laying foundation that will inevitably result into another Genocide. To RPF and its sympathizers, open the door for real democracy no

      Reply
    2. Ann_Garrison

      @rwandainfo: This is choice. Now I'm a sexual pervert. Hahahaha! Never mind any of the serious issues I spoke to Victoire Ingabire about, including biofuels planting where people are hungry, the potentially lethal consequence of that natural gas drilling in Lake Kivu, widespread poverty, or the inequality that has increased in Rwanda since 1994. I've resolved to respond to everyone's comments with the seriousness that the Rwandan situation demands, but that resolve just failed me. I assume this remark about my sexual perversion harkens back to an aspersion some reports back—that I'm a lesbian chasing Hutu women. It is true that, where I live, this would not be considered an insult.

      Reply
      1. Paul

        Ann, you keep on claiming certain things which dont make sense:
        Biofuels planting: You must show facts that would corraborate your claim that Biofuel production in Rw. is SUBSTITUTING food production on a large scale.
        Rwanda's agric. sector has massive growth potential, for the very fact that it is still to go through more industrialization. You will immediatelly claim that industrialization will be an ecological catastrophe. Higher yield will only be made through modernisation. Cash crops can also be a motor for modernisation.
        Only today, Maplecroft, a british risk assesment company issued the "Food Security Risk index" and Rwanda has upgraded from "extreme risk" to "high risk". This is a massive improvement (you will now say "Rwanda is in high risk of food insecurity. The entire region is!)

        Reply
        1. Paul

          (Part III):
          Inequality: your favorite argument. You base it probably on the GINI index. The GINI index measures inequality in relative terms. Do you know that the GINI can grow (more inequality) even when everyone gets better off? And inequality can DECREASE also if everyone gets POORER (the rich get much poorer, the poor get little poorer).
          I bet that in Rwanda the GINI is growing because the poor get a bit richer and the rich get a bit more richer and not the opposite. If you want to use that claim, present the parameters, not the GINI coefficient, which is pretty useless out of context!
          If lesbian or not (I truly dont care as a gay myself), you should know that Rwanda has no anti-gay legislation. Burundi instituted one in 2009. Uganda might go for a really bad legislation. Rwanda: NO. My own experience is that there is a growing and thriving gay community in Kigali, much less fearful then in Kampala (where political culture is actually much more liberal).
          What is Ingabire saying on gay rights by the way?

          Reply
      2. Paul

        (Part II): Gas at Kivu: it is a joint project with DR Congo. In addition, Ingabire would do it as well. It is not an issue of pro- or anti-Kagame. YOu can have your environmentalist claims on that. But again, prove (as an outsider) that the risk assesment that was done is flawed.
        Widespread poverty: you can only claim that argument if you show 1. that poverty has increased 2. poverty is higher then in surrounding countries 3. poverty is erradicated more slowly then in neighboring countries. Few claims can be valid without a "trend analysis"! Put things into context!

        Reply
        1. Ann_Garrison

          Re poverty and inequality, Victoire Ingabire and I both cited studies, including that of Dr. An Ansoms at the University of Antwerp:

          "There is however also a bleaker picture next to the growth success. The poverty problem remains pressing, certainly in rural areas. Indeed, the percentage of people living below the national poverty line of 1.22$ (PPP, 2006 prices) decreased between 2001 and 2006, from 60.3% to 56.8%. But because of the impressive population growth, the absolute number of poor people increased. In the countryside, an additional half million people lived in poverty in 2006 in comparison to 2001. In this rural environment, the problem of land scarcity is enormous. The overall majority of the rural population has to survive with less than 1 hectare per family and limited possibilities to diversify their income sources beyond subsistence agriculture. In addition, there is a strong inequality. In 2001, the 20% richest consumed as much as the remaining 80% of the population. Since then, inequality has further been rising." http://www.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=an.ansoms&n=4

          We obviously cannot reproduce Dr. Ansoms 318 pages here in the SF Bay View. I also cited the study by Loyola Political Science Professor Brian Endless and his colleague, University of Quebec Professor Emmanual Hakizimana, published on the Rusesabagina Foundation website: http://hrrfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/

          Here also are some 2008 UNHCR statistics that Umuseso Editor Didas Gasana just sent me:

          Rwanda spent $10 per capita in 2007, still falling short of the average sub- Saharan Africa of $12 and far below that of developing nations ($34). The report says many of Rwanda’s health indicators remain below pre- 1990 war levels.

