RDI-Rwanda Rwiza Party Manifesto
The present document responds to many requests we received from fellow Rwandan citizens following our call dated August 10, 2010. It is obvious many people have welcomed this invitation to support the new political trend termed “Rwandan Dream Initiative” and they want to learn more on the content of this revolutionary principle, especially as regards its objectives.
Some have even shown their burning desire to join right away this initiative which they described as salutary in these times of crisis where Rwanda is in dire need of competent and experienced leadership, capable of imparting a new impetus to the process of the long awaited political change, and put an end to the dictatorial regime of President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
Others have expressed highly constructive opinions and considerations with the hope that an organizational structure is quickly set up to effectively channel all ideas and actions aimed at speeding up our political struggle against the bloody regime that reigns in Rwanda since July 1994.
It has therefore been necessary to meet common expectations of Rwandans, indicating in these few pages our vision of the “Rwandan Dream “, based on the values of freedom, truth and justice as main axes. This is a dream of united citizens, determined to live in harmony within their small and beautiful country. Its fulfilment will provide a great boon to the people of Rwanda, whose pride will then be regained along with dignity and especially fundamental rights that have been trodden underfoot for more than 15 years by an antifreedom and criminal regime.
Furthermore, the present document is accompanied by a declaration to which all those who share this vision of a new Rwanda and who are determined to work towards its implementation will adhere, as part of a political platform called the Rwandan Dream Initiative (abbreviated RDI, or “Initiative du Rêve rwandais” in French; and “Umugambi Rwanda Rwiza” in Kinyarwanda).
TAKING UP CHALLENGES
After so many dark moments in our history marked by crises and violence that contributed to chaos and especially the loss of millions of lives of our fellow citizens, it is not easy to achieve this dream of a united and reconciled Rwanda. However, we are committed to do it and we absolutely must meet this challenge. Also, achieving the goal of perfect harmony among Rwandans will first entail the eradication of all barriers traditionally characteristic of Rwandan politics.
One major challenge is none other than the so-called “ethnic conflict” wrongly portrayed as tribal in the media by researchers and international organizations, unfortunately basing on quarrels between the so-called Bahutu and Batutsi socio-economic classes.
Though this Bahutu and Batutsi conflict is deeply rooted in historical and sociological realities of our people, it is far from being tribal. It should be recognized that at some point in our recent history it has ceased to be a conflict between Bahutu and Batutsi to become simply an instrument for the conquest of power in Rwanda.
The fundamental question here is whether we have the strength, but also the will and the means to get rid of this obstacle. The simple answer is YES. We just need the courage to sit face-to-face, say the truth aloud to each other and come up with the conclusion that we are one people, a people united by our language and customs. We shall put an end to the Hutu-Tutsi conflict, not just by telling each other the truth, but also by confirming our identity with pride.
To create and bequeath to the present and future generations a Rwanda of our dream, “Rwanda rwiza”, we have a duty to agree in the near future on appropriate means to record in a new constitution our commitment to live together in a country where citizens resolve peacefully any conflicts that may arise between them.
We cannot pretend to establish a reliable democratic system in our country, without first setting up a space of freedom for all, and without prior commitment to a future peaceful coexistence among Rwandans.
It is important to note that the non-solution of the current conflict between Bahutu and Batutsi will definitely result into the threat of recurring violence and inevitable movements of Rwandan refugees along with their train of misfortunes to their host countries, especially in Africa. It is equally imperative to permanently resolve the Rwandan refugee issue, not only by creating a space of freedom in our country but also by making the truth a citizen value and solid basis on which to build Rwanda. In particular, a real rule of law must be introduced in order to combat
impunity, bring into effect democracy and justice for all, and ensure to each daughter and son of Rwanda a daily well being and a better tomorrow. This is the “Rwandan dream.”
Dream is elusive. It often escapes and disappears with our sleep without being able to decode it properly in all its aspects, leaving us yet the desire to achieve it or avoid it by all means whether it is attractive or nightmarish.
