OTTAWA -- A full investigation is needed into the actions of the Rwandan Government, political violence and the ongoing Presidential elections.
The Green Party of Canada wishes to convey our deep concern over the news of the death of the Rwandan Greens' Vice President Mr. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka who went missing yesterday on July 13th. Mr. Kagwa Rwisereka was found dead this morning near the River Mukula. This follows a series of actions by the Kagame government to harass and arrest opposition leaders and political rivals. The Green Party of Rwanda has been consistently stymied by the actions of local government officials who have repeatedly interfered with the Party’s ability to register as an official party. Two of these attempts involved violence that broke up the meetings.
In the fall of 2009, Rwanda became a member of the Commonwealth with the backing of Canada, Britain, and Australia, among other nations, despite a report in July, 2009, by the Commonwealth’s own Human Rights Initiative which expressed deep reservations over the country’s human rights record. In particular, it noted that Rwanda needed to “Tackle a lack of political freedom and harassment of journalists…” Harassment of journalists and newspaper agencies has increased dramatically during this past election year and since Rwanda was admitted to the Commonwealth. The Canadian government has been silent on the elections in Rwanda and the actions of President Paul Kagame’s government.
The Green Party of Canada wishes to reiterate its support for founding President Mr. Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and the President of the African Greens Movement. The Green Party of Canada also remains in solidarity with the aspirations of the peoples of the continent of Africa to have their nations and communities embrace and build democratic societies which can live free from violence and environmental degradation. We strongly encourage the government of Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, and all other government officials to reverse its recent descent into undemocratic practice and turn its energies towards a fully democratic, inclusive and peaceful society. We recognize that Rwandan society can and should be among the leading societies on the African continent in the efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation which remains the greater overall threat to the future of all Africans.
We are disturbed by this recent news and once again, respectfully petition His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, and all other government officials concerned to do the following:
[a] To conduct a full investigation into the death of Mr.Andre Kagwa Rwisereka and all other acts of political violence;
[b] To do or perform any other act that is politically and legally conducive to the successful registration of democratic political parties;
[c] To continue to adhere to internationally accepted democratic principles so that the culture of multiparty democracy is entrenched in Rwandan society.
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