          Rwanda is among the countries that have high under five and infant mortality rate. Under five mortality rates is 152 per 1000 where as infant mortality rate is 86 per 1000. In the year alone, 26.8% of the children born in Kibungo died before the age of 4.

          60% of Rwandans live with in 5Km of a health facility while 85% live with in 10Km. Only 44% of the population is covered by health insurance.

          750 women die per 100.000 live births per year, below the average of 830 in sub- Saharan Africa (WHO 2005).

          Doctor – patient ratio in Rwanda is 1: 50.000 where as WHO recommends 1 doctor per 10.000 patients. Nurse- Patient ratio is 1: 3.900 where as WHO recommends 1: 3.600.

          Reply
          1. Paul

            Ann, I know the data you present. It still does not give any trend analysis compared to the neighboring countries. Nobody argues about Rwanda being a poor country. The argument should be about the trends and truthfully, the trends are extremely encouraging.
            Questions that should be asked for example: How much of the pop. is 5km from a health facility compared to neighboring countries? How much is it changing year on year in the last years?
            This is not "semantics". If you want to use it as a political argument, show the whole picture, otherwise it is completely useless.
            Oh. "Only" 44% are covered with health insurance? How many in Uganda/Kenya? How many in the year 2000? 44% is TREMENDOUS, believe me.

          2. Ann_Garrison

            Here is Sunny Ntayambya, of "The New Times, Government Supporting Daily," republished on the Washington D.C.-based aggregator AllAfrica.com:

            "While the United States was debating a healthcare bill that they called 'historic', we here in Rwanda had a system of national health insurance called 'Mutuelle de Sante.'

            So far, under this scheme, more than 90 percent of the population has health insurance. When the local leaders were presenting their performance contracts to President Kagame, earlier this year, they committed to making sure that all Rwandans have health insurance."

            The NY Times cited this very same Government Supporting Editorialist Sunny Ntayambya as the main source in their recent, almost identifical report on Rwandan health insurance and said:

            "But it covers the basics. The most common causes of death — diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, malnutrition, infected cuts — are treated." http://goo.gl/fZM6

            So Rwandans now have insurance against malnutrition? This seems to counteract widely accepted statistics about hunger and malnutrition, including those of Dr. Ann Ansoms, and Dr. Susan Thomsom of Hampshire College. And why, if 90% have health insurance, are Rwanda's rates of infant mortality and death in childbirth so high, high even for African nations?

            Interesting that the NY Times cited Sunny Ntayambya of The New Times, without mentioning TNT's self description as Rwanda's "Government Supporting Daily," in their recent article on Rwandan health insurance, http://goo.gl/ugTH. And the NY Times did not bother to find or contrast their Government Supporting Editorialist's stats and remarks to those of Dr. An Ansoms of the University of Antwerp, or those of Loyola's Professor Brian Endless and the University of Quebec's Emmanuel Hakizimana.

            Hardly an example of the balance and objectivity that the NY Times pretends to, but then many of us here think that a great deal of the NY TImes is a more subtly disguised "Government Supporting Reporting."

          3. Paul

            In a previous post I told you that I dont think the New Times is objective.
            Question is: what was there before and what is there in the neighboring countries!
            What is the trend of child mortality for example?
            I am sorry to tell you, but when my Rwandan friendsget sick, they go to the clinic and pay peanuts and they just tell me they are OK. When my Ugandan friends get sick, I am the one who is saving them by sending money. "Saving" is not exaggerated! And all of my friends are urban dwellers, students and orphans. Do you understand why I think you should visit Africa? Be at a friends side when he gets sick and see the differences between countries!

