Kagame Slated to Execute Election Charades Successfully for World Wide Audience

For anyone wondering, the online dictionary.com defines ‘charades’ by one such definition:

a blatant pretense or deception, esp. something so full of pretense as to be a travesty.

Can anyone truly argue that such an event is what is slated to take place in Rwanda on August 9th, 2010? Some are calling it an “election” while others are simply calling it a “sham” election to signify the false pretense under which this event is happening.

To be frank, there are no election happening in Rwanda. It’s a charades, where everyone will play their part, some voluntarily – dictator Kagame as the landslide winner (a resounding cheery yessss from the ghosts of millions perished by his gun and rule – note sarcasm) with unwavering support from involuntary “supportive” citizens, while the “opposition” take their place, and somberly accept their “loss.” Does one even need popcorn to enjoy this charades? Perhaps Kagame will throw in a few more assassinations and jailing of legitimate opponents to make it more interesting. Maybe he’ll up the ante and actually target a non Rwandan, non African, non Black person. But as it stands, worldwide audiences will watch him “win” and he’ll feign surprise that after all this time and his crimes, his citizens still love him. A humbling experience for a man like himself (who can claim more deaths on his hands in such a short period of time as himself?).

Like every good charades, the August 9th event is meant to entertain. But for Kagame, it’s also meant to re-establish him as the only candidate for Rwandans within the international community. The media will be there, ready to accept and to convince the world that the charades truly is reality. And many will buy into it, giving Kagame blind and loyal support, without an sense of the destruction he’ll cause on top of what he’s already done.

That citizens will be forced to leave their homes and cast ballots for their oppressor in record numbers is sadistic at best and torture at worst. But to allow them their dignity and human rights, at least by abstaining from casting votes “for” the murderer that destroyed their lives and killed their family members would be an inconvenience to the successful execution of the charades for the entertainment of the world wide audience.

Though I’m not tuning in for the charades (I already know what happens and how), I’ll be here the following day, playing my part, feigning surprise that Kagame won once again and that his citizens truly do love him (note sarcasm).

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Kagame Expedites His Own Self Destruction

I’m assuming Kagame and company, along with all his other sympathizers and apologists are celebrating the arrest of American lawyer, human rights champion, husband, and father, Professor Peter Erlinder. While this may seem like a hard blow to all human rights activists out there, do not fret. Professor Erlinder sacrificed himself for his cause. He knew Rwanda was hostile towards him, but he believed so strongly and so fiercely in his work, that he undertook the defense of victimized but resilient Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, despite the potential consequences.

Peter Erlinder knows he has broken through a manufactured and impenetrable level of obstruction created to protect Kagame and his aids. Through total commitment and perseverance, Peter discovered a central and hidden key truth that exposed the gross human rights violations, and life destruction committed by Kagame in the Great Lakes Region of Africa but also exposed those who helped Kagame make it a reality. Peter, through a fierce battle, continues to commit himself and his life to what he knows is the truth, and he is being punished for it. And not punished for exposing the truth, but punished so that the real evil culprits continue to roam the world with impunity.

While they celebrate however, I hope the world takes note on what kind of person Kagame truly is, and how cruel and insidious he is. His true colors are showing, creating a perfect opportunity to open up dialogue and discuss frankly what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and for goodness sakes STOP PROTECTING AND REWARDING A CRIMINAL. The truth is, Kagame was no savior but an aggressor. He killed millions of people, and millions more died as a result of his aggression. Kagame should be charged and jailed for genocide crimes, crimes against humanity, and even genocide ideology. Holding Peter Erlinder hostage is his only way out of a conundrum he created around himself. But it’s only an illusion.

