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As a coalition of Africa-focused human rights and peace organizations representing a broad range of individuals, we write to express our dismay at your decision to welcome President of Rwanda Paul Kagame to your universities. We regret to inform you that your invitation of Paul Kagame to your institution co-signs his repressive practices inside Rwanda and his aggressive interventions in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The State Department announced today that the U.S. “has cut this year’s planned military assistance to Rwanda amid concerns that the government in Kigali is supporting rebel movements in neighboring Congo,” according to the Washington Post. A three-year campaign by advocates for peace in the Congo and an end to the plundering of its mineral riches culminates successfully in today’s announcement. They have been pressing for implementation of the only law sponsored by then Sen. Obama allowing denial of aid to Congo's neighbors that destabilize the Congo.
On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.
We believe it is fundamentally inadvisable to collaborate with the current Rwandan government, given its grave human rights violations record and overt curtailment of political freedoms in Rwanda. If you move forward, we request that CMU promote democratic space and respect for human rights in the region.
As a coalition of Africa-focused human rights and peace organizations representing a broad range of individuals, including Rwandans, Ugandans and Congolese people, we write to express our dismay at your university’s decision to welcome and inaugurate a partnership with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at Carnegie Mellon University on Sept. 16