The common dream of Rwandans is different from the one that invades mind in our sleep. Their dream would roughly correspond to their daily concern, reflected in what used to be termed “Ejo Nzamera nte?” or uncertainty about the morrow. This is a permanent dream that strongly besets us in our search for happiness, peace and freedom in the land of our ancestors.
The Rwandan dream is that surge we feel of living in perfect harmony with our families, our neighbors, and choosing leaders whose first duty is to ensure our security and not to kill us. All Banyarwanda, Abenegihugu, dream of living together, free from fear of becoming victims of political struggles sustained by top state leaders in a bid to control the power. Falsely attributed to the conflict between Bahutu and Batutsi, those struggles prompt vicious rulers to engage innocent citizens in atrocious fights that they pay dearly with their lives. This conflict should see a happy ending once the Rwandan dream has become reality.
Rwandans are eager to freely work for their own subsistence, and meet their family needs, including proper education of their children. They long to live in a
country whose growth is focused on means to ensure people and families good health, work, or piece of land for sustenance. They want to be assured of their rights and freedom to be educated, their self-fulfillment, and to be supported, where possible, to succeed in their country. They dream of creating means of production for their own wealth, being supported or not, as well as working with their physical strength and intellectual capacity to gain financial independence. They want to live freely in their country, leave or return to it without fear of being humiliated, and possibly to own a piece of ancestral land, and fully enjoy
property without fear of being dispossessed by those in power. The basic Rwandan dream is that of any normal man: to live in peace and freedom everywhere, all the time.
Living free in our country should be our motto. Rich or poor on Earth and in particular in Rwanda, freedom is the greatest happiness that we should share from our birth until the age when we realize that we must defend it. Unfortunately, we do not have freedom today. We have to fight for freedom and defend it. Because if we do
not defend it, it will unfortunately be snatched from us by violent and greedy predators for personal power, meaning we will submit to slavery.
Freedom is therefore the fundamental basis for managing our lives and building our Nation. It allows us to believe in our equality before the law because, in our opinion, freedom is what gives real meaning to our existence and hope. Common happiness will only come from the freedom to do the good to self and to others.
It is a common knowledge that the people of Rwanda are not free today. It is a resigned people, and every citizen deserves to be called Nsekambabaye [Laughing in pain]. It is time to break the chain of forced submission and halt the rebirth of the cult of personality by anyone who would believe to be the strongman of Rwanda.
Together we must fight with strength and determination the Rwandan dictatorship in all its forms and any tendency to impose on us a nepotistic or rather dynastic regime.
It is time Rwandans understand that it is false to brag about a democratic political system and believe it can be possible in a country like ours where freedom is not guaranteed and where one-party system has been imposed.
It is time to change the violent and arrogant dictatorial system, supported by the apostles of neo-colonialism in disguise, inducted in our country under the pseudonym of advisors for good governance. However mighty they may appear, foreigners who support Rwandan dictators deserve no consideration because the former are the source of Rwanda’s woes, either by their silent complicity in the seizure of power through violence, or by lies and hypocrisy to cover the criminal in power for the sole purpose of protecting their own interests.
Freedom alone is not enough to realize our dream. Its requisite corollary, the Truth, must also prevail.
Now is the time to stop lies and proudly speak the truth about our identity as we have to get rid of the racist behaviors borrowed from the apartheid of another age. It is time to look straight in the eyes of each other and tell the truth about what unites us and what separates us from our identity. It is time we act as responsible citizens of our country, in solidarity with our neighbors in Africa and other continents. Responsibly Africans and not necessarily driven by African tribalism, being Black Africans should be enough for us to love each other and above all stand together to share our common fate.This requires unwavering solidarity. It is high time to accept our national identity and history.
Without truth between us there will be no trust between us and it will be difficult
even impossible to realize our dream. Without “confidence-building”, the Rwandan dream would be seriously compromised, and therefore harmony between Rwandans would be only a wishful thinking.