They say a thief day’s are numbered, 40 to be exact, and while the simple minded might prematurely conclude that Peter is the thief, they could not be any more wrong. Kagame has gotten away with horrific crimes for the past 20 years. But time and truth are catching up to him. Unbeknownst to him, jailing Professor Erlinder not only lent more credibility to the lawyer’s work, but exposed it to millions of people around the world who were unaware of the type of crimes Kagame has been hiding. Kagame has inadvertently placed himself in the court of public opinion as more and more discover layer by layer the information compiled by Professor Peter Erlinder. Through a tactical error, Kagame placed himself at a strict disadvantage by committing the first act of aggression. And this has always been Kagame’s way; committing the first act of aggression. He attacked a peaceful nation (twice – Rwanda and Congo), assassinated two Presidents (Rwandan and Burundian), and jailed Peter Erlinder unprovoked, as Peter was there to work on a human rights case for Victoire Umuhoza. And the publicity could not come at a worst time for Kagame.

So have your short lived “victory” enemies of peace, but it will be over in the blink of an eye. Should anything happen to Peter Erlinder under your watch, beware. The world is tuned in, watching your every move, analyzing your every word, and getting educated on the Professors work. So beware, should anything happen to the professor, you will only be immortalizing him in martyrdom, expediting your own self destruction.

It’s disappointing that the US government is not doing more to demand Peter Erlinder’s freedom. However, as difficult as it may be for all peace loving people out there to imagine, there is a silver lining in all of this.

Peter is a people’s champion. Working against an institutional oppression designed to maintain inequality and exploitation. His courage to attack such a pervasive an insidious institution, also known as Kagame, empowers other victims around the world, formerly petrified of speaking out to raise their voices in unison and defend their beloved human rights idol. People have the courage to denounce, and challenge fabricated stories that perpetuate the destruction of human life, all because Peter Erlinder stood with the vulnerable people.

So do not fret. Kagame has awakened a sleeping beast, and the movement to expose him, and to bring him to justice is only getting started. He has no idea what he has done.

We stand with you Professor. In solidarity. For peace. For Human Rights. For truth.

Uganda Genocide Info Blog

The Uganda Genocide Information Blog is a blog that details information regarding the ongoing genocide against the Acholi people by dictator Yoweri Museveni. Check it out.  It has a lot of interesting information.

Just added it to my blogroll.

New Developments In Rwanda and Current News

Ok, I have been unable to write or post about the current unfolding events regarding Rwanda, in relation to the elections as well as to the recent major development regarding Kagame’s lawsuit. So Until I am able to post regularly and to bring you analysis of the happenings I want to encourage all readers to follow the various blogs on my blogroll including, Colored Opinions, Hungry of Truth, and CirqueMinime/Paris.

Post any interesting tidbits or relevant articles in comments section of this post. Be back to writing regularly soon.

Kagame desperate to hold on to power, resorts to more severe domestic terrorism tactics

For anyone who has not heard, Amnesty International condemned the recent intimidation attacks hurled at presidential hopefuls in opposition to Kagame in Rwanda.  Some of the intimidating attacks include actual physical violence perpetrated by mobs against a female candidate.

When mob attacks did not work to deter the presidential hopefuls, Kagame up the ante. First, he created extremely rigid election laws, preventing anyone from properly registering and freely campaigning across the country. Specifically, candidates can only publicly proclaim their candidacy 26 days before the elections and have only 18 to campaign across the country. And that’s 26 days in total for the whole campaign process. The Chairman for the National Electoral Commission stated:

The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Professor Crysologue Karangwa told APA Friday that the eighteen days were enough for a serious presidential aspirant to go around the country of thirty districts campaigning.

“Eighteen days are enough for a serious presidential candidate to cover the country, we do not expect them to visit every village or district in the country by themselves, they have supporters who should help in campaigns,” Karangwa said.

Is this guy serious? He presumes to know how members of opposition parties will run their campaigns or how much support they have. Obviously he doesn’t mean what he says. I mean obviously can’t mean it.. He is only saying it because it rationalizes the absurdity of restricting political candidates to 26 days of announcing their presidential candidacy and actually campaigning around the country.  I mean it’s not sabotage for goodness sakes, it’s just the RULES! It doesn’t get any more absurd than this. Or does it?