          4. Paul

            Ann, when were the Mutuelles de Sante founded? Very few years ago. The mere fact there are some is incredibly tremendous. When my rwandan friends get sick, they pay peanuts and are OK, when my Ugandan friends get sick, I get a phone call and have to send money to save them. That is such a difference I cant even tell you how.
            YOu mock about covering basic health needs? Shameless! Ann, just wait and see the statistics in the coming years how they will change. We will talk then again. These things need time. Rome was not built within a day!

        2. Ann_Garrison

          @Paul: Re the gas in Lake Kivu: If I just wanted to be unpleasant about this, I would say "you prove (as an insider) that the risk assessment that was done is not flawed." But that's a waste of time, and besides, what does being an insider or an outsider have to do with the scientific logic of natural gas extraction in Lake Kivu? The main thing I or anyone else can do, in a journalistic format, is to raise an issue like this, and highlight the disagreement about it.

          I have read numerous accounts of how dangerous the C02 in Lake Kivu is, and several reports that the way the drilling is being undertaken is dangerous. I have read others that say it is safe, but the last claim that it is safe made no sense to me because it explained that the C02 was to be injected back into the lake after the methane had been separated and I believe that the C02 needs to be drawn off.

          As I understand it, something like a large 10-foot straw needs to be laid into the lake and gently vibrated so as to cause small amounts of the C02 to be released instead of the large amounts that could explode, like the C02 exploding from an agitated soda bottle, if the existing C02, and or that reinjected into the lake is recklessly agitated.

          Reinjecting the C02 into the lake after extracting the methane, as described in this London Guardian report, http://goo.gl/bCRn, sounds in no way like a solution. In fact, it sounds really stupid, reckless, careless, and indifferent to the safety of the African people on both sides of the lake, but, the easiest way for Contour Global to get what it wants—the natural gas—without the expense of worrying about the people who could be asphyxiated in the process. The goal of most oil and gas drilling, and other minerals extraction corporations, like Contour Global, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, and British Petroleum, is generally to mine the most resources for the least cost and sell it at the highest price, people and environment be damned, and that's what this sounds like to me. British Petroleum, e.g., did not want to burden itself with the expense of precautions that should have been taken in the Gulf of Mexico. And that's just one of many examples.

          However, I am not an environmental scientist. Are you? And, decisions like drilling in Lake Kivu, and how, are not only environmental but also political decisions. There is considerable controversy about the decision to drill here and the way it is being done. I am, most of all, highlighting the controversy.

          And I am open to being proven wrong about this, though not by anyone simply yelling at me.

          Also, I did not say that Victoire Ingabire would not exploit the gas in Lake Kivu, nor did she. She herself said, above, quote, "we know also that there are some companies outside who can exploit this gas without danger."

          I believe the company she is talking about is Swedish and that I have seen one of the Swedish scientists talking about it in a video doc on the Youtube, but we didn't have time to get into that kind of detail. The SF Bay View is no place for lengthy environmental studies, no more than it is the place to publish 318 page studies of increasing poverty and inequality in rural Rwanda; it is a place to raise such issues and point those interested towards further study and sources.

          One other point that I do not have to be a scientist to make is that French President Sarkozy has said that he believes France deserves a share of the gas in Lake Kivu and I'm sure there are others in line, so I hope that someone will be keeping track of how much is exported and how much is actually used to provide electricity to Rwandans, most of all rural Rwandans. Victoire said that "of course Rwanda needs money," so she clearly sees the export revenue potential as well, but accounts of this drilling often rave as though its main point is to provide electricity to all Rwandans, not to provide export revenue.

          The same is said of the Grand Inga Dam extensions in D.R. Congo. The World Bank and IMF wax effulgent about how they will provide electricity to all Congo, and even all Africa, but a BHP Billiton doc reveals that they're counting on 2/3 of the electricity from the first expansion to power an aluminum smelter.

          Reply
          1. Paul

            Ann, am not yelling at you. I want to have a fruitful discussion.
            One issue is environmental. The other is economical. To the best of my knowledge, the gas is for electricity generation. Exporting natural gas from the middle of Africa to France makes no sense. There is enaugh of it near the shores. Please (not yelling!) do some research on the gas market, which is largely different from the oil market. The argument also defies the logic, since for Kagames economic ambitions he needs electricity. If anything, revenues might go abroad, and that is another discussion.

