Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Whats changed in Rwanda since April

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Happy to blog again after a brief hiatus. So much has changed in Rwanda since my last post on April 3rd. Similarly, a few things remain the same.

What hasn't changed is the easiest to point out. Kagame is still Rwanda's indisputable leader. His nemesis, the FDLR, even while weakened are still hiding in the DRC. Lastly, the opposition is still almost entirely exiled.

M23 appears to have been weakened completely thus reducing Kagame's influence in the DRC. More arrests have happened in Rwanda targeting top officials under Kagame's regime. I am not sure whether to categorize the latter as a "change" given that, in many ways, harassment by the Rwandan state are already part of an ongoing trend.

Another important change that was largely unreported is the return of two former Kagame's critics into his government.

Evode Uwizeyimana, a lawyer by training who had been exiled in Canada, along with Celestin Rwigema who previously served as a prime minister returned to Rwanda early this year. While in Rwanda, they immediately began a seemingly government sponsored effort to lash out at critics. Little is known on the motivations behind their return; although, it is largely believed that the regime bought them up. That said, it is important to mention that both individuals had previously worked for Kagame in the past. As such, they can be regarded as "prodigal sons" returning home.

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