The political platform, composed of political organisations Amahoro PC, FDU-Inkingi; PDP- Imanzi; PS Imberakuri and Ihuriro Nyarwanda- Rwanda National Congress- RNC would like to express its deep concern over a new wave of crackdown on opposition leaders as the RPF regime is bulldozing every Rwandan to endorse the wishes of President Kagame to become life President in a referendum now scheduled for the 18th of December 2015. Indeed, President Kagame is quoted saying during the extended RPF executive party meeting. He personally chaired on the 6th of December 2015, that his decision to accept to run again for the presidency will depend on the level of the score during the referendum.
We would like to inform the international community and the public at large that the attempted kidnapping of the 1st Vice President of FDU-Inkingi Boniface Twagirimana is part of a strategy to decapitate the opposition and intimidate anyone opposed to the final plan of confiscation of power by General Paul Kagame. The ruling party is desperate to get a very high score in the referendum by hook or crook.
The arrest TWAGIRIMANA Boniface, 1st Vice-President of FDU-Inkingi, follows the conviction of its President Mrs Victoire INGABIRE and that of its Secretary General, Mr Sylvain SIBOMANA, both condemned to heavy sentences of imprisonment after mock trials. Boniface Twagirimana escaped earlier attempts to kidnap him from his home in Gitarama. He was saved on each occasion by the timely intervention of the population around him. He had already complained for some months now about unknown people who were stalking him. Two other FDU-Inkingi political leaders, Nsabiyaremye Gratien, responsible of political affairs at the steering committee, as well as Théophile Ntirutwa party official in the city of Kigali have experienced threats and suspicious visits.
We would to thank most sincerely the courage of the population of Kigali for saving the life of Boniface Twagirimana and exposing state sponsored kidnappings in Rwanda.
We are shocked by the cynicism of the Rwandan security services for while they were holding Boniface Twagirimana at the Remera Police Station, two vehicles of the Rwandan police and another vehicle with private number plate with eight junior policemen and three senior officers were on board, arrived at the FDU-Inkingi headquarters on Saturday morning 5th December 2015 at 11 am, allegedly to investigate if Boniface was hiding at the Party Office. One of three vehicles remained parked near the party headquarters. In the late afternoon the police come to recognize that Boniface was detained indeed at Remera Police Station where they forced him to reveal passwords of his email and Skype accounts. He was released at 19H.
We would like to recall that in order to ensure a “landslide victory” in August 2010 elections, the government ordered a crackdown on newspapers critical of government and on political opponents. The government suspended two popular independent newspapers, Umuseso and Umuvugizi, described by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists as ‘the only critical media voices left in the country’. Jean-Leonard Rugambage, a journalist working for the banned newspaper Umuvugizi was gunned down; his colleague who had fled to Uganda survived kidnapping thanks to a swift intervention of Ugandan security services.
The editor of Inyenyeli newspaper was not so lucky, as he was gunned down in Kampala on 1st December 2011. A second presidential hopeful, Bernard Ntaganda, was put in prison on four charges, including terrorism. The Vice President of the Green Party was murdered in dubious circumstances. The President of the Party ran into exile. Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza President of FDU-Inkingi was also arrested.
The platform takes this opportunity to thank first all friends of the people of Rwanda including embassies, the media, human rights organizations, and any other organizations or individuals who have contributed to the rapid release of the 1st Vice President of FDU Inkingi.
Member of platform would like to reiterate that the central problem of the Rwandan crisis lies in the exercise of power and requires a political solution. Repression can only postpone the revolution for democratic change. Therefore, we are convinced that durable peace and security in Rwanda hinges on embracing change through transparent and peaceful transfer of power and building strong institutions instead of strongmen.
Done in Brussels, December 7, 2015.
President of the Platform