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The opposition party in exile has condemned the decision by President Kagame to seek a third term in office. The party warns that pressure is building in Rwanda under the weight of Kagame’s autocracy and that the country could explode in a catastrophe worse than the 1994 genocide.

Taking the occasion of its Political Bureau meeting on January 10, 2016 held in Brussels, the Rwanda Dream Initiative party (RDI-Rwanda Rwiza) came to the conclusion to address the Rwandan people and the international community as follows:

On New Year’s eve, while addressing the nation on December 31, 2015, Rwandan President Paul Kagame made clear his decision to run for a third term and to stay as long as he wishes as the Rwandan president.

A few months before, the Rwandan government and all public institutions led by the one-party system i.e. Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) had proceeded to engage in unacceptable maneuvers aimed to clear up the way for such an illegal and antidemocratic decision. In fact, Rwandan and international observers have been spectators of cynical scenes of the organized marches of citizen going to parliament with their baskets on their heads full of petition papers that claim the third term for General Paul Kagame. As a matter of fact, it is not a secret to anyone that the so-called parliamentarians are really servants of the Kagame regime, incapable of expressing themselves freely or to contradict their chief, General Kagame. With regard to all evidence at our disposal, it is the view of our party and of all observers that the parliamentary vote as well as the referendum result of December 18, 2015 were a real masquerade.

Confronted with the danger that President Kagame and his political party represent in destroying the socio-political situation in the country, characterized by the suffocation of democratic processes since the seizure of power by RPF Inkotanyi in July 1994, the RDI-Rwanda Rwiza party announces its position to the Rwandan people, friends of Rwanda and the entire international community:

1. Faithful to its goal of instituting in Rwanda a political regime based on the real rule of law, RDI party denounces strongly President Kagame’s decision to remain indefinitely in power because it is illegal, antidemocratic and full of bad consequences to Rwandan people;

2. Still attached to its noble objective to establish a multiparty political space and freedom of expression in Rwanda, to guarantee to our citizens the effective exercise of their rights and freedoms, the RDI party strongly condemns the unending intimidation of the Rwandan population by the RPF-Kagame power that compels them to live lies and in a permanent atmosphere of fear, omnipresent security services and other invisible structures of the police state reminiscent of the Stalinist regime.

3. Being aware of President Kagame’s attempts to stay in power indefinitely in order to flee from justice for the crimes of which he is guilty, the RDI party requests President Kagame to put higher national interests above his selfish aims, and to allow a peaceful political change, in order to avoid chaos and indescribable war that many people predict could be more catastrophic than the 1994 events and post-genocide consequences in Rwanda and in the Great Lakes region;

4. With regard to the Great Lakes Region, RDI party is deeply concerned by President Kagame’s periodical destabilization of Rwanda’s neighbours, especially the DRC and Burundi. About Burundi in particular, the RDI party is convinced that President Kagame is not the right person to teach good governance lessons to anyone and therefore requests him to renounce immediately his interference in internal businesses of the sister country. RDI calls upon all different protagonists in Burundian crisis, especially the national political forces, to sit together in order to find a way of reaching a frank and inclusive dialogue, with the view to putting an end to the violence and to reestablish peace within the country.

5. Worried by the Rwandan refugees questions and denouncing the RPF-Kagame regime’s bad faith and its lack of political will to resolve definitely this problem, the RDI party reminds the international community that more than 350,000 persons, the majority being in Congolese forests and other African countries, are deprived of their right to return home. It demands from the Rwandan government a clear policy in that matter especially the repatriation plan of all those refugees in security and dignity. This plan can be debated and followed up in 2016 between the government of Rwanda on one side, and, on other side, the representatives of Rwandan political opposition and civil society, refugees receiving countries, UNHCR and other concerned members of the international community;

6. In conclusion, the RDI party is firmly convinced that the Rwanda socio- economic situation will only positively progress when all Rwandans, especially those inside the country, rise like one man to claim publicly their rights, violated by the dictatorial regime preoccupied by looting of national resources and those of the neighboring country, DRC. It encourages Rwandan people to get out of their fear and absolutely demand democratic change, calling upon to witness the national and international opinion. Otherwise, the RDI party would encourage the friends of Rwanda and the international community to have a role to play, especially by using their available means to put pressure on President Kagame so that he gives up his objective to remain in power indefinitely. It is more than certain that if Kagame pursues his maneuvers, Rwanda will have a serious political crisis with unpredictable and dangerous consequences for the country itself and for the entire Great Lakes region.

In any event, RDI party, in collaboration with other forces working for long-term political change in Rwanda, will continue to fight for the advent of true rule of law in Rwanda. It reserves itself the right to fight, by any legitimate means, against the restoration of monarchy in Rwanda, under the cover of a false republic by RPF-Kagame regime through manipulations that are its trademark.

Done at Brussels, 10 January 2016,

For the RDI-Rwanda Rwiza party, Faustin Twagiramungu




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