          2. Ann_Garrison

            @Paul: Here is your statement to me, below:

            "Right now, whether I am supporting or opposing your views, you are simply a mouthpiece and nothing more. No "democracy now" exposure will make you more credible in my eyes. You are the New Times of Ingabire, bravo, Mme "Independant/Alternative view"."

            I call that yelling at me. I call it rude, name calling, scornful, vicious, silly, and an ad hominem attack, meaning an attack on me as a person, not on anything I have said.

            I have nevertheless, attempted a rational exchange with you. I have been chasing down stats and studies so as to respond all day though you have made no similar effort. I don't see a single citation in your responses. Should I have time to take up the natural gas question at more length at some point, I well may, but there is a great deal of information and misinformation out there already for those who want to go look.

            I have a Corpwatch assignment to look into the biofuels issue that I haven't completed because the multinational involved, Global Eco Fuels, which is based right across San Francisco Bay here, in Walnut Creek, absolutely refuses to talk to me and seems outraged that I would even inquire about their project, or ask them to respond to the critique of it, or to the critique of biofuels planting in Africa and other countries suffering from food shortages.

            And, the government of Rwanda absolutely refused to give a map of the land to be planted in biofuels to the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR), on the grounds that they, the DGPR were going to go write "a political story." Politics, debate, democracy, and the negotiation of power is, recall, against the law in Rwanda.

            I've said all I have to say about natural gas, biofuels, and poverty in Rwanda in this context, and have given way too much of my day to further research and citation though you have given your time here only to attack.

          3. Paul

            Sorry for feeling attacked and I truly appreciate you provided interesting info.
            As you know, I will not be the only one reading it, so you did not waste your time.
            If you only considered my "attack" as legitimate criticism I would be glad. You dont need to admit or reject them. De-personalize it and my wish is you would get my point. I understand that you get attacked too much, which might make you sensitive. So again sorry for making you feel bad.
            My main points: 1. it is crucial to present statistics within their context including temporal and geographical trend analysis.
            2. Be careful not to turn unwantedly into a mounthpiece of ANYONE
            3. I strongly recommend a visit to Africa, to get a sense of perspective when writing about socioeconomic/-cultural issues.
            Take care

          4. Paul

            Just an addition to the Gas market: There are 2 ways to export gas. One is by pipeline, the other by converting it into LNG (liquid natural gas). LNG conversion is very expensive. And for a pipeline there must be enaugh fields to make it viable for the long run. Either option is completely nonesense for the Kivu gas. That is of course different for the Lake Albert oil of Uganda.
            Also, the gas price is more locally priced then oil in general. Rwandan gas would never compete with other gas for the European/American markt. If there will be any export, it will be within Africa. More likely though, electricity will be exported, as already now national grids are being switched together. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the grids extend to rural areas and create a robust economy (which they do in Rw.).

      3. Paul

        Part IV:
        Most anti-gay sentiment is in either traditional or religious (christian and islamic) circles, which you find all over Africa and the world.
        Ann, let me give you an advice: Please, just go and visit Africa. Dont even go to Rwanda. Go to Burundi, Uganda, Kenya. Open up your mind a bit and don't be just a mouthpiece of anyone.
        Right now, whether I am supporting or opposing your views, your are simply a mouthpiece and nothing more. No "democracy now" exposure will make you more credible in my eyes. You are the New Times of Ingabire, bravo, Mme "Independant/Alternative view".

        Reply
          1. Paul

            Nastiness??? My advice to go and sense Africa is super serious. You can read 100 years about Africa and be friends of as many Africans you want. It will never ever give you the insight of a stay in Africa. What I say (respectfully) is that it undermines your credibility. It is in part the reason to call you a mouthpiece. The other reason is that you pretend to be a journalist which is independant/alternative, yet you hail VIU as "perfect" and accept without questioning all data presented by her "camp". More then once I got the notion here that the New Times is one sided (which is true). Aren't you one sided too? BTW: I don't questions your intentions/integrity. Whatever, just visit Africa.

