Army clashed with Congo-based rebels in north west as tensions between govt and neighbouring Burundi continued to mount. Officials reported clashes in Rubavu district in north west bordering DR Congo between army and suspected members of rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who crossed into country from DR Congo; army said it repelled suspected rebels 9 Dec, killing four; President Kagame 14 Dec said at least two soldiers and unknown number of rebels killed. Burundian President Nkurunziza 4 Dec wrote to East African Community President and Ugandan President Museveni demanding extraordinary summit to find solution to “open conflict between Burundi and Rwanda”. In south, unidentified assailants 15 Dec set fire to three vehicles in Nyamagabe district which borders Burundi, killing at least two civilians; Rwandan army said it pursued attackers into forest bordering Burundi.
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