Rwandans must have the courage to accept their past mistakes and account for them, and honestly regret state crimes committed upon citizens. Thus they will be able to sign, consolidate and abide forever the National Unity Pact, substantiated by their language, shared history and customs.
In a country that has experienced so much violence, where submission and blind obedience to authority have emerged as a strong culture steeped in violence and malice, and where myths are taken for realities, it is time to get rid of this mentality that often drives us to bow, to obey blindly those we fear and who consequently push us to deadly hatred against our neighbors.
It is certainly time to dream, and it is high time to realize our dream. The solution lies in the resistance against the violation of our rights and in the defense
of our freedom to speak the truth. Truth is necessary in our private and public life. For us truth is the foundation of good governance but also the key to peaceful coexistence.
FREEDOM and TRUTH are both generic values of democracy and
not vice versa. FREEDOM and TRUTH are the raw material of democracy and thus constitute the basis for strong institutions. Those institutions will be built and strengthened through the direct participation of citizens, justice and free expression in Rwanda.
Rwandan citizens must be free to elect their leaders. The free choice of
leaders will encourage them to be grateful and respectful of their fellow citizens and to behave as their humble servants and representatives. Freely elected leaders will make efforts to have a sense of accountability and set up strong mechanisms meant to improve living conditions of their delegators. We will also tell the truth and nothing but the truth about our History.
Tribal kings ruled over Rwanda before they collapsed under the domination of a single clan that established a centralized authority surrounded by myths that would insure the survival of Banyiginya dynasty. The ambitions of the Banyiginya were never to unite Rwandans nor defend interests of their subjects, but instead to dominate all other clans in the African Great Lakes region.
Thus, power and authority crises in a dynasty became progressively a conflict that was portrayed as conflict of “race” by Western anthropologists when in reality the issue was the violation of the common people’s rights and the monopolization of power and country’s wealth the by the dominant class.
Indeed, internal violence between Batutsi and Batutsi on one hand (Putsch of Rucunshu in 1894 and the assassination of King Rutalindwa Mibambwe IV and his lieutenants), and violence between Bahutu and Bahutu on the other hand (Putsch of 1973 coup and the assassination of President Kayibanda and his colleagues) prove the Rwandan history is complex and is one of the most controversial of the African continent as regards power control. Needless to say that this leaves an image of a country whose history is characterized by the most tragic moments of the continent. It is therefore our duty to do everything possible to stop the rot and ensure to future generations a country worthy of consideration, not only in Africa but also in the whole Wold.
GENUINE NATIONAL HISTORY BASIS OF THE TRUTH
It is important but also very useful to know perfectly our country’s history. Also it is time for Rwanda’s history to be narrated, written and explained by Rwandans themselves. A history written and explained by foreigners does not contain all the desired truth about our country that can help us achieve our dream. And that truth will not spring from our mythic and rather confused history. It requires braveness on our part to write ourselves a different History that will not be exclusively relating to tribal chiefs, monarchs or successive leaders and regimes under the Republic, but will dig deep into our past.
The truth about our genuine History, our social or national identity, and about the conduct of our leaders [Monarchs and Presidents] since the 19th century until today, will bring to light some indications on the beginnings of our conflict. Nothing can build a strong self-confidence in us than the knowledge of our past that we are bound to accept courageously.
By accepting our History, with pride or regret, we will be able to make our way to happiness, peace, justice, brotherhood and solidarity.
A Nation without History is a Nation without a future. Denying our History, whether good or bad, would be a crime of falsification on facts and events, yet they are likely to serve as a reference for future generations. These generations would choose to follow or not the footsteps of their elders, otherwise to do better than their ancestors, and make their own History in accordance with social transformations that will happen over time in their lifetime. We should not forget that “A Nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.” (Winston Churchill).