          2. Champ

            Paul,

            The world reported on the previous devastating earthquake in Haiti without being there. It's called being up to date. Sorry but no one needs to go to Africa to know that Andre Rwisereka Kagwa was beheaded. That argument holds no water. No one needed to go to Robben Island to know that Mandela was in jail and that Robben Island was a bad place to be. No one needed to be in NYC to know how devastating 9/11 was. No one needs to go to Afghanistan to know that people are dying like flies or to Congo where Kagame and Museveni's invasion have resulted in over 5 million killed. The argument of saying go to a place does not make you an expert. A New York based reporter may report more accurate news about things that are going on in San Francisco than Ann who lives there. What a poor claim that not being in a place reduces credibility!!

            Apartheid and slavery were abominable, so is the Kagame government in the region. Being there or not being there as a reporter does not take away credibility at all. Now a days, videos and instant news are shared around the world instantly because technology allows that. Any media outlets from BBC to CNN to Al Jazeer to Fox use technology to gather news. You weaken your argument by admitting that the New Times is not credible and guess what? They are in Africa EVERY DAY!!! Those who claim that to be credible one must be in a place physically are a few decades behind. It is an outdated idea.

          3. Paul

            My point is that a journalist like Ann who has been now very very active since maybe a year or so reporting on Rwanda (and a bit about the Congo) should get a sense of Africa for the sake of credibility.
            One thing is if she reports incidents x y z claimed by a b or c. You can copy paste the news as you wish.
            However, I claim that Ann is more then just a copy-paste journalist. More then just repeating AP releases. Right? Would you not want such a journalist to start making her own analysis? My criticism on her credibility is NOT to undermine her, but to URGE her to understand that certain things cannot be understood if you have not experienced them. This does greatly affect her writing as she will be able to put certain things in perspective, make her critical about any of her sources, etc. It is a necessary process I guess for a specializing journalist who wants to avoid being a mouthpieace for anyone.

  5. Mesakamwe

    Nepotism is the Norm driven by racism paranoia and proudly implemented by RPF Tutsis. The lion share of the country resources , including the western funds for development and genocide survivors, tightly held with the iron grip by the Tutsis from Uganda. There is no mighty army in Rwanda, there is a band of barbaric killers whose crimes have been long supported by the Anglo-Saxons axis in their wicked thirsty for wealth and control of mineral in the region. It no longer a secret to anybody, especially Rwandese and their friends about the racists nature of RPF and both cruel and criminal records of Kagame and its gang of punks long spared by UK & US from facing justice. Time has come for the RPF and its allies to embrace civilization and democracy and abandon their barbaric and despotic rule over Rwandans, if not, they are sticking resentment and laying foundation that will inevitably result into another Genocide. To RPF and its sympathizers, open the door for real democracy now, or else you are digging your own graveyard, and unfortunately other massive of innocent Rwandans.

    Reply
    1. June sina

      You are using this word "time has come" ? i pity uou,time has come what? 93% ? amidst your criticism? yes i agree time has come and Rwandans have a made a choice that suits them.Time has come for Rwandans to express their democracy through a choice of a suitable leader.Keep on dreaming about time time..

      Reply
  6. Ann_Garrison

    @Jon: I don't think you read or responded to Ingabire's statement, which is not hers alone, but that of many scholars and investigators, that members of the RPF also killed Tutsis, Tutsis who had remained behind in Rwanda and were thus seen as collaborators with the Hutuist regime.

    As to the charge that Ingabire is racist or dangerously ethnic, she said, the first time I spoke to her, that Kagame was making the same mistake as Habyarimana, by practicing the politics of exclusion.

    Reply
  7. Kagome

    I have never seen an Idiot like this person named Jon ? Ingabire is a rwandese and she should have all rights like any other rwandese to run for presidency. U r saying that if she wins that tutsis will go back to refugee camps ?? where is Kayumba, Karegeya, and so many others who have fled rwanda ? is it because of ingabire ?? we should not support someone on ethnicity basis but because of his agenda. If everyone says that Kagame is a muderer ( 6 millions of people ) dead because of him and u still support him that shows that u r also a muderer like Kagame. so pple like u have no space in today's world.

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      @Kagome: Thank you for reminding everyone here that Kayumba and Karegeya, who may now threaten Kagame more than anyone else, are both former members of his military and intelligence elite, and Tutsi.

