The Rwandan People deserve free and fair elections

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IKV Pax Christi Report on Rwanda

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Violence leading up to the 2010 elections

According to Syfia Grand Lacs of 15 October, ten months before the presidential vote planned for August 2010, the election campaign seems already to have begun in Rwanda. The outgoing president is making more and more visits around the country while «the opposition are being very discreet about their plans » and “the exiles are announcing their candidatures and making alliances with local parties ».  Unlike the FPR, opponents inside the country do not have the right to meet to prepare their campaigns. In this context a meeting of the Rwandan Green Party was disrupted by people who were not party members. Several people were wounded, some seriously. The Rwanda police intervened and stopped the meeting. The party accuses members of the FPR. A meeting of the same party was refused permission by the authorities in Nyarugenge district at the beginning of October.   Parties based outside the country have not been spared: a communiqué from Forces Démocratiques Unies (FDU) - Intwari led by Mme Victoire Ingabire, who will be a presidential candidate in 2010, reveals that the wife of the Secretary General of this party was the victim of a serious attack in which she suffered from amnesia and a compression of the spinal column which was probably due to a fall of at least 3 metres. The victim, who lives in Belgium, had been found by a military patrol blindfolded with her arms bound behind her back. Her family had already been subject to other attacks.

Report on the situation regarding human rights and democracy

Report on the situation regarding human rights and democracy

On 31 August Professor Yashpal Ghai, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for human rights in Cambodia, published an 81 page report on the condition of human rights and democracy in Rwanda at the request of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). According to the report Rwanda enjoys a good reputation at the international level and its president, Paul Kagame, is regularly praised by the World Bank, the United States and the U.K. government for his integrity, for his efforts for reconciliation and his economic policies.  However, when he visited Rwanda last May, Professor Ghai found a country where diplomats, journalists,  professional people, staff of international organisations, local bodies and civil society groups are unwilling to talk about what is going on in the country except anonymously. He also reports that the regime is also based on power structures, in which the army plays a central role, which sometimes operate in parallel, often short-circuiting the official government. The Kagame regime also bears the chief responsibility for the political and economic instability in the Great Lakes region, including the overthrow of the government of Laurent Désiré Kabila in the Congo.

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