Those who read the Rwandan History will at least know that the fight for power did not begin with the 1959 revolution and the abolition of the monarchy followed by the proclamation of the Republic in 1961. This fight started with the Rucunshu bloody putsch of the summer 1894 when the King of Rwanda, Rutalindwa Mibambwe IV of Banyiginya clan was kicked out of power and burned alive in his hut. He was then succeeded by his half brother, Yuhi Musinga IV, inducted by his powerful maternal uncle and putsch leader Kabare of Bega clan.
The power struggle in Rwanda reveals a string of changes, the most important being the proclamation of the Republic in 1961, the putsch of July 5, 1973 by General Habyarimana, followed by the slow assassination of President Kayibanda. Then comes the assassination of President Habyarimana by the Rwandan Patriotic Front on April 6, 1994, followed by the Batutsi genocide committed by Bahutu extremists and crimes of genocide against Bahutu both within Rwanda and in the DRC, committed by RPF soldiers on the orders of the current president of Rwanda, Tutsi General Paul Kagame.
Physical and verbal violence abundantly reflected in historical genre Ibyivugo to praise atrocities inflicted on opponent marked the ancient Rwanda and has never disappeared from the collective unconscious. The recent history of our country tainted by the use of bloody violence to gain or retain power is obviously the repeat of such a rooted tradition. This must stop.
FREEDOM AND TRUTH INTIMATELY RELATED
Rwandan people must break free and reject all kind of affront of a leadership that constantly threatens to exterminate part of the population whether with machetes, hummers or used hoes. Rwandans must reject any act of murder and mass killing that systematically targeted people in their homes (1994), in makeshift camps or camps for displaced people in Kibeho (April 1995) and in the Democratic Republic of Congo(1996–1997).
Today Rwandans are tired of living with uncertainty about the future, in fear of terrible and recurrent suffering awaiting them at unknown time. One category of Rwandans are subject to daily humiliations as they are treated as genocidaires or “genocidal ideology” bearers. Rwandans are also tired of being used as political bail for a regime that uses tragic memories to acquire international sympathy credit, with a traumatic ritual which tends to become a national cult imposed by the current regime. We will always honor the victims of Rwandan genocide, and other victims as well. However, its is inappropriate to politicize such unfortunate experience only to stir up the conflict of the past and fuel rage and hatred among people. It belongs to the citizens who feel the pain of the 1994 genocide and other crimes in which loved ones perished to determine freely the least traumatic way to honor their memory.
No one has the right to bury the History of our country. Good or bad, it’s our history and we must accept it, and accept our responsibilities in all the dramas that have marked our people in recent years.
We must free ourselves from the rituals, myths and ideologies around a Rwandan strong man, the only responsible and manager of everything, owner of the National Heritage, planner for the future of everyone in our country. The country’s economic development [if any development be], social transformation and the fight against poverty, cannot under any circumstances be an enterprise of one man who makes this pretext to deprive other people of their freedoms. A leader cannot be a single actor and should not be a “strong man of the country” to accomplish any action. For us, a leader is a captain of a team; it is also a man of consensus. Leadership is not a tyranny, nor an autocracy whose sustainability could definitely provoke the anger of the people.
Rwandan people must be free from political coercion by predator politicians and all those who have blood on their hands. These will be brought before relevant courts for fair trial based on the truth.
FREEDOM AND DEVELOPMENT
No harmonious development is possible in the absence of freedom. Examples are numerous especially in Africa. Other examples can be found in the History of communist countries that have realized that freedom is fundamental to economic development. Indeed, countries that still are communist such as North Korea and Cuba may not serve as a good example, nor can the strong regime of Burma be a reference for Rwanda. While China remains politically communist, the country has made a choice for capitalist economy and its economic development today is exemplary. But China has the advantage of transparency and political alternation, and freedom for Chinese businessmen to invest in areas that interest them. Rwanda lacks that. Unlike Rwanda’s RPF, Chinese Communist Party does not divert national wealth, and Chinese President is neither criminal nor predator of any neighbor country’s riches.
