Home WORLD AFRICA US ‘worried’ about human rights in Rwanda

US ‘worried’ about human rights in Rwanda

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He particularly addressed the fate of the hero of Rwanda HotelPaul Rusesabagina, who has been serving a 25-year prison sentence since last year for terrorism and has permanent resident status in the United States.

Antony Blinken was speaking during a brief visit to Rwanda, the third and final leg of his African tour after South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This mini-tour, his second in sub-Saharan Africa since taking office, comes shortly after that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who visited Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda in July.

On Thursday, at a press conference in Kigali, Mr. Blinken expressed the serious concerns from Washington on human rights in Rwanda.

As I said to President Kagame, we believe that people in all countries should be able to express their opinions without fear of intimidation, imprisonment, violence or any other form of repression. »

A quote from Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
Paul Rusesabagina handcuffed, escorted by two policemen.

Paul Rusesabagina was arrested in 2020 in Kigali by the Rwandan police who accused him “of having financed and created terrorist groups” determined to overthrow the power in place.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / Simon Wohlfahrt

He also pointed out the preoccupations American concerning lack of fair trial guarantees provided to Paul Rusesabagina.

The family of the latter had precisely indicated in a press release that they hoped from Mr. Blinken that his direct engagement help end his nightmare and to that of Paul Rusesabagina, whose health is deteriorating, according to her.

Paul Rusesabagina, 68, was made famous by the film Rwanda Hotelreleased in 2004, which tells how this moderate Hutu who ran the Hôtel des Mille Collines in the Rwandan capital saved more than 1,000 people during the genocide of the Tutsis in 1994. In May, Washington estimated that he was wrongfully detained by the Rwandan justice.

Group shots against Kagame

Ahead of the arrival of the Secretary of State, civil society and NGO had called for an American position on the question of human rights, Human Rights Watch calling on Mr. Blinken to mean urgently [à Kigali] that there would be consequences for government repression and abuse in Rwanda and beyond.

Echoing this, Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire said Mr. Blinken should raise the issue of imprisoned journalists and politicians for opposing the government of Paul Kagame.

The US Secretary of State also indicated that he had discussed with Mr. Kagame the issue of alleged support for a rebel group in ground floorthe M23, a subject he had raised the day before in Kinshasa.

ground floor endangers local communities and regional stability, and each country in the region must respect the territorial integrity of the others”,”text”:”Any support or cooperation with any armed group in eastern DRC endangers local communities and regional stability, and each country in the region must respect the territorial integrity of the others”}}”>Any support or cooperation with any armed group in eastern ground floor endangers local communities and regional stability, and each country in the region must respect the territorial integrity of the othersMr. Blinken said Thursday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the opportunity to visit the Kigali genocide memorial.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / ANDREW HARNIK

According to a report by experts commissioned by the United Nations, and consulted in early August by AFP, the Rwandan army has launched military interventions against Congolese armed groups and positions of the Congolese Armed Forces since November 2021 and until June 2022. Kigali categorically denied.

The M23 is a former Tutsi-dominated rebellion defeated in 2013, which took up arms again at the end of last year, accusing Kinshasa of not having respected agreements on the demobilization and reintegration of its fighters.

Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting this rebellion, which Rwanda denies.

On Monday, the United States unveiled an all-out overhaul of its policy in sub-Saharan Africa where it intends to counter the Russian and Chinese presence, and in particular to develop non-military approaches against terrorism.

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