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Paul Kagame is seen as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is safe only for those who make a difference

Under his rule, the nation of East Africa killed nearly one million people to be welcomed by its Western allies as a model for Africa's growth, a devastating mass in 1994. Appeared from the ruins of the slaughter.

At a recent meetingbetween US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta of Rwanda, the United States has a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda. I admitted that I was maintaining it. He raised concerns about the human rights of the country.
In areportdetailing human rights practices in Rwanda last year, the US State Department stated that it was "serious" ranging from "illegal or arbitrary killings by the government" to "compulsory." Human rights issues have been identified. Disappearance by the government "etc.

Critics say that the success of Kagame's authoritarian rule came at the expense of the human rights of the country.
Rwanda will host the Commonwealth Headquarters (CHOGM) this week in the capital Kigali. This is the first federal summit in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among the world leaders.
Britain has emerged as one of Rwanda's strongest allies, and Prime Minister Johnson said in an interview with CHOGM that criticisms of Rwanda are based on "now obsolete Rwanda stereotypes." rice field. British Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £ 120 million ($ 147 million) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to East African countries. ).

Patel described Rwanda as"a safe haven for refugees"because Britain vowed to promote controversial plans.

'There is no safe haven'

As the British government Patel and others claim, it is a "safe shelter" for refugees. On the contrary, Rwanda is a rights organization that treats refugees badly, which has been criticized by humans.

Amnesty Internationalsaid at the timethat at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police fired in protests against food cuts at Kijiba refugee camps and Karongi Town in 2018. reported. Rwandan officials told CNN that state police had resorted to shootings to control a group of violent protesters, which was an isolated case.

Rwanda had previously accepted refugees from Israel.

According to the Israeli media, some refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 had a hard time surviving. Israeli media, Haaretz, reported that many refugees fled Rwanda and some others who chose to stay in the country were denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to arrests and imprisonment.
The UK-Rwanda asylum agreement states that less than a year after Britain's international human rights ambassador, Rita French,Rwanda refused to investigate human rights abuses. Said he was dissatisfied with. British government.

Human Rights Watch's Director of Central Africa, Luis Madge, recently said, "The UK has ironically decided to change its position in Rwanda, ignoring human rights violations in Rwanda. To justify this cruel and immoral program, a safe and acceptable country for sending refugees. "

He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who make a difference. ..

"Just because Rwanda is clean and safe for Westerners does not mean that it is safe for all Rwandans. If you do not bow down and ask or ask questions. , Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans. Challenge something. Step up and question something or express it with an independent opinion, Rwanda is very comfortable to live in. It will be a difficult country, and these western countries need to be aware of it, "Mudge added.

A Rwandan government spokesperson refused to comment on HRW's allegations and dismissed the agency as an "untrustworthy source."

Mudge described the asylum agreement between Britain and Rwanda as an insult to federal values.

"Britain is, on the surface, a federal leader, abdication of one of the pillars of the federal government, which is a fundamental respect for human rights," he said.

Refugees sent from the UK are made up of different nationalities, but Rwanda's Foreign Minister Birta said the asylum program is only for those who are already in the UK seeking asylum in the UK and are Democratic Republic of the Congo. Republic, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania.

The British government stated that the program aims to curb human smuggling networks and discourage migrants from making dangerous sea trips to the United Kingdom.

From genocide to growth

President Kagame modernizes Rwanda, a former Belgian colony for his supporters and allies in Western Europe and Asia. A liberator who has transformed and transformed.

His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as Vice President and Defense Minister until 2000, after which he was President for 22 years. Served. Year.

Kagame worked to unify the country after the genocide, abolish the split terms "hutu" and "tutsi", andintegrate the two cultures

Benefits gained in Rwanda Under his control cannot be denied.

Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makoro told CNN that the country has been remarkable in the last 28 years because of its extended life expectancy, near-universal health care, and low levels of corruption. He said he had made progress.

According to the World Bank, Rwanda is witnessing "strong economic growth and a significant improvement in living standards." The World Bank'sreportin 2020 succeeded in reducing the country's administrative corruption to something that is considered illegal by accepted practices and punished once identified. Said.
Rwanda is also # 1 among 13 low-income countries with innovation capabilities in the2021 Global Innovation Index

, and 27 in sub-Saharan Africa. It is ranked 7th in the economy. The country has been further loved by the West by promoting gender equality and creating a women-dominated cabinet. About 61% of parliamentary seats are occupied by women.

