Rwanda: A Neglected Story
Of recent a documentary by BBC published by Jane Corbin was on air and provoked anger and disappointment among many Rwandans that led to the closure of BBC program in Kinyarwanda commonly known as Gahuza Miryango.
The documentary was named Rwandaâ€™s Untold Story. The content of the documentary is not only embarrassing but an insult to a people with grief. The film glorifies killers and victimizes the victims.
Mine is not Rwandanâ€™s neglected story. It has come to my belief that Rwanda has been a country so neglected by the international community for so long. In 1980â€™s president Jevenal Habyarimana was given a full coverage by Jeune Afrique described as a peaceful president with a prosperous country yet hunger was sweeping all parts of the country. Many Rwandans had been refugees for many years segregation and mistreatment of Tutsi citizens was no bodyâ€™s concern.
In modern world set up, citizenship acquisition and flexibility is nearly self driven and segregation is basically criminal. It should be recalled that before 1994 in Rwanda the identity cards for citizens by the so called ethnic groups (Tutsi-Hutu, Twa) were used as an effective tool for segregation of the highest order and I have up to now, seen external researchers putting forward this terrible discrimination and its obvious implication in the notorious 1994 Tutsi genocide the country faced.
In 1994, genocide occurred, massive exodus of the population took place, the former regime with its population and military camped few meters across the border with all sorts of arsenals ready to attack and continue the genocide agenda that had been halted by RPF.
On the issue regarding the settlement of refuges in acceptable distance in a host country was totally ignored, separation of military elements from civilianâ€™s refugees also seemed to be a no concern to UNHCR.
The international community turned a blind eye and this was a total disappointment to the then fragile state of Rwanda. Despite the call by Rwandan government to relocate the refugees far away from the border, no effort was made to respect the international law in settlement of refugees.
It was only in 1996 when Rwanda made an effort to return its people back, in the commonly known as Rwanda invasion to Congo now DRC. This was a decision that saved a people which was indeed so hard to make but yet inevitable at the time. The world rose up, criticisms were made but the Rwandan people had to decide on their survival.
The current disappointment is about the status of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) hiding in DRC jungles. The double standards of the international community and UN are now at a good play. I recall the reaction of UN and international community when M23 rebels were making headlines in the international media.
The reaction became spontaneous, resources mobilized, pressure mounted for negative forces including FDLR. But what happened? M23 gone, cerebrations were made and success made by United Nations unique mission with a hybrid force ever established. But to the dismay, what happened thereafter.
The continuing inaction by the UN mission in regard to the rest of negative forces is basically disturbing and reveals another form of hypocrisy and injustice to the weaker parties as has been the case in the past.
FDLR remains the most notorious groups that would genuinely call for international community in case human rights protection was an issue of concern. This group has killed, raped and committed all sorts of crimes but why is it not attended to by the international community? This raises many questions to Rwandan people but the response remains that, this is a neglected story.
The only option for this problem for example, would be Rwandaâ€™s action. But how? This would necessitate for military intervention. This would provoke spontaneous and severe intervention by international community against foreign intervention. Surely, this is intriguing and in other wise unacceptable.
Amidst all this, the country has continued to ensure its own security, stability and prosperity. The anchor of all this, is a responsible government that made a choice of its priorities. It is in this regard that Rwandans should uphold the value of owning their own ways of shaping their own destiny in the face of unfair world.
The current talk of the third mandate for the re-election of president Kagame by the amendment of the constitution is very paramount. It is all about choice. We should choose between continuity, stagnancy or back drop. The amazing situation is that the people have not only heard, seen, told but have lived a reality that offers a real hope that ensures them of their development.
The second and undeniable fact is that Rwandans have for the first time, tested a situation of peace and stability under their man named Kagame. The only thing I think that holds much in the minds of Rwandans is quest for continuity Kagameâ€™s good leadership skills. They definitely need a chance to have him back through replacing a mare article 101.
Two things are involved here: one is the Rwandans commitment to stand by their choice because they are the determinants of their destiny. Quoting Ralph Waldo Emersonâ€the only person you are destined to became is the person you decide to beâ€. The second and most important is the projection of the Rwandan people to refuse any opportunity to lose what they have acquired through enormous hardships by a man they have known well. It must be their own decision.
â€œDestiny is not a matter of choice. It is a thing to be achievedâ€ William& Jennings Bryan.