Ref: I appeal to you to use your good offices to urge Mr. Kagame to accept our Road Map to Peace
Your Excellency, allow me to register my sincere thanks on behalf of my party, the Rwanda People’s Party (RPP) for your recent visit together with your family to Rwanda. We would also wish to hail your heroism in addressing the important points that have been affecting the people of Rwanda for the past 17 years. Your Excellency, your visit was very important, timely and has thrown a lifeline to the innocent, the defenceless, and the downtrodden Rwandan, whose voices cannot be heard because they cannot speak for themselves.
Your Excellency, we are aware of the long history you have had in the USA Democratic Party and also of your commitment to the cause of the human rights and economic and political renaissance in Africa. Many Rwandan people admire and applaud your commitment over the years to Rwanda, a country that has suffered so much, not from “so called Ancient hatred” as you expressed in your speech at KIST of 23/11/11, but instead from those who are willing to kill in the name of differences, and from those who saw division and death as a path to power” and /or to hang on power.
Your Excellency, President Kagame has run a very autocratic and undemocratic government in Rwanda ever since his RPF party came to power in Rwanda in 1994. He has totally restricted any form of political participation, has detained opposition politicians or put them into detention without trial and worse of all he has now embarked on an assassination policy of political opponents and journalists that he perceives to be opposed to his government. This assassination policy is carried out both inside and outside of Rwanda, for e.g. in South Africa as well as in London.
Your Excellency, this time the victim, was Charles Ingabire, a young man, a member of our party, who had much to offer to the rebuilding of Rwanda. Charles was a genocide survivor, whose entire family was wiped out in the tragic events of 1994. A few years back he was forced into exile to seek asylum in neighbouring Uganda. His flight from his country didn’t stop his persecution and harassment from the Kagame regime. He was lured into a death trap by people who he thought were his friends, but who were in reality hired killers of the Kagame regime and last week they shot him dead in cold blood in the dark of the night in Kampala City.
Your Excellency, you showed a lot of vision, courage and foresight to take your husband and children to Rwanda so that they should join you to witness the horrors that visited our country. We hope that you and your family have acted as ambassadors to publicise the suffering our people have undergone over the last five decades of independence, an independence that has only delivered suffering and tragedy to our people. We hope that your visit to Rwanda will shed more light to the international community about Rwanda, about its tragic history and its aspiration to recover and to be a free nation of a people aspiring to give hope to its children and future generations.
We also hope you can use your good offices to assist in tracing, identifying and apprehending many genocide suspects, some of whom are suspected to be living in the USA. I invite you to note that the International Court Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has been totally ineffective and has not delivered any justice at all to the Rwandan people and the numerous victims of genocide. Instead, it has benefited the lawyers and the bureaucrats who work in this court rather than the victims. The ICTR mandate is about to end soon, yet there are still thousands of genocide perpetrators at large who have never been brought to the bar of justice.
Your Excellency, while genocide ended, but severe political repression replaced it under the brutal dictatorship of Paul Kagame.
Kagame has totally failed to reconcile Rwanda and after almost 17 years in power, it is impossible that he will ever heal the wounds of Rwanda. In fact he is now the main obstacle to peace and reconciliation in Rwanda and the return of Rwandan refugees to their homeland, many of whom suffer in horrible conditions in the neighbouring countries, especially in the DR Congo.
Mr. Kagame has restricted political space in Rwanda, banned political parties, shut down newspapers that don’t agree with him, and has carried out an active assassination policy of his political opponents and journalists as was seen in Uganda just a few days ago when Charles Ingabire was gunned down on the streets of Kampala by hit men suspected to be his gunmen.
Your Excellency, we have proposed a Road Map to Peace to the RPF and to Paul Kagame personally. We have told him we want to sit down with him and hold genuine peace talks so that we can stop any further unnecessary shedding of Rwandan blood. Unfortunately, I can inform you that Mr Kagame and his party have so far refused to even acknowledge our proposal which was sent to him on 05/05/2011.
Your Excellency, there is no doubt that Rwanda under Kagame has pretended to be gender sensitive and has many female legislators. However, my party believes that this is a façade and is insincere. Rwanda needs competent women who are able to make informed choices and a difference in the lives of vulnerable people. The women in Kagame’s coterie cannot remotely do this.
Your Excellency, Rwandan poor have been excluded and segregated by the government that is supposed to protect them. Rwanda has over 1.7million displaced children who have no hopes, dreams and aspirations. Rwandan legislators have consistently overlooked the misery of the poor, many of whom are homeless, whose homes are demolished by the government in a mistaken policy of building better housing for the poor people in the rural areas, the construction of which never materialises and many families are left homeless as a result. Many poor people are not allowed into the city centres unless there are wearing shoes or sandals, otherwise they are sent to prison.
There is also an invidious forced sterilisation policy that has so far affected almost 700,000 young men and women. This policy denies these young people a right to family life like all other human beings are entitled to and is cruel and inhuman.
Your Excellency, we wish to assure you and your government that our party the RPP is committed to regional peace and stability and to improve bilateral relations and working together with our neighbours to maintain stability in the Great Lakes Region of Nations.
That is why on behalf of my party, I appeal to you to use your good offices to urge Mr Kagame to accept our Road Map to Peace ( A copy of which is enclosed). We are ready to talk to his regime at any time, whether in Europe, Africa or the USA. We are willing to walk that extra mile so long as it brings peace and reconciliation and prosperity to Rwanda.
We are determined to heal the wounds of Rwanda, a country and people who have suffered so much and that is why I am writing to you to give us a helping hand and encourage President Kagame to stop his belligerent attitude to Peace Talks and to completely abandon his assassination policy of opponents.
We are willing to meet you in New York to discuss this further if you feel that this would further the cause of peace in the Great Lakes region of Nations.
Your Excellency, we look forward to future fruitful cooperation with you as a fraternal partner for peace and democracy in Rwanda and the rest of the Great Lakes Region of Nations.
John V KARURANGA, President
Rwanda People’s Party
Facebook: John V Karuranga