There is no political alternation in Rwanda. The regime is autocratic, headed by a leader who is eager to accumulate wealth and seeks to be replaced by someone of his own choice, an heir to his ill-gotten wealth.
Economic development to which the Rwandan dictator wrongfully refers every time his crimes are mentioned is just a decoy intended to fool foreign donors.
Certainly, the city of Kigali underwent remarkable embellishment since 1994 when RPF took power, but at the expense of economic and social development in rural areas left to fend for themselves. Indeed, nothing is comparable today with initiatives or happiness and joy that prevailed in rural areas under the regime of President Habyarimana before the latter was assassinated in April 1994 under the orders of the current president Paul Kagame. Never under successive republican regimes had the impoverishment of Rwandan people got more widespread and accelerated in the total indifference of Rwandan authorities than today when we paradoxically see the current leaders get wealthier.
Rwanda needs currently a fair distribution of wealth to diminish the ever-increasing disparity between rich minority and the increasingly impoverished population. The Rwandan “new rich class” confuses economic development with the modernization of the Kigali urban area, where buildings and residential homes are built to the scale of money laundering in connection with the wealth looted in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1996 to 1998 war.
Despite the Kigali’s opulent suburbs, Rwanda is far from becoming African Singapore; neither will it soon be South Korea nor one of the United Arab Emirates. The above mentioned considerations highlight the urgent need for
an end to the economic model of the Rwandan dictator. Under the “Rwandan Dream”, we will ensure harmonious development, oriented on free enterprise, that would benefit the Rwandan people including in rural areas.
FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY
It is our opinion that it would be virtually impossible to think about democracy before thinking about freedom. We must think and accustom ourselves to open discussion at all levels on the future of our families first, then locally and ultimately nationally. Therefore we strongly encourage the establishment of Discussion Clubs so that people debate the problems of our country with the aim to find solution to them.
Freedom of expression and association, freedom of movement, freedom to invest in Rwanda in accordance with national laws conducive to those actions, the freedom to choose our leaders, and obviously freedom to life, are fundamental freedoms. They must be well protected. Freedom will be our base for building strong democracy in Rwanda. For us it’s freedom first, and then democracy. Freedom is not acquired without a fight. We will fight by all peaceful means to acquire freedom in our country.
TRIBUTE AND MEMORY
Achieving the Rwandan Dream absolutely requires sound resolution to maintain memory for millions of Rwandans who died, victims of all kinds of predators and this at different times. There is no justification for killing unarmed people, whether Bahutu, Batutsi or Batwa.
We bow and pay tribute to millions of our fellow citizens victims of the hatred, the madness and the megalomania of those who took up arms to engage in fratricidal struggles with the sole objective to catch and maintain the power with no regard at all for solution of the core of problem that has been triggering quarrels in Rwanda for over 50 years.
We plunge into the Rwandan Dream World with major concern to address, day and night, the internal conflict in our country, the conflict that persists even today at the dawn of the 21st century, and this after the massacres that left dead millions of people in both Rwanda and the DRC. Our commitment is to rule out armed solution to the conflict and come up with political solution that would be sincere and inclusive, and especially would allow the establishment of consensual, efficient and respectable institutions.
We have all been affected by the conflict, without any exception whether we are Batutsi, Bahutu or Batwa. We have all painfully suffered each in their own way that will mark our life. Durable solutions must be found to this conflict that is at the origin of the cruel struggles that led to the 1994 genocide and other crimes of genocide that were committed in Rwanda and in the DRC in 1996–1997 while the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) was destroying Bahutu refugee camps. All those atrocities that were watched by the International Community in total indifference are shameful for a civilized World. Those who initiated the violence did not benefit from their inhuman act, as they were not able to dissipate once and for all the conflict that concerns us today. Instead they committed horrific crimes in the interest of predators who want to dominate Rwanda not only with barely concealed intention to loot its few ressources, but also and especially with the determination to weaken the DRC so that they could plunder in all impunity, with the complicity of their mentors, the huge wealths of this country.
