Rwanda’s 62nd Anniversary of Independence: FDU call to the People of Rwanda for Vital Change

Dear fellow Rwandans,

As we commemorate the anniversary of our independence on July 1, 1962, it is a time to reflect on the journey our nation has taken and the path that lies ahead. Today, we stand at a critical juncture where the future of Rwanda and the stability of our region depend on our collective actions.

On this 62nd anniversary, July 1, 2024, it is regrettable to note that the legacy left by the heroes of national independence has been squandered by the RPF over the past 30 years of its governance through actions that fall short of patriotic ideals.

Our nation has been embroiled in actions that destabilize our neighbors and undermine regional peace. Rwanda’s support for the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to violence, displacement, and human rights abuses. Similarly, Rwanda’s backing of the Burundian rebel group RED Tabara has contributed to instability in Burundi. These interventions compromise regional peace and fuel tensions between countries.

Within our borders, the political landscape is marred by the concentration of power in the hands of a few. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has created a closed system, manipulating elections and excluding genuine political opposition. This stifles the emergence of a healthy democracy. Critical voices—journalists, political opponents, and human rights activists—face severe repression, including arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, and assassinations. Reports from Human Rights Watch and Freedom House and other human right NGO’s have documented these abuses.

Moreover, the RPF extends its repression beyond Rwanda’s borders, targeting dissidents abroad with assassination attempts and kidnappings. This transnational repression highlights the regime’s determination to silence opposition globally.

Despite the RPF’s origins in fighting the 1994 genocide, it is accused of committing genocidal acts against Hutu populations in the DRC. The UN Mapping Report details these atrocities, calling for thorough investigations and prosecutions. Many other crimes are committed in Rwanda until now.

Rwanda is often portrayed as a development model in Africa, but this image is misleading. Development projects frequently benefit a small elite connected to the regime, while real economic progress is hindered by corruption and mismanagement. Massive external borrowing has placed Rwanda at risk of over-indebtedness, potentially leading to an economic crisis that could destabilize the country further.

Political repression and instability have forced hundreds of thousands of Rwandans to live in exile, often in precarious conditions and facing violence. This refugee crisis is a direct result of the current regime’s policies.

Lastly, despite officially abolishing ethnic distinctions, the RPF has created a hidden ethnocracy where the real power positions is held by people from exclusively a same ethnic group. This policy of ethnic exclusion undermines social cohesion and fuels resentment, posing long-term threats to the country’s and region’s stability.

On this day of remembrance, we call on all Rwandans, especially young generations, to unite and actively participate in the necessary transformation for our nation’s future. Changing the regime in Rwanda is crucial to restoring democracy and human rights and ensuring the stability of the Great Lakes region. We need to promote inclusive political dialogue, end military interventions in neighboring countries, and implement sustainable and equitable economic reforms. Reports from Forbidden Stories, the UN, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and moreover our own daily life as Rwandans provide strong evidence of the urgent need for this change.

Together, we can build a Rwanda that respects the rights and dignity of all its people. Let us honor our independence by striving for a better future for all Rwandans.



Placide Kayumba 

FDU-Inkingi Chairman

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