WASHINGTON – The world – especially the Greater Middle East – has become less peaceful than it was five years ago, according to the 2013 edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) released here Tuesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace.(...more)
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Monday, 1 April 2013
In the months leading up to the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the radio station Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines blanketed the country with anti-Tutsi propaganda, inciting its Hutu listeners to “exterminate the cockroaches.” During the genocide, the station took on an even more active role, reading out lists of people to be killed and their locations.
The role played by the station only became widely understood outside of Rwanda after the violence was over. Three of its former executives were eventually indicted by a U.N. tribunal for their part in the genocide, but what if the world had been monitoring Milles Collines before the killing started?(...more)
Friday, 30 November 2012
Rebels from the M23 group in the eastern DR Congo (DRC) say they have begun withdrawing from territory they captured from government troops.
The group’s full name – the March 23 Movement – refers to the date peace accords were signed in 2009 between the country’s government and the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), a rebel group comprised mostly of ethnic Tutsis.
About 500,000 people have fled their homes during seven months of fighting between the M23 rebels and government troops.
The US has dispatched a state department official to the region but has been careful to spare its allies, Rwanda and Uganda, anything beyond symbolic sanction – even though a UN report, released last week, concluded that the rebels have been backed by both neighbouring countries.(...more)
Friday, 9 November 2012
If you’re a coffee drinker, chances are the cup of java you drank this morning was made from beans that were produced or harvested by women. Women’s handprints can be found at every point in coffee production.
In fact, on family-owned coffee farms in Africa, about 70 percent of maintenance and harvesting work is done by women, according to an analysis by the International Trade Centre, but only rarely do women own the land or have financial control.
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is trying to change that by giving them access to training and networking, and the opportunity to develop new trade relationships…
Fatima Aziz Faraji … manages a family coffee farm called Finca Estate in Tanzania. She’s pushed for a larger voice for women by filling the seats on coffee oversight boards traditionally reserved for men. For instance, she’s getting ready to begin a stint on the Tanzanian Coffee Board, and she’s a co-director of the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute.
So what is the IWCA’s alliance doing for women in her country? She explains the IWCA is bringing women together who previously had no access to each other, or the outside world.
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is trying to empower women in the coffee sector through training, networking and new trade development.
Monday, 13 August 2012
When people think of genocide in Africa, neighbouring Rwanda usually comes to mind after the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 100 days in 1994.
But over the years Burundi, which has a similar ethnic make-up and tensions, has also faced killings by both Tutsi and Hutus, driving a wedge into the fabric of the nation…
… Burundi is now coping with ethnicity far better than its better-known neighbour.(...more)
Friday, 10 August 2012
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda failed to resolve a border-region dispute at a meeting yesterday, strengthening the position held by rebels whose insurgency has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.
After Congo accused Rwanda of supporting an ethnic Tutsi- led rebellion in the east of the country, President Joseph Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame held a three-day summit with five other African leaders in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, which borders both countries.(...more)
Saturday, 4 August 2012
UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday demanded an end to foreign support for the M23 rebels fighting against the Kinshasa government in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a rebuke diplomats said was aimed at Rwanda and Uganda.
The 15-nation council issued a statement voicing its “strong condemnation of any and all outside support to the M23 and demand that all support to the M23, including from outside countries, cease immediately.”
“They further call upon all countries in the region to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in dismantling and demobilizing the M23,” the statement said.(...more)
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Shalom, Educating for Peace (SEP), a peace education NGO registered under the law of South Africa and working in Rwanda, will be awarded the Global Peacemaking Award from the International Public Policy Institute (IPPI) on the 9th of June. SEP has been educating communities for peace since 2008, reaching thousands of people in the Ndera, Rwamagana and Rulindo areas. The organisation has developed several programs, including a weekly radio broadcast on peace, training in nonviolent communication, and peace education through sports, theatre and song, amongst others. (read more…)
Monday, 30 April 2012
War crimes trial in Ottawa starts with jury selection: Jacques Mungwarere arrested in Windsor for allegedly participating in Rwandan genocide
The selection of 12 bilingual jurors, from a pool of about 1,200, begins today in Ottawa in the war crimes trial of a man accused of participating in the mass genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
Jacques Mungwarere, 39, is the second Rwandan to be prosecuted under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, which was introduced in 2000 and allows for prosecution no matter where or when an alleged war crime may have been committed.
The first person prosecuted under the act is Desire Munyaneza, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2009.(...more)
Monday, 16 April 2012
Given that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis took place on the basis of deep social divisions, justice and reconciliation were top priorities when the country emerged from the 100-day cataclysm. “Justice was the first thing that those who lost loved ones claimed,” explains Domitilla Mukantanganzwa, the executive secretary of the national jurisdiction of Gacaca courts.(...more)
Friday, 23 March 2012
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been criticized by the U.S. government and advocacy groups for cracking down on civil liberties and trampling on human rights. Investors are more focused on how his policies have fostered one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in November criticized Rwanda’s “closed” political culture. Harassment of civil-society activists, opposition figures and journalists as well as the disappearance of some of them pose the “next developmental challenge” for the country, she said. Her comments echoed similar statements by Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, last week.(...more)
Rwanda’s traditional mechanism for resolving civil disputes; the Gacaca courts, will officially be closing on the 4th of May 2012. The Gacaca Courts have tried the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide related Rwanda’s traditional mechanism for resolving civil disputes; the Gacaca courts, will officially be closing on the 4th May 2012. The Gacaca Courts have tried the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide related cases. As of July 2012 the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)’s main body is also closing and will no longer hear any cases except for appeals, which are to be completed by 2014. These developments raise questions about what avenues will remain open for ordinary Rwandans who have not yet had their cases heard.(...more)
Monday, 23 January 2012
MONTREAL – A man accused of crimes related to the Rwanda genocide was deported back there Monday after losing a lengthy legal fight to stay in Canada.(...more)
Friday, 6 January 2012
ARUSHA — Government of Rwanda announced that it would officially hold an official closing ceremony for the semi-traditional courts known as Gacaca on May 4, 2012 according to information received by Hirondelle News Agency.