      Reply
        1. Ann_Garrison

          I don't want to see Karegeya and Kayumba invading Rwanda, or see any consequent violence, but Kagame is obviously afraid they will invade from Uganda and Tanzania.

          Reply
    2. June sina

      No body said that Ingabire can not run for presiedency, she can and even you can But in accordance to the laws. Imagine a situation like in America, if Obama campaigned on the race card-for exple " iam a black man and i have come to rescue you from the white supremacist? That would be creating divisionism among Americans and iam sure they wouldnt support it.This is what Ingabire represents here-a divided Rwanda is her target.We can not accept to go back to hate politcs -we understand what it did to us.
      So she can go and hung.

      Reply
    3. mwamba

      thanks matty ,please post this idea wherever you can;CNN,BBC,HUMAN RIGHT.
      the world should be full of people applying Logics like you.6 millions killed
      and nothing is don for nearly two decades.It is a big shame.
      God will help other wise there will be more violence
      and more blood shed .the world should be united to fight the killer.
      Do not forget 10 millions congoleses also were victims.We all
      know who killed them.Every on is still watching.

      Reply
  8. June sina

    This woman claims, income is not well distributed among the population ,that the majority live in absolute poverty in rural areas" how then does she explain the 93% of the vote, 72% coming from rural villages? She completely dilussioned, the truth is that its the rural, less advantaged people that have found hope in the RPF regime-
    She should go to hell with her hate language.
    Everyday, in Us people are forced to resign from their respective positions after any suspect-i mean mere suspect of the use of the worg NIGGER-which was a word used to bully and discrimitae aganist blacks.Thats the USA-the so called teacehrs of democracy-when Rwanda guards its citizens against use of divicive language then USA and its other superior states shout that theres no democracy in Rwanda.
    I say enough, Rwanda has a responsibility over its citizens and Ingabire will face justice accordingly.

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      You know how she explains it. The opposition was all excluded from the election; it was a masquerade. The population was intimidated into voting. That is how she explains it. If you want to dispute her explanation, do so, but don't say she didn't explain it. That's a waste of time, to which I can only respond "Read the transcript."

      Reply
    2. jon

      Big up june tell it as it is,that woman has no business with democracy in rwand ,shes just a genocide idealogue,and this site is full of hutu extremist

      Reply
  9. dunia

    It is not about being president, it is about having rights as citizen to participate in elections and rwanda people will decide. But this woman is clean and has no blood on hand as many of RPF senoior officials.

    As long she is still alive who know? Why not? She is clever as well.

    Reply
  10. Nom

    Jon, considering the language that you're using indicates that you either grew-up in a refugee camp in Nakivale, Namutamba or in Luwero jungles and you need psychiatric doctor. In an intellectual discussion you can't go out of your senses in order to win an argument. Please, Jon, try to get enrolled at the anger management session.

    Reply
    1. jon

      I doesnt matter where i grew up and it non of your business,this site is like teh home of genocidals,extremist,liars,killers who cant go back home etc hiding behind those keyboards spewing their hate and propaganda in the name of Democracy,Nom your genocidal govts under kayibanda,Bagosora is done and will never come back again,the best bet you better go join FDLR which soon will be crashed hard and wiped by hunger,diseases and patriotic Rwandese,i fought your govts when i was a young teenager and won,i m doing my PHd now but im ready to fight again if you try to take us back pre 1994,i walked 2000miles and many sleepless night in the bush….its not anger but you people you killed almost all of my familly but i moved on……

      Reply
  11. Peace

    Ann,before analyzing Rwanda’s politics start from analyzing inequalities from your own country.

    Please leave Rwanda alone and Africa,,, they do need any more dramas..you remember those who set fire then ran away? (1994)

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      Once again, I do analyze inequalities in my own country. I analyze the unequal justice of AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command created by my country, militarizing Africa for its own purposes in Rwanda and elsewhere. The U.S., my country has been intervening here since way way back, long before President Eisenhower ordered the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the first Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      And I have tried to give Victoire Ingabire voice in this country of mine, which has such huge impact on hers.

