Rwanda’s relations with both Uganda and Burundi remained fraught. Rwandan and Ugandan officials 13 Dec met in Ugandan capital Kampala to hasten implementation of agreement govts signed in Aug aimed at normalising relations, but they failed to reach breakthrough over mutual allegations of destabilising actions, protection of rights and freedoms of each other’s citizens and resumption of cross-border trade. Ugandan President Museveni 29 Dec sent Uganda’s ambassador to UN to President Kagame as his special envoy in attempt to ease tensions. Burundian President Nkurunziza 6 Dec accused Rwanda of responsibility for mid-Nov attack on military post in Burundi. At Burundi’s request, regional bloc International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) deployed verification mission to Burundi and Rwanda to investigate attack. Congolese army 16 and 21 Dec repatriated to Rwanda 361 members of rebel group National Council for Renewal and Democracy (CNRD).
One year ago, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was mired in trouble, under serious time constraint because of the firm date by which its work had to be finished.
While a transition government is scheduled to be installed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in June 2003, the program of the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC) for voluntary disarmament and demobilisation, repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRRR, henceforth DR) of foreign armed groups has remained a failure.
Nine years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has reached another crossroads. The transition period defined by the Arusha Accords will be concluded in less than a year by a constitutional referendum and by multi-party elections which should symbolize the successful democratisation of the country.
There are just over five years left for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to complete the mission conferred upon it by the United Nations Security Council in November 1994. The Tribunal is halfway through its mandate, and in the past eighteen months, a number of new trials have begun.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda were once called the “new breed” of African leaders but hopes that they can deliver peace and prosperity to their countries are being severely shaken.
Ever since the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) came to power in 1994 in the wake of a genocide in which 800,000 people died, its government has mainly been assessed in relation to the way it has faced the legacy of the genocide and maintained stability.
Seeking the leadership of the Francophonie is clearly part of Rwanda's goal for a greater continental and global role.
It’s been essentially the Paul Kagame show [in Rwanda] for the last two decades, and not too many people see that changing.
Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights on “Examining the Role of Rwanda in the DRC Insurgency”.
Originally published in Le Soir
Originally published in The Africa Report
Originally published in The Boston Globe