Rwanda. In September, President Paul Kagame's party won
Rwanda's Patriotic Front (RPF) a major victory in the
parliamentary elections. The party received 76% of the vote.
It corresponded to 41 of the 53 directly elected seats in
the Chamber of Deputies, which has 80 members. Two other
parties included in the government, the Social Democratic
Party (PSD) and the Liberal Party (PL), received 7 and 5
seats respectively. A further 27 members were elected
indirectly. They represent women, young people and people
with disabilities. The quota system means that women are in
the majority in the Chamber of Deputies.
Countryaah, the election result was given as no real opposition
parties were running and no independent candidates passed
the five percent barrier. Regional election observers felt
that the election was free. Just before the election, two
people were killed by hand grenades in the capital Kigali.
No group took on the blame, but the government accused the FDLR huturebell movement in Congo (Kinshasa).
Rwanda reacted angrily to a play by neighboring
Tanzania's president to consider talks with the FDLR. The
proposal was presented in May at a summit in the African
Union and led to fierce exchanges of opinion between the
Relations with neighboring Congo (Kinshasa) were also
tense. Rwanda accused the neighboring country of several
attacks on border areas during the year. Congo and the UN
claimed that they were executed by the rebel group Movement
March 23 (M23) operating in eastern Congo. Rwanda denied
that it supported M23, as a leaked report from the UN
Congo-Kinshasa expert group asserted in June. In October,
the United States decided to freeze its military aid to
Rwanda, citing the fact that M23 deployed child soldiers.
The UN forces in Congo, MONUSCO, stated that children were
recruited in Rwanda. This was rejected by Rwanda Foreign
Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
Rwanda's decision to support peace talks between the
Congo and the M23, held in Uganda, helped several donors,
including the EU, resume aid payments. Aid accounts for
about 40% of the country's budget.
Legal proceedings regarding the 1994 genocide continued
in Rwanda and abroad. In December, the Supreme Court
tightened the penalty for Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader
of the opposition party United Democratic Forces. She was
sentenced to 15 years, including for conspiracy against the
government. In March, she had appealed against a previous
sentence of eight years in prison for terrorism and
aggravated genocide. Human rights organizations such as
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch questioned the
legal certainty of the process.
In March, a Dutch court sentenced a Rwandan-born woman to
just over six years in prison for hate crimes, but she was
freed from genocide. A Rwandan-born man, suspected of
participating in the genocide, was transferred from Norway
in March after the European Court of Justice rejected the
60-year-old's complaint that he would not receive a fair
trial. In June, the Stockholm District Court sentenced a
55-year-old Rwandan-born man to life imprisonment for his
role in massacres in western Rwanda. The man and prosecutors
appealed to the High Court. President widow
Agathe Habyarimana's application for asylum in France was
rejected in June. She has struggled for many years not to be
extradited to Rwanda.
In May, British police arrested five men suspected of
genocide. Several of them had previously been heard in
British courts, but released after using loopholes in the
A French court in September ordered Colonel Laurent
Serubuga on the loose, which upset Rwanda. Serubuga was
previously Deputy Army Chief of Staff and wanted for
genocide. The court considered that he could not be charged
with genocide because the crime was not in the Rwandan Penal
Code when the offense was committed in 1994.
In June, journalist Saidath Mukakibibi was released after
serving three years in prison. She was a reporter at the
Umurabyo magazine and was convicted together with the
newspaper's publisher Agnès Uwimana Nkusi for slander. Nkusi
would serve another year. The Supreme Court shortened their
prison sentence in 2012 and dismissed several charges. Human
rights groups have criticized the judgments.