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Congrès National pour la Démocratie - National Democratic Congress  

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 Presse Release  PP/No. 02/Jun/22 

CHOGM Summit in Rwanda: Blessing to a Notorious Dictator and Curse to Vulnerable Rwandan People.

The commonly projected image of the Commonwealth Organization is that it is a community of likely minded countries, mainly former British colonies, supposedly bound by common goals including democratic systems, rule of law, and respect of individual human rights. However, the latest gathering in Kigali has brought to light how this Organization has become another "CLUB" of countries whose Heads of State are bound by self-interest and greed.

Holding the CHOGM summit in Kigali has boldened the Rwandan dictator, Paul Kagame, and his cronies. Our Organization has learned from people on the ground, within the regime apparatus inner circle, that this meeting has given a new life to the bloody dictator, especially after the recent condemnations for the DRC attack by M23 proxy rebellion supported and armed by Paul Kagame and his security services.

One may not forget what is going on on the ground. To ensure that no one has access to political prisoners during this summit, Kagame has closed off access and/or visits to all Rwandan prisons for the entire duration of CHOGM.  In addition, there is a lot fear settling throughout the country on what may happen after the CHOGM spotlight is gone. While Kigali has been sanitized off poor and less well off people, the regime went to extreme of even telling ordinary Rwandans what to wear while chasing out of sight beggars, homeless people, etc... 

One may wonder how an Organization such as the Commonwealth can setup a high level meeting in a country that does not even come close to live by its fundamental principles. How can a notorious dictator who is responsible for the death of millions of innocent lives and is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and/or acts of genocide become the leader of the Organization in the next two years? How can the Commonwealth turn a blind eye to systemic violations of basic human rights, including the right to life, perpetrated on innocent human beings by a bloody dictator, such as Paul Kagame? One may wonder how the Commonwealth could avoid morphing into a  CommonGreed  Organization.  

Our organization dearly hopes that the Commonwealth returns to what constitutes its cores principles that include believing in individual liberty, the rule of law, democratic institutions, and vibrant civil societies. Failing to do so will inevitably ring hollow when great achievements, such as  the Commonwealth Charter, are referred to in the future. The CHOGM summit in Rwanda also reminds all of us, especially the inhabitants of African Great Lakes region, to come together and confront the demons of dictators such as Paul Kagame in order to achieve lasting peace and prosperity in our region.

June 22,  2022

Dr. Augustin Dukuze


National Democratic Congress