Kagame has been actively involved in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Government of Rwanda signed a three-year promotional contract with Arsenal in the English Premier League. With the message "Visit Rwanda", the British football club with astatement

Arsenal man as part of an effort to become a world-leading tourist destination. The women's team jersey has since been bearing the "Visit Rwanda" logo on its left sleeve.

Opposition crackdown

However, despite such interests, Kagame's dominance has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses. ..

Freedom House'sWorld Freedom 2022 Reportstates: "While the government maintains stability and economic growth, it is extensively monitored, intimidated, tortured, and banished. Dissident expression or suspicion of assassination. "

Rwanda opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was a candidate for the United Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential election and disagreed with Kagame. He states that he is a victim of crackdowns on.

She told CNN to leave the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, and to play an active role in Rwanda's politics, but she did terrorism and national security. She was imprisoned for what she said was threatening. According to the Kagame administration.

"I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by Presidential Amnesty on the condition that I could not leave Rwanda freely without government permission. I asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands, but the government did not respond to my request. "

Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.

Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire, photographed in a court in Kigali in 2011.

Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire "for serious crimes such as participating in terrorist acts and promoting the ideology of genocide. He was tried and convicted. "

Makoro added: Makoro did not comment further on the status of Ingabile's departure request.

Ingabile said he challenged imprisonment in an African court. Human Rights and People's Rights-Established by the African Union-In 2014,was acquitted three years after the court found infringement of her rights
{127. } Ingabile says she is now

"I'm afraid of my life. She told CNN on the phone.

" When you criticize the government, you state , And you are arrested and put in prison. President Kagame does not tolerate criticism of his administration. "

Makoro did not respond to the particular case Ingabile spoke of. However, she accused Ingabile of making "unfounded claims" against the Rwandan authorities.

"Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabile) lacks a recognizable policy platform and offers solutions that can help improve our country. She doesn't offer it. She just uses her platform to make unfounded claims about the government. This doesn't help drive our country's progress. "

In response to widespread reports of abuse, Makoro stated that Rwanda cannot be characterized as a country that does not respect human rights.

"This feature has nothing to do with the countries I know. The central principle of Rwanda's reconstruction was to ensure that everyone was treated. As humans-that means we do not tolerate any form of discrimination, which is enshrined in our Constitution and supported by our commitment to the rule of law, "Makoro told CNN. rice field.And he was sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Kigali court. Rusesabagina, who influenced the movie "Hotel Rwanda," was famous for saving more than a thousand Rwanda during the genocide of the country by protecting them at the hotels he manages.

He was accused by a Rusesabagina prosecutor ofbeing involved in the National Liberation Front (FLN). The MRCD, however, denied responsibility for the attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family states that he had not been tried fairly and was kidnapped abroadand returned to Rwandain August 2020. He told the New York Times in a video interview on his way to Burundi on his private plane to talk to the church on August 28, but when he woke up he was surrounded by Rwandan soldiers. I noticed that I was there.

Talking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied allegations that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and handed over to Rwanda.

"It was very appropriate and legal," Kagame said of Rusesabagina's arrest.

"If he worked with someone in Burundi on the same plan to destabilize our country, for example, the same person decided to take him to Kigari- The person he worked with, and he was trusted-and the government was cooperating with that person he trusted, how would the government be held accountable for the operation? "He Added.

'Rwanda is a poor country'

In addition to raising human rights issues regarding asylum agreements, opposition politician Ingabile has a high unemployment rate in Rwanda. Is a refugee deported from building the people who live there by the UK.

"In Rwanda, there is a high unemployment rate, especially among young people. What happens to refugees if the UK government stops funding accommodation? Rwanda has no future," Ingavire said. Mr. says.

She also considers Rwanda's economic growth to be a myth, as poverty is widespread in rural Rwanda. According to the United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index, the country's rural poverty rate is 42%, much higher than the city's 15%.

"There is no infrastructure outside Kigali like that found in Kigali. The Rwandan government is not increasing employment across the country, so it accounts for most of the poverty in rural areas." Ingabile told CNN.

The government refused to comment on Ingabile's allegations.