Well it does. Not only are candidates restricted to 26 days, but any violation is punishable by law and subject to candidate disqualification for the elections. It is unclear if these laws will be backdated or not. However for specifics, if you think I’m making this stuff up, here you go:

In the remaining less than four months those wishing to stand for presidency were advised to keep it to themselves as in accordance to the law.

“Before the said dates, those planning to declare their candidature should abide by the law and wait. According to the electoral law no political activities are expected before the approval of candidates,” Karangwa said. (emphasis mine)

I’m struck by that word “approval” stuck right in there. It reads to me, like the arbitrarily enforced violation of the “genocide ideology” law. Who will be approving candidates and on what terms? How likely is it, that they will be disapproved based on speculation regarding their candidacy? That is, if the population presumes one to be running for president, even if one has not “officially” made such an announcement,  will that person be disqualified for running in the presidential election? Will the approval be based on how receptive the country is towards a certain candidate? It’s no secret that the Rwandan dictatorship is plagued with vague and arbitrarily enforced laws, and this is one of them. Some of the vague laws and language are used to intimidate and silence opposition. These in particular are supposed to create the ultimate barrier to the presidency for the opposition (at least before resorting to the use of physical violence to halt opponents) as far as the law can go without being regarded as a fascist attempt to remain in power by all means necessary. Although as far as I’m concerned, this is a fascist attempt to hold on to power by any means necessary.

And if all else fails, call upon oft reliable, never fail friend of the RPF, physical violence. Think they won’t? Well think again, because they already have.

After the bizarre announcement of the new electoral process laws, three grenades were coincidentally detonated around the capital city of Kigali. The BBC writes:

At least one person has been killed and 18 injured in three simultaneous grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, state media report.

A bus station, a restaurant and another building housing several businesses were targeted, state radio said.

While there is no “clear connection” between these attacks and the election, the timing is oddly suspicious and peculiarly familiar to the pre-April 1994 period. One thing many do not realize is that the RPF is notorious for terror and intimidation. From the time they attacked a sovereign nation in 1990 and creating a four year war that culminated in the genocide, to the five million deaths in the Congo, there is no terror tool beyond the RPF’s use. And remember the RPF is led by current Rwandan President Paul Kagame. If you don’t see the connection here, I can’t help you.

During the 1990-1994 period, prior to the genocide, the RPF used bombs and grenades to intimidate people and to terrorize them. It appears the RPF is back at its games. Most Rwandans and few other people around the world know the RPF instigated the conflict that began in 1990, and they know it was the RPF who committed mass terror for the longest period of time. While Kagame has brainwashed the world to believe he rose out of nowhere to halt a deadly genocide from destroying a nation, it is also true that Kagame terrorized that nation into submission although people remain largely unaware of this fact. Kagame is not, and has never been a popular figure in Rwanda, despite his resume of instigating (fact largely unknown by the world), and then subsequently halting the genocide. It is through terror that Kagame became the leader of Rwanda, and it is through terror that Kagame remains the leader of Rwanda. These grenade attacks are no coincidence, and they are no random acts of violence. They are calculated attempts to remind the populous of Kagame’s predilection for terror. It is a reminder that 1990-1994 could possibly be relived should they attempt to challenge him, even if by only support other challengers. The grenade attacks are terror tools used to intimidate and confuse the population, to conquer and divide amongst inconsequential affiliations. This is what the RPF does. It is what they have done, and what they will continue to do.

The world at large still enjoys a fairly moderate love affair with President Kagame. Many are ignorant to the RPF actions both in Rwanda and in the Congo. Because of most people’s familiarity with the 1994 genocide and the concurrent ignorance of the events before and after 1994, people easily give President Kagame a pass. They forgive him for his transgressions. Because as far as they are concerned, Kagame saved Rwanda and Rwandans in 1994 and that is good enough for them. But as far as I’m concerned, the lives saved in 1994 are not worth more than the lives that perished between 1990 and 1994, and 1996- today. Kagame does not deserve to remain on any pedestal nor should he be absolved from all the other crimes committed by himself and the RPF.

