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The 2018 Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize was awarded on Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Brussels, Belgium. The prize honors Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Despite the African Court of Human and People’s Rights’ 2017 ruling that her imprisonment is unjust and that Rwanda should free her, she remains behind bars. This year’s Victoire Prize went to Cameroonian French journalist Charles Onana and Canadian radio broadcaster Phil Taylor.
During the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, President Bill Clinton and members of his administration pushed for the reduction of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda from over 2,500 troops to 270, with the remaining troops’ mandate being reduced to a mere observer’s role. The U.S. government evacuated foreign – read: White – personnel from Rwanda and pretty much ensured the total success of the 100-day slaughter that occurred when peacekeepers were also pulled.
Five Rwandan political parties and organizations – Amahoro PC, FDU-Inkingi, PDP-Imanzi, PS-Imberakuri and IHURIRO-RNC – have united in a common platform. The platform calls for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, president of FDU-Inkingi, and Déo Mushayidi, president of PDP-Imanzi.
International argument over “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” the BBC documentary that upends widely held belief about the Rwandan massacres of the 1990s and discredits the authoritarian regime of President Paul Kagame, continues in the European, African and U.S. press. Earlier this week, Belgium canceled 40 million Euro in development aid because “Rwanda continues to fail to make any progress in the areas of press freedom and good governance.”
Today, as President Paul Kagame has finally decided to go to pay his last respects to the freedom and reconciliation hero Nelson Mandela, his Supreme Court sentenced political prisoner Madam Victoire Ingabire to 15 years in prison on final appeal, almost double the eight-year High Court sentence of Oct. 30, 2012. This is a very strong message to the whole opposition.