The inter-Rwandan conflict proved favourable to criminals who took the opportunity to create chaos in the DRC, causing permanent instability and insecurity
with, among other dire consequences, violence against Congolese women mainly in South and North Kivu provinces.
It is high time that we commit ourselves to give hope to young and future generations by taking a firm decision to end this conflict; it is now or never. Certainly scars, irreparable souvenirs of loss of our loved ones, these things we hold dear and irreplaceable, our children, brothers and sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces, wives, parents and neighbors, will not just disappear forever, but the conflict, it will have to disappear for good.
With regard to the victims of the Rwandan conflict, it behoves us to reject the
falsification of our history, especially by resisting any attempt to destroy symbols that have been erected for and on behalf of the Rwandan people, whether under monarchy or under Republic. In particular, we have the duty to honor and respect Rwandan Kings and presidents of the Republic who contributed to memorable and remarkable changes in our political history.
We shall vigorously resist any political culture inclined to military violence that aims at consolidating a dictatorial power in our country, like the one currently established by President Paul Kagame’s regime. We will also condemn any offensive and contemptuous remarks used by authorities as well as humiliating treatment of former political figures, statesmen and heads of State whose contribution to our history was decisive. Similarly, King Musinga’s resistance against the colonization of his country, attempts by King Rudahigwa to end to ubuhake or servitude, the audacity of the founders of the Republic among whom President Kayibanda, deserve to be mentioned publicly and monuments to be built in their honor. Indeed, their courage and determination remain striking facts of our recent history. With all due respect to those who deserve to be called destructive « iconoclasts » and forgers of our recent history, every effort should be made to keep our heroes’ work and memory alive.
ERADICATION OF FRATRICIDAL WAR
It is clear that on the field of National Unity and Reconciliation,
President Kagame has miserably failed. To the great misfortune of Rwandan and
our neighboring Congolese peoples, the Kigali dictator opted for hegemonic wars
and assassinations of his opponents, without the least worry to find a definitive solution to the Rwandan conflict. Unfortunately, a certain international opinion has been mislead by Kagame’s regime that claims to have reconciled
Rwandans while facts prove just the opposite. Indeed well-advised observers know that the much vaunted reconciliation in Rwanda is only a Kigali government’s subterfuge intended to burnish the image of the dictator Kagame. This reconciliation farce is ultimately harmful to the people of Rwanda.
From now on we reject unnecessary internal wars that endanger permanently the lives of our fellow citizens since 1959 until today. We have a duty to end the culture of hatred, violence, revenge, mutual contempt, and finally the culture of exclusion, through sound education of our children, the Rwanda of tomorrow. We will encourage debate among Rwandans, wherever they are.
Whether they are educated or not, all Rwandans are affected by the same disease, and it is time we make self therapy and get rid of our national evil. The treatment can only come from us, by the contribution of our deep thoughts, our constructive ideas to the preparation of future generations. We Rwandans are all bound by destiny to live together at all costs and ever, and for this reason, we must commit ourselves to sign a new “social contract” that guarantees a comfortable Nation, or a Rwanda of our dream: “ Rwanda Rwiza, Rwanda rw’amahoro”.
We shall condemn and fight any attempt to seize power by force of arms and any attempt to grip on power through violence, machinations and other police methods contrary to the free choice of leaders of our country by the citizens. Nobody has the right to take people hostage in a state of conflict, fear and repression in our own country, for the sake of personal power or any other reason whatsoever.
In memory of all victims and in order to prepare a better future for young generations, we will make every effort to find the means necessary for common ground to unite us, and thereby avoid what could ever divide us. The rediscovered unity among the Rwandan people will, no doubt, guarantee sustainable peace, not only in our country but throughout the African Great Lakes.