There is no reason Rwanda should spiral back into a deadly convulsion. People should become aware of Kagame’s tactics, and should call upon every capable party to demand civility from Kagame for once in his life. Opposition leaders are only that. Leaders of opposition. They have not won any significant influential power, nor are they any threat to the RPF machine. These deadly tactics by the status quo in Rwanda are uncalled for, unnecessary, and extremely reminscent of pre 1994 genocide.

If you think I’m being too harsh on the RPF in this post, think of all the lives that perished in 1990-1994. Think of the 1994 genocide (even if he prevailed against others, Kagame was an active participant in the death of human beings during the genocide). Think of 5-6 million lives lost in the Congo. All these deaths were preventable. Deaths that could potentially take place in Rwanda due to these elections are also preventable. Are those people any less deserving of life simply because Kagame hangs out with Tony Blair, Google, and Bill Gates? Seriously? I find it fascinating how when Kagame’s back is against the wall, that is when human rights groups, and Judges demand accountability from him, he uses weak claims of pan-African Unity and sovereignty, and respect to deflect from his criminal behavior. Yet he never bats an eye when it comes to employing and hobnobbing with  known British imperialist Tony Blair. The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

Despite all that, Kagame’s intimidation tactics must end. Lives must be spared. And communities must be rebuilt. And not in terror. Stop Kagame’s terrorism now!

ETA: I realize that the Rwanda government is blaming the grenade attacks on “interahamwe.” But is anyone seriously surprised by that? Is that not what Kagame et al did all throughout the early 90s?  Colored Opinions writes:

The state run Rwanda News Agency published this report that Rwandan Police have arrested two men and that they have claimed, within less than 24 hours that “all the evidence” points to the guilt of the Interahamwe.

When a presidential candidate from the opposition was attacked my a mob, members of the police present did NOT even interfere with this attack. YET I’m supposed to believe they are so efficient they caught the two parties responsible, and by God, they belong to the 1994 genocide terrorist group, the “interahamwe.” I tip my hat to the Kagame propaganda machine, but pray that the world wakes up and prevents the 1994 genocide from happening all over again. This time we know. No one can claim ignorance anymore. No one. Not even you Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Especially not you.

Amnesty International Press Release: Rwanda: Intimidation of opposition parties must end!

Seems Rwanda’s attempt to intimidate opposition only resulted in (most likely) unwanted international attention. Latest to blow the whistle? Amnesty Interantional. Below is a full reprint of their press release urging Rwanda to stop intimidation against opposition.

Rwanda: Intimidation of Opposition Parties Must End

18 February 2010

AI Index: PRE01/058/2010

Amnesty International has strongly condemned a worrying attack on a Rwandan opposition group as the country prepares for presidential elections in August 2010.

In a letter to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Amnesty International urged him to use the elections as an opportunity to show the government’s commitment to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

“Past elections have been marred by intimidation, however this year’s vote gives Rwanda the chance to promote rights not repression,” said Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Deputy Director Tawanda Hondora.

The letter was prompted by a recent attack on two members of United Democratic Forces (Forces Démocratiques Unifiées, FDU-Inkingi) and harassment of the President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (Parti Démocratique Vert du Rwanda, DGPR).

“Amnesty International is concerned that these recent incidents are part of a wider pattern of intimidation and harassment to discourage and discredit opposition groups,” said Tawanda Hondora.

On 3 February, Victoire Ingabire, president of the FDU-Inkingi, and her aide Joseph Ntawangundi were attacked in the capital Kigali while collecting documents needed for the party’s registration from a government building.

During the attack Victoire Ingabire’s passport was stolen and Ntawangundi was severely beaten.
Amnesty International welcomes the police enquiry into the incident.  However, Police Spokesman Eric Kayiranga confirmed, as of 15 February, that no charges were pressed and some of those arrested had been released.

