Press Release no. 18
The Union of Rwandese Democratic Forces (UFDR), a Coalition formed by the Democratic Forces for Resistance (FRD), the Initiative Group for Reconciliation (GID) and the Rally for the Return of the Refugees and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), would like to express its great appreciation on the initiative taken by the UN Security Council to focus on the African continent daunting problems, including AIDS and armed conflicts.
The UFDR is highly interested by the open meeting of the UN Security Council scheduled from 24 to 28 January 2000 to debate on the consolidation of the Lusaka peace process to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The members of the Security Council and anybody else interested in true peace and lasting stability in DRC know well that this conflict, like any other conflict, can not be durably resolved without addressing the root cause of that conflict. Those who benefited from the 1996/1997 war in Zaïre, made the mistake of not integrating this rather basic fact, and the consequence did not take long to come, and that was the second war coming hardly one year after the end of the first one from the same invader.
UFDR considers that one of the most important causes of the DRC conflict is the current Rwanda's regime. The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) government has been unable to bring peace and reconciliation in the country, and instead, has excelled in finding scapegoats to blame for its failures. It refused and still refuses to look for a political solution to Rwandan refugee crisis, and favoured military solution to resolve this highly political problem. RPF regime's undemocratic policies based on ethnic discrimination and victimisation has deterred hundreds of thousands of bona fide refugees from voluntary repatriation. Instead, there has always been a reverse movement of Rwandans inside the country fleeing, from all walks of life: cabinet ministers, members of parliament, civil servants, judges, journalists, army personnel and ordinary citizens.
The Kagame regime, by skilfully exploiting the genocide catastrophe has managed up to now to attract international sympathy and lenience for its gross human rights abuses against the population inside the country and its two invasions on Zaire/DRC.
UFDR, which reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis, finds outrageous and unacceptable, the international community double standards practice. Some of the Security Council members have succumbed to the propaganda of RPF government and assimilate to genocidalists all the opponents to that regime, and agitate the scarecrow of "Interahamwe" militiamen and a permanent danger of genocide against the remaining Tutsis of Rwanda. This diversionary strategy has been developed in order to cover up the countless crimes of the clique in power, which has been carrying out a rampant genocide against innocent civilian hutu population, in a diabolical scheme of achieving numerical parity between the two ethnic groups. The UFDR reiterates its stand that responsibility must be individual and target people who failed to assume their responsibility or who have been directly involved in the genocide of the Rwandan people.
UFDR is convinced that any lasting solution to the war in the DRC, and which very unfortunately stems from the Rwandese civil war still going on even now, will never end without finding an acceptable solution to all conflicts in the other countries of the Great Lakes region, and in Rwanda in particular. Indeed, the Rwandese and the Ugandan leaders have justified their two consecutive invasions in the DRC by presenting their countries as being victims of permanent threats coming from the "the infiltration", from the Rwandese and Ugandan rebellions. Despite the presence of Ugandan and Rwandese armies in the DRC eastern provinces bordering Rwanda and Uganda, there is no prospect of solution to the internal conflicts in the two countries.
It is unrealistic indeed to believe today that a simple and limited solution to the DRC conflict is automatically a solution to other countries in the region. By so doing, it will be like treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease. It is necessary to find a global solution, but within an unambiguous framework and with respect to the special political situation in every country.
For a lasting solution to the overall conflict in the Great Lakes region, UFDR would like to give the following proposals:
1. an unconditional withdraw of the Rwandese and Ugandan armies from the DRC as a precondition to the implementation of Lusaka agreement;
2. to hold an international Great Lakes Conference which will have to include the democratic oppositions to government of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as the main participants;
3. to set up an international Commission to enquiry into the assassination of both the Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi which triggered off the Rwandan genocide and provoked the crisis in the Great Lakes region.
As far as the Rwandese conflict is concerned, UFDR is convinced that a lasting solution can not be achieved without sincere negotiations between the RPF government and the Rwandan opposition - which should not be mistaken to be "interahamwe" as the RPF propaganda would like the world to believe - in view to setting up a true government of national unity, capable of bringing about a real reconciliation for the entire Rwandese population. For UFDR, the Arusha peace agreement signed on August 4, 1993, and which has been negotiated and concluded with the support of the international community still remains a serious basis for negotiations leading to a long lasting solution acceptable to all parties.
The UFDR reiterates its full availability to the United Nations Organisation to participate in all the efforts for peace in the region and its readiness to make concrete proposals for lasting peace and durable solution to the Rwandan crisis.
For the UFDR
Former Prime Minister
On his behalf
Union des forces démocratiques rwandaises
union of rwandese democratic forceS
Tél. & Fax : (0032) 2 410 60 82 et (0032) 2 478 66 43
e-mail : email@example.com
L'UFDR est l'Union des forces Démocratiques Rwandaises constituée par les Forces de Résistance pour la
Démocratie (FRD), le Groupe d'Initiative pour la Réconciliation (GID) et le Rassemblement pour le Retour des Réfugiés et la Démocratie au Rwanda (RDR).