Rwanda. The Hutumilis Democratic Forces of Rwanda’s Liberation (FDLR) announced in March that it would lay down its weapons and move on to conduct political activities. The FDLR, whose members participated in the Tutsis genocide in 1994, has for several years been based in eastern parts of Congo (Kinshasa), where the militia is accused of continuing human rights violations. However, the plans seemed to run out in the sand since the Rwanda authorities refused to grant public amnesty. The prospect of a new opposition movement with a clear Hutu profile should also not have aroused enthusiasm in Rwanda, where debate based on ethnic lines is taboo after the genocide and the Tutor minority’s re-occupation of political power.
According to countryaah, Kigali is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Rwanda. Several thousand Hutu prosecuted at the grassroots courts gacaca fled to Burundi for fear of not getting a fair trial. They were refused asylum in the neighboring country and, according to the UN, were forced back to Rwanda. Dozens of people charged with gacaca courts were reported to have committed suicide.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym RW stands for the country of Rwanda and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
In Arusha, Tanzania, the trials of the supreme responsible for the genocide continued. The last eight charges against persons arrested so far have been brought, but 14 suspects are still on the loose. The ambition is that the proceedings before the UN Court should be completed in 2008.
The donor countries of the so-called Paris Club decided in May to fully write off Rwanda’s debt totaling approximately US $ 90 million. The decision was made in recognition of Rwanda’s good work in reducing poverty and promoting economic growth.
In 2016, a large number of people were convicted or extradited for their participation in the 1994 genocide. Rwanda’s National Court sentenced Léon Mugesera to life imprisonment in April. He had been extradited from Canada in 2012, and was convicted of soliciting genocide and inciting ethnic hatred. In May, a Swedish court sentenced Claver Berinkindi to life imprisonment for genocide. In July, Enoch Ruhigira was arrested in Germany at the request of Rwanda authorities. He was chief of staff for then-President Juvénal Habyarimana and charged with genocide. In September, the university lecturer Léopold Munyakazi was extradited from the US and charged with genocide. He had been in court since 1999, but was released for lack of evidence. Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant against him in 2006 after denying the genocide. At an October hearing, he pleaded not guilty. In November, genocide-targeted Jean-Claude Iyamuremye and Jean-Baptiste Mugimba were extradited from the Netherlands. The same month, Henri Jean-Claude Seyoboka was deported from Canada. He had forgotten to disclose his military past in his asylum application. In December, a French court upheld the 25-year sentence of Rwanda’s former intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa for genocide and accomplice in crimes against humanity.
In October 2016, Kagame transformed his government, abolished the Ministry of Internal Security and placed this function under the Ministry of Justice.
In 2016, Israel initiated a practice of sending Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to Rwanda. During a joint press conference during Kagame’s state visit to Israel in July, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that these were not asylum seekers but persons seeking employment. Kagame declared that the two countries would discuss the matter.
Kagame won the presidential election in August 2017 with 98.8% of the vote. Amnesty International criticized the election for having been conducted in a climate of fear and oppression. Kagame subsequently appointed Édouard Ngirente as new prime minister.