The new date was declared following a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, indicated a government statement made available to Hirondelle on Thursday. The closure of Gacaca courts was first announced in 2007 but has been postponed several times due to what officials call complexity of certain cases and the discovery of new facts.
Gacaca trials began in 2005 in 106 pilot jurisdictions and were then extended to the rest of the country. They have now judged some 1.5 million people, according to the Rwandan government.(...more)
Thursday, 8 December 2011
On 8 December, 2011, the UCDP released its latest addition to its vast number of datasets; the UCDP GED version 1.0-2011. The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, detailing all of the UCDP’s categories of violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict and one-sided violence) in Africa between 1989 and 2010 at the level of the individual event of violence.
Also on 8 December, 2011, the UCDP released new data on external support in internal armed conflicts for the time period 1975-2009.(...more)
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
A public relations firm whose senior management has close links to the Liberal Democrats [UK] said they had created an internet “attack site” for the government of Rwanda over accusations it had been involved in genocide.
Mark Pursey, head of BTP Advisers, was secretly recorded saying that the site was targeted at people who “over-criticised” over “who did what in the genocide”. A 2009 report from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said Rwanda’s “excellent public relations machinery” had succeeded in hiding “the exclusionary and repressive nature of the regime”.
Mr Pursey, who was the voluntary head of the Liberal Democrats’ National Media Intelligence Unit during the 2010 election, suggested his firm could create a similar site for the Uzbeks – who were in fact undercover reporters working for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Such a site, he added, could be “aggressive” in terms of putting across figures showing that things were “moving in the right direction”. Also at the meeting was Edward Lord, a member of the City of London Corporation, who attended at Mr Pursey’s request.(...more)
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has begun a visit to France, striving to rebuild ties that were shattered by accusations related to Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
Mr. Kagame was scheduled to meet with Rwandan expatriates, French business leaders and French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his three-day visit.(...more)
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
With the war in Libya reaching its conclusion, it now looks as if Colonel Gaddafi will be the next authoritarian leader in North Africa to fall as a result the remarkable events dubbed the Arab Spring or Jasmine Revolutions. As I noted back in March many both within Asia and beyond have asked whether such ‘blossoming’ of dissent and revolt could occur in the authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes of Northeast, Southeast and Central Asia. This week the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville will host a workshop that will explore precisely that question. Entitled “The Jasmine Revolution and the ‘Bamboo’ Firewall: The impact of the Internet and new social media on political change in East Asia.”, the workshop will host 13 scholars from prestigious academic institutions and non-profit organizations around the country to participate and explore the potential impact of technology on democracy in Asia. Next week I hope to share some of the workshop’s findings with you, but for this week I am reposting the original blog entry from March…(...more)
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Human Rights Watch, the New York-based rights group, is long accustomed to drawing controversy in Rwanda. Whether branding President Paul Kagame’s regime as dictatorial or highlighting purported press freedom abuses, the well known and respected organization is often derided by Rwandan government officials as biased and misleading.
Its new report, entitled, “Justice Compromised: The Legacy of Rwanda’s Community-Based Gacaca Courts,” [link added] has not only helped to cement this reputation amongst local officials, but has also drawn the suspicion of an international diplomat whose own country is known for being critical of the Kagame regime…
In her opening remarks, Leslie Haskell, researcher at the HRW Africa Division and author of the report, told reporters that Gacaca courts had truly achieved a lot, but also left a lot to be desired…
Gacaca courts, largely built on the Rwandan community philosophy of settling disputes through truth telling and forgiveness, were introduced in 2004 to reduce the backlog of genocide cases for approximately 130,000 suspects who were languishing in prisons as they waited for their trial.
Among other achievements, Haskell said Gacaca courts helped with “locating and identifying bodies of victims and a possible easing of ethnic tensions.”
However, Haskell also said that she found in “many cases that potential witnesses failed to speak out in defence of genocide suspects because they feared prosecution for perjury, complicity in genocide or ‘genocide ideology’,” a term the report alleges is a, “vaguely defined crime prohibiting ideas, statements, or conduct that might lead to ethnic tensions or violen(...more)
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Peacemakers Trust has added a new resource, RwandanStories to its list of educational and bibliographic resources on Rwanda. Rwandan Stories is a collection of video, photography and journalism that explore the origins, details and aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide through the eyes of both survivors and perpetrators. The site includes a wealth of educational curriculum materials. RwandanStories was developed as a collaboration among several Australians including filmaker Dave Fullerton, peace and reconciliation consultant John Steward, and educator Sally Morgan.