THE RULE OF LAW AND THE FIGHT AGAINST IMPUNITY
Our dream is to live in a country where the rule of law will drive our political, economic, and social development. Equal justice for all to ensure none is subjected to the pseudo justice through the courts of hatred. In the Rwanda of our dream, nobody, whatever their ranks or political positions are, including that of Head of State, will be above the law. We are committed to making the rule of law the hope for a brighter future for our country.
We will all respect the law of our country and will protect it against dictates of unworthy leaders. We are confident that compliance with the law will change our attitudes and exorcise the fear that we feel towards leaders who inflict us humiliation and degrading treatment. Thus respect of the law will enable us to defend our rights as citizens in our country. Since 1990, we have been undergoing violence caused by those who are supposed to ensure citizens’ safety and protection against external danger. Even today, we are facing the same danger of becoming victims of violence from those who cling to unchallenged power. As good citizens it is our duty to persistently make our voices heard, expressing our desire to live in a country with rule of law, the only guarantee for peaceful coexistence and lasting peace in our country. We will be in the forefront of the fight to block access to power by arrogant leader, predator, criminal and terrorist who would intend to come to power or to maintain it by force or by any other undemocratic means.
All those who dream of living and breathing their last in Rwanda have only one wish: to bequeath their children a “Rwanda flowing with milk and honey”, a country of sustained peace and hope. Now, our duty is to join forces in order to combat political repression inflicted on Rwandan citizens, and avert the external and internal negative forces that might cause other human tragedies to our country.
To this end, we will spare no effort to ensure that RPF soldiers who committed war crimes in Rwanda from January 1 to December 31, 1994 are also judged by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR, and that UN put in place without delay a Special Court to try crimes committed in the DRC by RPA in particular and armies of other countries.
ENDING THE ISSUE OF RWANDAN REFUGEES
Every person would like to live in his or her country or to visit it freely. Rwandan citizen is no exception. Every Rwandan refugee dreams every day of returning to his country of origin.
Our most urgent wish is that the conflict between Rwandans ends today, since its persistence has always given rise to the violence that caused massacres in our country, thus forcing part of the population to exile in foreign countries. There is no way to resolve the issue of Rwandan refugees without first resolving the issue of power struggles and without ending the cycle of violence based on the culture of revenge.
Conflict between Rwandans could be solved in light of the Arusha Peace Agreement, signed August 4, 1993, between the RPF and the then Rwandan government; an agreement that can still serve as a basis for solving some of our problems. It should be recalled that if power struggle was between Batutsi and Bahutu at a certain moment of our History, the similar case existed and still exists between Bahutu and Bahutu. For reference, the 1973 military coup that brought to power President Juvenal Habyarimana and the issue of “Banyenduga” who were then massacred and whose graves have never been discovered. Thus the would-be theory of Bahutu solidarity or “Gushyira hamwe” (Combine exclusively Bahutu efforts?) and “Kuvuga rumwe” (Wipe out differences between Bahutu?) to fight “common enemy” basically does not make sense. Let’s only unite for a common goal, namely, to eradicate vicious power struggles within the Rwandan society.
By accepting the principle of power-sharing during the 1992–1993 peace negotiations with the RPF, Rwandan democrats were conned by this politico-military movement as they [RPF] negotiated and signed the peace agreement while having a hidden agenda, which was to be revealed by one of the worst tragedies of the past century: the 1994 genocide that was triggered by the assassination of President Habyarimana. The return of Batutsi refugees in Rwanda and their participation in power, which was the focus of the negotiations, has not been implemented as planned.
After the 1994 genocide, in an atmosphere of mourning for some and triumphalism for others, the return of Batutsi was limited, messy, and made up mostly by unemployed and few intellectuals. All things considered, the question of Batutsi refugees remains unsolved even though it had served as a casus belli for RPF and despite the price paid in human lives for their violent repatriation. The violence exceeded limits and compromised the image of the Rwandans who were driven into brutality against fellow citizens just in the interests of a clique that was targetting power and not the return of Rwandan refugees.
