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Submitted by snorman on Fri, 03/15/2024 - 11:37

Jambo ASBL, as an organization dedicated to promoting the rule of law in Rwanda, regrets the recent decision by the High Court of Kigali, which prohibits Ms. Victoire Ingabire, a leading figure in the Rwandan opposition, from participating in the legislative or presidential elections scheduled for July this year in Rwanda.

This decision once again confirms the dictatorial nature of the regime of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR-Inkotanyi), which continues to exclude and persecute all political opposition since taking power through a military victory in Rwanda in 1994. This observation reaffirms an undeniable reality: in the current state of affairs, there is no democratic and peaceful path to power in Rwanda.

In Rwanda, the judiciary enjoys no independence and acts under the direct orders of the regime, which controls the Executive. All those who dare to criticize the regime are either prosecuted, forced into exile, subjected to enforced disappearances, or assassinated.

Yet, since her return from exile in the Netherlands in 2010, Ms. Victoire Ingabire has consistently advocated for the peaceful opening of the political space, despite her arrest and imprisonment for 8 years, solely for demanding the recognition of all Rwandan victims massacred in 1994.

Since taking power in July 1994, the FPR has never organized free and transparent elections. All attempts by candidates or power-independent formations have been systematically excluded, either judicially or through terror and intimidation.

The elections scheduled for July this year will be no exception.

They will merely serve as a formality to reinstate President Paul Kagame, and will once again lack legitimacy as with the previous ones. 

In its persistence to suppress voices advocating for freedom and political change, the FPR is dangerously mortgaging Rwanda's future. This decision against Ms. Victoire Ingabire once again misses the crucial opportunity to initiate genuine national reconciliation, aiming to end the deep rivalries that continue to infect the country's social and political fabric.

Jambo ASBL stands with the millions of Rwandans who, fearing for their safety, dare not express their disappointment and remain silent to conceal their anger and despair.

The Rwandan people must be supported in their quest for freedom, justice, and democracy, and we call on the international community, starting with Rwanda's neighbors, to work together to respond to the silent cry of an entire people.

Done in Brussels, March 14, 2024

Ruhumuza Mbonyumutwa

Secretary-General and Spokesperson of Jambo ASBL


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