      Reply
  12. Vince

    Peace, do you remember the hundreds of thousands of Rwandans that fled to Congo and were then subsequently butchered by RPF soldiers. I guarantee you that their memory will never be forgottten. The responsability of Paul Kagame in these crimes has sofar gone unpunished and his son studies at West Point today. In that context could you please explain to me why US citizens can't discuss Rwandan or African politics?

    The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. The best solution for the great lakes region will therefore be a "truth and reconciliation commission" like in South Africa.

    Reply
    1. Kosa

      Do no worry my Dear,
      Only god will help thousands of rwandans who are suffering
      for nearly two decades.
      This world is corrupted,how can you support the country where
      there is no democracy and free PRESS.
      Some countries now know the truth,but it took them a good 20 YEARS!

      Reply
  13. Guest

    One of Ingabire's first comments on her return was " I am the candidate of the majority". Everyone knew what that meant. The "ethnic" majority. That she stood for ethnic politics. This was a call for ethnic politics.

    Reply
    1. therisingcontinent

      I am frankly amazed by the way Kagame's regime tries and succeeds in silencing critical voices of Rwandan realities. This is an example. Having more than 60% of Rwandans living on less than 1$ a day, no one is allowed to mention that the majority of Rwandans are poor because it would mean that Hutus are poor. And consequently, this would create divisionism and lead to genocide. The official line becomes this one: let's talk about how well the elite is doing and forget about the Rwandan poor whoever they are. This is being in denial of realities purposely with a criminal intention of oppressing and exploiting these poor people for own greed.

      Reply
  14. Maurice

    You know the funny part is that I think by being barred from running as president empowered Ingabire. By letting her register and be a candidate, it would have proved her incompetencies. I dont think anybody in their right mind would have voted for her. She has no credibiliity, past experience or any track record to show. Her speeches are all over the place; she is just not a smart politician. The scary part is why was she chosen to represent her party? Was she used as a front for some bigger dog? On the other side, it is truly hurtful to see the contempt people have for Rwanda; somebody as incompetent as she is to think she could run for president. But I am glad there is law in Rwanda and she wasnt able to run, she'd have a shame for the country

    Reply
  15. Kayibanda Grégoire

    Victoire has no right to speak on the name of Rwandans! Who mandates her to do so ? What qualities does she have to lead a country like Rwanda. She is responsible of herself and not of all Rwandans !!
    She is an awkward women.

    Reply
    1. therisingcontinent

      Give me an army, 'Intore', all Local Defense Forces and Intelligence Service Units, demobilized forces in charge of administrative structures across Rwanda, all using mainly international funding obtained through blackmailing those who failed to intervene during the genocide, and I will get a 99% popular mandate to speak in the name of Rwandans. I should also add that these instruments of keeping the population under control are also financed by the looting of Congo's minerals.

      I don't think Victoire would need to use force to get a popular mandate. Those who are using coercion to show their popularity are using it because they cannot get it democratically. And this is not about Rwanda ethnicity as those who fear real democracy have been claiming. How on earth would you have to kill, imprison, coerce people in voting you, if you were doing only good deeds to your people?

      Reply
  16. Bingwa

    When you are a killer, criminal, dictator, and the tool or the executer of such order you have nothing to say,
    by defending this kinfnd of unhuman behavior(s), plus activities. I see why many of you try to defend Kagame. It simply is because you are employed by him either ouside of Rwanda or within the bounds of the Rwanda.
    What Ingabire is saying here is true , and whatever you can do by ignoring her statement(s) you will never change the pure minds of the peolple who have a clean sense way of thinking.

    Reply
  17. Bingwa of Boise

    To be honest no one can support your made up stories unless such a person is a stupid just like you. You are trying to make up stories that transform the true story such as this one of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza into a naked lie! By trying to give a credit to the atrocity and unthinkfull actions done on dairly basis by Mojor Paul Kagame and his Government? Go ahead and try to defend him. But when his done with what he want from you, then you too will be sliced into pieces like the above body of a true freedom fighter Andre Kagwa Rwisereka. Keep in mind that you will never be compared to the once loyal generals to his government; Mr. Karegeya and Kayumba Nyamwasa who escaped his failled asssasination. Simply put it: "If you defend Kagame and his actions, you are a terrorist among terrorists to be away with, and should be carefully tracked on your dailly activities.

