Rwanda. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Prime Minister Pierre-Célestin Rwigyema resigned
in February following a conflict with Parliament. A few
weeks later, President Pasteur Bizimungu also left his post,
which he had held since the end of the 1994 genocide. Vice
President Paul Kagame, who has been the country's strong man
since 1994, was elected in April as new president. He became
the first Tutsi on the head of state since Rwanda's
independence in 1962.
In June, the UN Court in Arusha, Tanzania, sentenced
Belgian-Italian journalist Georges Ruggiu to 12 years in
prison for incitement to genocide. Ruggiu worked at the
radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines,
which in the spring of 1994 was called Hutus to look up and
kill Tutsis. The fact that the penalty was relatively mild
was due to Ruggiu pledging to testify against three
colleagues. These, two senior executives at the same radio
station and the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Kangura,
were brought to trial in October.
Rwanda was the country in Africa that recorded the
highest population growth rate in 2003, but at the same time
lives 60% below the poverty line.
On April 7, 2004, Kagame inaugurated a 10-year
celebration of the 100 Days of Massacre in 1994. On the 24th
of that month, he violated the 2002 peace agreement with the
Congo when he ordered his soldiers to attack the country.
In June, former President Pasteur Bizimungu was sentenced
to 15 years in prison for soliciting violence in
collaboration with criminals.
In October, 400 soldiers from Rwanda were sent as
peacekeepers to Darfur in Sudan.
In November, Amnesty International called on the
government to do everything in its power to ensure the
independence of the press and to refrain from using the
judiciary to intervene with the press. Amnesty also
encouraged judges and lawyers struggling to resist the
political pressure, corruption and their contribution to the
preservation of the rule of law.
A statement from the Interparliamentary Union at the
beginning of 2005 showed that Rwanda is the country in the
world with the highest female parliamentary representation.
Nearly 49% of Rwanda deputies are women. This development
has been encouraged by the legislation of the country which
states that at least 30% of parliamentarians and government
members must be women.
In March 2006, the World Bank, the IMF and the African
Development Bank decided to relinquish 13 African countries'
foreign debt - including Rwandas. The remission came into
effect per July 1st.
Joseph Serugendo who was a member of the board of Radio
Televisión Libre during the 1994 genocide was sentenced in
June 2006 to six years in prison for his participation and
logistical support for the transmission of radio and TV
messages that governed the genocide.
A French investigation claimed in November 2007 that
Kagame was behind the 1994 presidential plane crash, and at
the same time issued arrest warrants on 9 of Kagame's
advisers. Kagame again responded by accusing France of being
behind the shooting itself - French troops had control of
the airport in Kigali in 1994. He subsequently severed
diplomatic relations with France. The highly respected Judge
Richard Goldstone, who had previously been chief prosecutor
at the war crimes tribunal in Rwanda declared that the case
was heavily politicized and that the French material was
also heavily politicized.
In 2007, Kagame declared to the BBC that he would support
the establishment of an independent international commission
of inquiry. However, such was not reduced. Instead, the
president set up a Rwandan commission of inquiry into "loyal
Rwandans". It issued a report in 2009, concluding that
neither Kagame nor RPF had been involved in the plane crash.
In October 2011, RPF's former Secretary-General Théogène
Rudasingwa declared in a public "confession" that the RPF
and Kagame were behind the shooting. However, the opinion
could also reflect the growing political divide in the
Bizimungu was pardoned by President Kagame in April 2007