By: Jennifer Fierberg
Politics in Rwanda is a complex system of denial, propaganda, fear, lies and impunity. In order to remain safe and free from arbitrary persecution opposition groups have to operate outside of the country under the current ruling regime in Rwanda. Many of these opposition groups are infiltrated by agents of the Rwandan Government for a few dollars in exchange for information on the activities of the group. One such person, Nyandwi Salatiel, returned to Rwanda and publicly reported false allegations of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) of which he was a member prior to his return. Anyone familiar with Rwanda and the politics therein know that the RNC is viewed as rebel group by the top officials and returning to the country without denouncing their affiliation with this political organization will certainly seal ones imminent fate.
The RNC has released a press statement denouncing the false allegations that Mr. Nyandwi has reported:
March 5, 2013
FORMER RWANDA NATIONAL CONGRESS MEMBER RETURNS TO KIGALI, UNDER DURESS, MAKES FALSE ACUSATIONS AGAINST RNC
Nyandwi Salatiel, a former RNC member returned to Kigali after 19 years living in exile. According to statements he made in various online newspapers, Nyandwi fled the RPF regime in 1994.
Nyandwi who was aware that four of RNC co-founders were tried in absentia after they denounced the authoritarian regime of President Paul Kagame, he knew that he could not return to Kigali and be safe while he was still an active member of RNC.
In its attempt to gain support of the cessation clause which could take effect in June, 2013, the government of Rwanda has multiplied its efforts to bribe refugees and asylee to return home and make statements that will support its argument.
Nyandwi’s statements about RNC are false and unfounded. Unlike RPF, Rwanda National Congress (RNC) does not ask its member to be sworn in to become members. A person is free to join RNC on his own will and leave as he or she wishes.
Mr. Nyandwi lived in exile for 19 years, way before Rwanda National Congress was founded. Something else certainly kept him in exile, not the lies of RNC leaders AS Nyandwi claims, because RNC is only two years old. A document establishing RNC can be found at www.rwandanationalcongress.co.uk, or www.rwandanationalcongress.org. The document contains every reason why RNC is committed to peaceful changes of the authoritarian regime of RPF and its leader President Kagame.
Rwanda National Congress wishes Mr. Nyandwi well.
Jean Paul Turayishimye
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
If history is any teacher at all, those returning home to Rwanda should exercise great caution in their words and actions. The track record for disappearances, imprisonment and torture inside Rwanda are well known. Anyone who dare challenge the narrative of the government will find themselves in a very unfortunate situation. When one’s usefulness to the government has been exceeded its limits they will be cast aside. One hopes that Mr. Nyandwi does not find himself on the other side of that boot.