Today, I continue my 100 day series remembering the twentieth anniversary of Rwandan genocide. Please join me in prayer for those lives lost and impacted in this tragedy. #NeverAgain. LMH
Since I have been sharing regularly on the post-genocide commemorations for the past several days, I feel compelled to share that many are not card carrying members of the President Kagame fan club. To underscore this, I wanted to share a recent editorial by the STAND organization at Stanford University. STAND, a student-led movement against genocide and mass atrocity, wrote recently in objection to President Paul Kagame’s recent appearance at the Graduate School of Business as part of the Center for Global Business and the Economy’s Global Speaker Series. Among their remarks in this editorial are the following:
There is, however, a darker side to President Kagame, and Stanford should not praise his “promotion of human rights” when in fact countless allegations of appalling human rights violations, both in Rwanda and abroad, hang over the head of Kagame and his administration.
In the years following the genocide, Rwanda was a driving force behind two invasions of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, which sparked a conflict in the Congo that continues to this day and that has so far killed over five million people, displacing millions more. A UN report released last year announced that, as had long been suspected, Rwanda was providing significant support to the Congo-based rebel group M23, which has posed a major threat to peace and stability in the eastern Congo and contributed greatly to the ongoing destabilization of the country.
On the domestic side, Kagame’s administration has been accused by numerous authorities, including Human Rights Watch and the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights reports, of using political imprisonments, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and more against political opponents of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Kagame’s party. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “How Rwanda’s Paul Kagame Exploits U.S. Guilt” details many of these issues.
Read the entire editorial here. I’m actually grateful to see such dialogue occurring on college campuses in the US. This means that our students are tuned in to what occurred in Rwanda at a time when many of them were most likely in preschool. Respectful conversation here will hopefully help avoid future tragedies in Rwanda and around the world.