By Pascal Kalinganire
March 20, 2010
Excellency General Major Paul Kagame March 20, 2010
President of Republic of Rwanda N° 20/P/PK/310
PO Box 15 Kigali
Ref: Rwanda’s Political Climate
Following our letter of last February 8th expressing our concerns on the Rwanda’s political climate degradation, it is with further consternations that we call upon your authority to put both your ruling party, Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and your government to exercise restrain against political oppositions parties and rather promote a genuine democratic process critical to the next August 2010 presidential elections.
In light of persistent intimidations and pressures to political oppositions, the Organization for Peace Justice and Development in Rwanda (OPJDR).Inc.; a Human Rights Organization, as many other close observers of Rwanda strongly fear that this degradation of political atmosphere in Rwanda could degenerate in another human tragedy. In this crucial time, your leadership is quite essential in siding on the right path for the Rwandans people for a stronger future where each Rwandan would feel included in the political democratic process and steer Rwanda from another calamity.
OPJDR deplores many of the government or leading party, RPF’s sponsored actions to silence political opposition leaders including the following:
•Just this week the Social Party – Imberakuri (SP-I) led by its President and Founder, Bernard Ntaganda has faced some significant aggressions sponsored by your own RPF’s party according to the SP-I party’s press release (N° 002/P.S.IMB/010) of March 16th, 2010:
• RPF’s leaders have asked the PS-Imberakuri’s leadership to resign or face consequences
• RPF and the government have visibly encouraged and sponsored the break-up of the SP-I party into factions.
• While other political opposition parties such as the Green party and the Unified Democratic Forces (FDU) are not even allowed to have meetings to elect their leading committee’s, it is very interesting to see how the government give authorization to one of the runaway faction of the PS-Imberakuri to meet expeditiously and declare the forming of the new committee that exclude those who have not accepted to dissolve the party’s leadership.
• This renegade faction of the PS-Imberakuri party is also given ample times on the airwaves of the government official radio (Radio-Rwanda) to conduct their political compaign that is essentially filled with hate speeches toward the other PS-Imberakuri political leadership.
• Furthermore, both the Green party and the UDF party have yet to be given permissions to assemble and successfully register when their respective leadership indicate to have satisfied all necessary government requirements.
OPJDR urges your government to work on the right side of the Rwandan history in promoting civil liberties and political rights. We call upon your authority to do everything possible to ensure full respect for the rule of law and human rights, build a free, credible, and transparent electoral process through advocating the expression of peaceful criticism and dissent.
Our organization further believes that not only the government needs to ensure a transparent electoral and democratic process with a broader participation of its people but it should also work on a true process of dialogue to reconcile the nation.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter and hope to hear from you soon.
BP 3026 Manchester, NH 03105
PHONE: (603) 361-6473
Excellency Mr. President Bingu wa Mutharika
African Union President and President of Malawi
African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243 Roosvelt Street (Old Airport Area) -W21K19
Addis Ababa - Ethiopia
Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00
Fax:(251) 11 551 78 44
Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State US State Department
Washington, DC 20520
Honorable W. Stuart Symington
US Ambassador in Rwanda
2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie - Kacyiru
Tel: (250) 596 400 Extension: 2553
Fax: (250) 596 771 / 596 591
P.O. Box 28 Kigali - RWANDA
Honorable Mr. Tony Blair
Africa Governance Initiative
P.O. Box 60519 London - W2 7JU
OPJDR is a non-profit and apolitical. Its mission is to promote the respect of human rights and cultural, educational, and economic development in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
By Pascal Kalinganire