    Reply
  18. Julias

    people listen up " if u like Ingabire victoire and her superiors like Ann Garrison or Pere Soteras Roigtake and others that it ok but i would like to suggest u to take them to the psychiatric hospitals before the things getting worst or update theirs brains on computer if is possible please! because whole the world noticed that they are out of their minds.
    In 16 years ago i used to hate that i'm Rwandan because of many reasons but today i'm proud to be Rwandan..we all Rwandans no more hutu n tusti's ID… i mean the UNIT,economy growing faster,technology never had before, new fabulous education and health system so thanks God that we have Kagame government pushes us forward not backward .. I think .the energies we use to hate each others ..we can use them to build our country….

    Come on Ingabire and your friends ..remember we're in 21st century please forget Old-fashioned ideologies no one will listen to u…

    Reply
  19. jon

    This house is full of genocidals,killers,hutu power,Rwanda haters etc hiding their faces and spewing your poison behind those keyboards thats all you got,we know you cant go back to Kigali because of what you did,you re just bitter & hungry we are moving foward….and an idiot Ingabire will never be a president and we are still looking for Kabuga,one by one we will get you

    Reply
  20. jon

    The World 10 most wanted….pls help us to find Kabuga

    Fugitives
    Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabian. Founder of Al-Qaeda.
    Joaquín Guzmán Loera, Mexican. Drug Lord
    Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, Russian. Mobster
    Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Indian. Believed to be hiding in Pakistan. Head of Criminal Network (also called D-Company)
    Matteo Messina Denaro, Italian. Mafioso
    Felicien Kabuga, Rwandan. Implicated in organizing the 1994 Rwandan genocide
    Pedro Antonio Marin, Colombian. (Then) head of FARC, died in May 2008
    Joseph Kony, Ugandan. Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army
    James "Whitey" Bulger, American. Boston gangster, fugitive since 1994
    Omid Tahvili, head of a Canadian organized crime syndicate. Iranian gangster associated with Dawood Ibrahim

    Reply
  21. Dani

    Ingabire your nothing ,
    i don't know why your still existing to our loved Rwanda, why don't you back to exile,
    because we need people who like our county not like you.
    we don't need you at all.
    hahahahahhhh

    Reply
    1. koni

      I think u are a stupid denial.
      You need to take some course of Logics and you will understand.
      You have to see where the country is heading;Chaos.
      Since there is no democracy in the country,no human right,
      no freedom of speech,u will see what will happen.
      Only time will tell.
      If avery rwandan was thinking like you,we could be in hell.

      Reply
  22. Xmass

    You have said that all Rwandans know you (Ingabire). Of course we know U as we know H1N1 or others virus because of your genocide ideology, your superiority complex of majority. what you want is instability of our country.From now is not question of majority but of capacity, Rwanda and Rwandan people will be developed without Ingabire and his politics.We don't need u at all!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Paul Kagame is a pillar of unity and reconciliation

    Reply
  23. Kim

    This is unbelievable, Ingabire says that "I have sympathies all over the country"ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Those who baptist hutu ,that is to say are my sympathies, am telling U ,you are in wrong way.They know the best choice,history has tough them. They know how during 1994 after killing their neighbors as your government and sympathies commended it,you abandon them in Mugunga camps,and you as officers went in Europe,and now people are happy and stable, you are back with your virus. Have you seen how people was happy during RPF campaign. I would like to invite Mme Ann Garrison to visit this web http://www.mykagame.org and . Mme Ingabire can you force some one to be happy?

    Reply
  24. Jeremie

    @Claudine

    You are very stupid !!! Words coming out from your mouth show how nuts you are.Shame on you !!!!
    Nta mutima-muntu ugira.

    Reply
  25. mwamba

    U re all arguing for nothing,since rwandans can not seat together and discuss
    their differences,they will never be any peace in the country.
    It does not matter how many mullions are being spent in the country.
    It is like many down the drain!! I am sorry!

    Reply

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