Rwanda: opponent Victoire Ingabire creates new party

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Kigaali, Rwanda – Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire on Saturday announced the creation of a new party, hoping to obtain the approval of the Rwandan authorities to carry out its political activities in Rwanda, a country led by an iron hand by President Paul Kagame .

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Ms. Ingabire, released from prison in 2018 following a presidential pardon, leaves the party she founded in 2006 when she was in exile, the United Democratic Forces ( UDF Ikingi). The latter is not recognized by the Rwandan authorities, who criticize him for being “cleaving” and denying the genocide of 1994, and therefore can not operate officially in Rwanda.

“I announce the launch of a new opposition party,” Dalfa Umurunzi (Development and Freedom for All), told AFP Ms Ingabire, who regularly accuses the president and the government of flouting the freedom of expression, to repress opposition and to neglect the poor. “It will help me to continue the mission assigned to me by the FDU Inkingi party “, including the quest for “unity of Rwandans”.

“The political space is very small in Rwanda, but we are ready to fulfill all legal demands for the registration and conduct of our activities in accordance with the laws of the nation,” she added.

The party FDU Inkingi for its part, in a statement, took “act” of the announcement of Ms. Ingabire “referring to conditions making it impossible for him to coordinate the activities FDU -Inkingi outside and to inside Rwanda “, and thanked the opponent for” the sacrifices endured “.

In recent years, the FDU Inkingi has lost several of its members following mysterious deaths and disappearances, which he considers as attacks on dissenting voices in Rwanda.

In September, the political party announced that one of its members had been stabbed near Kigali, while in March FDU- Inkingi spokesman Anselm Mutuyimana was abducted and his body found in a forest area in the west.

Ms. Ingabire was released in September 2018 as part of a presidential pardon for more than 2,000 prisoners.

She was arrested in 2010 shortly after her return to Rwanda when she wanted to run for president against Paul Kagame as UDF candidate Inkingi, then sentenced in 2013 to 15 years in prison for “conspiracy against the authorities by the government. terrorism and the war “and” minimization of the 1994 genocide “which killed 800,000 people between April and July 1994, mainly among the Tutsi minority.

Kigali had accused her of denying the reality of the genocide by demanding that the perpetrators of crimes against Hutu also be tried.

This Hutu economist, who was not in Rwanda during the genocide, had previously spent 17 years in exile in the Netherlands.

Strong man of Rwanda since 1994, Mr. Kagame is credited with the spectacular development of a bloodless country at the end of the genocide. But he is also accused of flouting freedom of expression and suppressing all opposition.

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