The seizure of power by RPF, after the 1994 genocide, occasioned a wave of Bahutu refugees, some of whom were repatriated by force, two years later, others being slaughtered by hundreds of thousands in the DRC. Those who survived the killings have been scattered in African countries, as well as in other continents.
It is a fact of our History today: there are Batutsi refugees and Bahutu refugees worldwide, and their numbers continue to grow following the fact that other Rwandans are being forced by the Kigali dictatorial regime to flee their country.
The consequences of all the violence related to our Hutu-Tutsi conflict are painful and unbearable, both for present and future generations. The violence is demonstrated by a sense of exclusion and even extermination, and by massacres that clearly are at the root of the movements of Rwandans forced to leave their property, their land, their only wealth and their roots, in order to save their lives by fleeing to foreign countries.
RPF has failed to bring expected solution to the problem for which yet it took up arms in 1990 to invade Rwanda, while the promised democratic system will never see the day under the military dictatorship on power today.
Therefore, the failure of the RPF regime is twofold: On one hand the number of Bahutu and Batutsi refugees is increasing more than ever (some have even been killed by the hundreds of thousands by the RPA in the DRC); on the other hand democracy in our country remains a dream to achieve yet through a lengthy political struggle run at the moment against the RPF dictatorial and criminal regime. If neither of these objectives has been achieved, despite the pain and suffering including the blood of millions of our innocent fellow citizens, it is our duty as committed citizens, and aware of superior interests of our Nation, to stand up as one man in order to search quickly for concerted and effective ways to put order in our country, so that all Rwandans can return unconditionally and live peacefully.
We solemnly reaffirm our strong belief that Rwanda needs urgently a profound political change based on core values of Freedom, Truth and Justice, the only guarantors of a genuine Rule of Law, entrenched Democracy and lasting Peace. We also recognize the extreme importance of the eradication of impunity and the return of Rwandan exiles in their country, both factors being essential to the creation of conditions for an effective reconciliation between all components of the Rwandan society and their harmonious coexistence.
The Rwandan Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa, must always bear in mind they are one
people and that, while remaining attached to their identity, it is in the interest of all to build a strong Rwandan Nation thanks to our common traditional values
namely Ubupfura (Kwanga umugayo) or honesty, Ubutwari or bravery, Ubuntu or humanism, and Umubano or solidarity with others.
All the values stated above fit well with the “Rwandan Dream” as presented in this
document and are clearly inconsistent with a state of dictatorship, whether civil or
military. Therefore, all freedom and peace loving Rwandans have a duty to
vigorously fight the autocratic and criminal regime raging now in
Rwanda under the patronage of President Paul Kagame. It is particularly urgent that this regime, should it remain in place for a few more years, it would cause further
irreparable damage, both in terms of human lives and fundamental freedoms.
So the future of our country and the stability of the entire African Great Lakes region are under serious threat. For this reason and given the gravity of the situation, we are urgently renewing our appeal to Rwandans and friends of Rwanda
to join and strongly support the “Rwandan Dream.”
Together, empowered by our sense of responsibility and love for our motherland,
we shall find a final solution to the conflict of power, source of all recurrent violence that struck lives of Rwandans since more than half a century and remains a huge obstacle to political, social, intellectual and economy development in our country and our region.
It is only when we have eradicated our conflict that fraternity, solidarity, freedom, justice and democracy will triumph in the land of our ancestors. Then education, work and free enterprise will come along as added values to each citizen. Moreover, in this “New Rwanda” of our dream where freedom, truth and democracy
reign supreme, no one will any longer oppose peace the return and unconditional of
our countrymen from exile and the peaceful coexistence of Rwandans in their country.
Fellow Rwandan citizens who identify with this « Rwandan dream » are cordially urged to adhere to the text attached hereto in lieu of the Founding Declaration of the political platform called « Rwandan Dream Initiative » (Initiative du Rêve rwandais, Umugambi Rwanda Rwiza).
Long live the People of Rwanda!