“Opening an investigation is a good first step,” said Tawanda Hondora, “but an effective investigation must be prompt, impartial and bring those responsible for the attack to justice.”

Three days after the incident, the New Times alleged that Ntawangundi had been convicted of genocide in absentia in 2007 by a gacaca court – a community tribunal set up to try genocide cases. He was arrested the same day, 6 February, on charges of involvement in the 1994 genocide, which left as many as 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu dead.

A law criminalizing “genocidal ideology,” whose terms are vague and ambiguous, was promulgated on 1 October 2008, unduly stifling freedom of expression. The offence is punishable by 10 to 25 years’ imprisonment.

Victoire Ingabire, has regularly been denounced in media close to the government as being “negationist” of the genocide or “divisionist” for public remarks made since her return from exile in January 2010 calling for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Hutu by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

The leader of the Ideal Social Party (PS-Imberakuri, PSI), Bernard Ntaganda, was also called before the Rwandan Senate to answer accusations of genocide ideology in late 2009.

“Rwanda has an obligation to prohibit speech that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” said Tawanda Hondora, “but Rwanda’s laws on genocide ideology too often conflate legitimate political dissent with such incitement.”

Frank Habineza, the President of the Green Party, has also reported being threatened by a man he suspects to be a security agent on 4 February in a hotel in Kigali, the capital.

Habineza reported the incident to the police on 5 February and is awaiting further information on the status of investigations.

Amnesty International calls on the Rwandan government to investigate the intimidation of opposition groups, bring those responsible to justice and take immediate steps to respect the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly of opposition parties.

Rwanda’s Kagame warns critical presidential rival

This is a Reuters article that I thought was worth reprinting in whole here.  Sounds like Pres Kagame might be plotting something. We’ll see. Enjoy reading!

Rwanda’s Kagame Warns Criticacl Presidential Rival

By Hereward Holland

KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwandan President Paul Kagame said an outspoken presidential aspirant could be prosecuted for inflammatory remarks about the 1994 genocide.

Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu who was living abroad during the 100-day slaughter, returned to Rwanda last month to launch a bid in the August presidential elections, in which analysts expect Kagame to win a second 7-year term.

“I think this individual is going too far in abusing the country’s goodwill and attempting to destroy the positive steps that have been established, but eventually the law will catch up with her,” he told reporters in Kinyarwanda on Monday.

Since her return Ingabire’s public comments, saying that the memory of Hutus killed during the genocide had not been fully acknowledged, have prompted heavy criticism from Rwanda’s largely pro-government media.

They accuse Ingabire of flouting the country’s post-genocide constitution which bans sectarianism and acts that could incite conflict or disputes. Rights groups say the law is vague and ill-defined and could be used to suppress views the government deems inappropriate.

Ingabire denies accusations that she is using ethnicity to garner support for the elections and says Rwanda needs to open the political space to defuse ethnic tension through discussion.

“I do not think it is wrong to talk about what is happening in our country and how we can avoid making the same mistakes,” she told Reuters by telephone.

“I am not worried because I know that I did not do anything wrong… everybody knows that they use this law against everybody who is in opposition.”

Ingabire, who worked as an accountant for nine years in The Netherlands, heads the yet to be registered United Democratic Forces (UDF).

“She does not have political status according to the law,” Kagame said.

“This is a person who actually counted on being immediately apprehended upon arrival at the airport – this was what she hoped for, so that it would serve her interests. But there is no need to play into that situation.”

Last week a mob attacked her, stole her handbag and injured her personal assistant. Police say her aggressors accused her of ethnic divisionism.

Kagame’s government has suppressed ethnic debate in an attempt to forge a national identity and move away from tribal politics which led to the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Ingabire denies allegations made in a 2009 U.N. report linking some UDF members to Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern Congo, some of whose leaders were responsible for the genocide.

(Editing by Tim Pearce)